- Associated Press - Sunday, July 20, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Kansas City’s Billy Butler summed up Jon Lester’s performance, paused for a few seconds, and realized it was a lost weekend for the Royals.

Lester allowed no earned runs for the third time in four starts, and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Royals with a 6-0 win Sunday.

“That was probably the best stuff he’s had all year,” Butler said. “It was their day - their weekend.”

One day after getting held to one run, the Royals were blanked for the eighth time this season. They have scored one run or none in four of their last six games.

“On a day like today, the only thing you can do is hope Jon Lester doesn’t bring his A-game, and he gets his pitch count up and makes mistakes, and you take advantage of it,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He was pretty good.”

Kansas City lost for the ninth time in 12 games and fell to 9-17 since a 10-game winning streak. The Royals have another tough matchup on Monday night when they open a three-game series against another All-Star lefty - Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.

“You basically just shake it off and get right back out there,” Butler said. “We faced a tough left-hander today and it doesn’t get any easier.”

Yordano Ventura (7-8) gave up all six runs.

“Mostly command,” Yost said. “Just struggled with command a little. He got some pitches in the fat part of the strike zone.”

In eight innings, Lester struck out eight and gave up two walks and four hits. Only one Royals player reached third base.

Lester (10-7) is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA over his last seven starts with 47 strikeouts and eight walks in a span of 52 2-3 innings. He has yielded just one earned run in 31 innings.

Lester extended his scoreless streak to 14 innings before Junichi Tazawa got the first out of the ninth. Edward Mujica retired the next two batters.

The first scored on Dustin Pedroia’s forceout at second base in the first, Daniel Nava hit a two-run double in the third, and Boston added three in the fourth on David Ross’ two-run homer and Nava’s sacrifice fly.

That was more than enough support for Lester as he keeps building a case for a lucrative contract following the one that expires after this season.

Boston entered the game in last place in the AL East, percentage points behind Tampa Bay, but won for the seventh time in eight games.

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