Boston Red Sox defeat Kansas City Royals, 15-9

Red Sox manager Terry Francona does not have to use Daniel Bard in pressure situations.

He has a bullpen chocked with experienced arms that, for most of the season, have delivered when needed. But as last night proved, Francona knows he can use his 24-year-old rookie in any situation.

With the eventual 15-9 win slipping away, Francona called on Bard with no outs in the seventh inning, the Sox leading, 9-7, and the go-ahead run at the plate. Bard, in his 20th big league ...

Nothing has come easy for the Red Sox this homestand, an assumed 10-game favor from the schedule makers when it began. They pushed the limits of that notion last night. The Sox spotted themselves a nine-run lead after four innings. Then they managed to make beating the Kansas City Royals a challenge.

By the time Jason Bay squeezed the final out, squinting through rain drops and fighting a stiff wind, the Sox had salvaged a 15-9 victory over the Royals that took nearly f...