Masataka Yoshida ended a 12-game home run drought Sunday as he sparked the Boston Red Sox to a 7-3 win over the Kansas City Royals with his three-run blast.

Starting in left field and batting sixth in the lineup, Yoshida went long for the first time since Aug. 18 when he opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium.

The left-handed hitter locked onto a changeup from Zack Greinke (1-14) and lined it 415 feet over center field for his 14th home run of the season.

Yoshida, who has been among the American League's batting leaders during his rookie campaign, came in averaging just .253 for the second half, according to MLB.com.

Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox hits a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Getty/Kyodo)

"It felt good getting hold of one for the first time in a while," he said. "I made solid contact right where it was floating."

Yoshida also hit an opposite-field single in the second as part of a 2-for-4 outing that Boston hopes is the start of a turnaround for their prize recruit.

"I'm still a way off," the former Orix Buffaloes star said.

With the Red Sox battling to make up 5.5 games on the Houston Astros for the third and final AL Wild Card berth, Yoshida said Boston has "no choice but to keep winning."

Masataka Yoshida of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his three-run home run with teammates in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sept. 3, 2023. (Getty/Kyodo)

Elsewhere in the majors, Shohei Ohtani went hitless but stole his 20th base for the Los Angeles Angels in their 10-6 loss at the Oakland Athletics. Ohtani also drew a pair of walks in a 0-for-3 day at the plate.

Minnesota Twins starter Kenta Maeda did not factor in his team's 5-6 loss to the Texas Rangers. Over five innings, the right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out three.


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