BOSTON -- Danny Darwin led a day of firsts for the Boston Red Sox.
Darwin earned his first American League victory in five years, Tom Brunansky, Wade Boggs and Mike Marshall hit their first homers and Jeff Reardon got his first 1991 save yesterday in the Red Sox' 5-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Along the way, the Red Sox also got their first runs after a 22-inning drought that began with consecutive shutout losses to Cleveland.
Embarrassed in lasting less than two innings against Cleveland last Thursday, Darwin was determined to turn boos to cheers. He did by allowing five hits, striking out seven and walking one in 7 2/3 innings.
"I felt I let everybody down the other day and I wanted everybody to know that wasn't the real Danny Darwin," said the 35-year-old right-hander, who signed as a free agent for $11.8 million over four years.
"I worked on the side and I think that paid off," said Darwin. "I was determined not to give them anything good to hit, especially the left-handed power hitters with the wind blowing out to right. I jammed them with my fastball and tried to make them chase my pitches."
Darwin allowed a pair of two-out singles by George Brett and Danny Tartabull in the first and a two-out walk to Kurt Stillwell in the second before he retired 16 batters in order.
Mike Macfarlane broke the streak with a leadoff single off the left-field wall in the eighth and came home on Stillwell's two-run homer. Darwin retired the next two batters, but gave way to Tony Fossas after Kevin Seitzer grounded a single to right.
Fossas got Brett on a grounder to first to end the eighth. Reardon then pitched the ninth, allowing one hit and striking out one in his 288th career save.