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Mel Parnell was the last Red Sox lefty to throw a no-hitter, beating the Chicago White Sox on July 14, 1956. Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is the only other person in history to no-hit the Royals.

“Just trying to finish the game,” Lester said in an on-field interview. “I can’t lie, it went through my head a couple times in the ninth.”

Luke Hochevar (3-3) allowed seven runs on five hits and six walks in six innings for Kansas City, which had won six of its last seven.

The Red Sox took advantage of Hochevar with five runs in the third, scoring their first run on a double play and then loading the bases on walks after Ellsbury tripled. Manny Ramirez walked to bring in another run and then Mike Lowell hit a high popup that was dropped by second baseman Mike Grudzielanek for another two runs.

Youkilis bounced a line drive over the short wall in right to make it 5-0. Varitek added a two-run homer in the sixth.

Notes: The Royals reinstated C John Buck from the bereavement list and optioned catcher Matt Tupman to Triple-A Omaha. Buck missed the weekend series in Florida to be with his wife, who had complications in her pregnancy. She gave birth to twin sons Cooper and Brody on Thursday, about 12 weeks early; the team said the situation has since stabilized. … Ramirez high-fived a fan down the left-field line after making a catch. … Guillen was chosen as the AL player of the week. He went 11-for-24 with two homers and 13 RBIs last week.