Sox Top Royals; Just One Game Out

Bartolo Colon went 8 strong innings Wednesday before back pain forced him to take a seat on the Sox bench, as the Sox took two of three from the Kansas City Royals to move within one game of first in the American League Central.

Colon struck out 7 and allowed just 3 hits for his 10th win of the season. Roberto Alomar and Carlos Lee each homered for the Sox, who improved to 6 games over .500 at 60-54.

Royals starter Kris Wilson went only five innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits for just his second loss of the season for KC. Despite Colon's efforts, the Sox' bid for a series win over the first place Royals was still put in jeopardy in the 9th inning.

Tom Gordon lasted just 1/3 of an inning, giving up three runs on three straight hits before leaving in favor of left-hander Damaso Marte. Royals slugger Carlos Beltran hit a 3-run homer off Gordon, who was then lifted wisely in favor of Marte.

After getting Raul Ibanez to pop out, Marte allowed the game's tying run to reach base when Kevin Harvey single to left. However, Marte was able to strike out Desi Relaford to end the game and give the Sox a much needed 4-3 victory over the Royals.

The Sox begin a three game series with Oakland on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field in a battle of Mark's. Mark Mulder will face Mark Buerhle beginning at 7:05 Friday night.

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