The scoreboard Wednesday at Fenway Park resembled a football score, but it was indeed the score from a baseball game. That was thanks in large part to the first two innings the Minnesota Twins put together in Wednesday’s 15-8 win over Boston.
In the first two innings combined, the Twins scored a total of 11 runs on nine hits. That included four doubles and two home runs — a two-run shot by Ryan Doumit in the first inning and a solo homer by Pedro Florimon to lead off the second.
On top of that, Minnesota showed a knack for driving in runs with two outs in the first and second innings. Of the 11 runs scored, seven of them came with two outs. The Twins went through the lineup twice, and leadoff hitter Jamey Carroll batted three times in two innings and went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.
Every player reached base at least once in the first two innings. Like Carroll, left fielder Josh Willingham did not have a hit in those innings but did reach base on a walk and also scored one of the Twins’ first 11 runs.
“There’s so many guys up and down the lineup that hit the ball,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Florimon had a good night and (Joe) Mauer and a whole bunch of guys had a really good night, obviously, with that many runs. A good win for us.”
Minnesota chased Boston starter Allen Webster after just 1 2/3 innings, but got to the Red Sox’s bullpen as well after Webster gave up eight runs on six hits. The 11 runs scored by Minnesota tied a team record for the most runs scored in the first two innings of a game, the first time since Aug. 15, 1987. Entering Wednesday, the Twins had scored a total of 24 runs in the first and second innings — 12 in each inning. Those numbers will now be skewed after the 11-run outburst early Wednesday.
“That was a fun game for us tonight,” said third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs. “It’s one game, but we know what our offense is capable of and we really haven’t shown it this season. This is a game where you hope it carries over and we kind of get a string of those together.”
Florimon’s leadoff homer in the second was his first of the year. He ended up coming up to bat later in the inning and hit a two-out, two-run double to center to score Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks. It capped a 2-for-5 night with three RBI for Florimon.
“I’m not trying to do too much,” Florimon said. “I’m sitting in a 3-2 count and then he throws me a fastball down the middle and I swing (at) it and it’s a homer.”
Despite a four-run first inning, Minnesota and starter Pedro Hernandez actually fell behind after the Red Sox responded with five runs in the bottom of the first. But the Twins’ offense answered with seven more runs in the top of the second to retake the lead for good.
But Minnesota continued to pile on the runs, scoring again in the fourth, fifth and ninth innings to complete the 15-8 victory. They would need those runs, too, as well as some help from the bullpen after Hernandez lasted just two innings. Minnesota needed seven innings from the bullpen and got four of them from Ryan Pressly.
Still, those two big innings to start off the game helped the Twins move back to .500 with one game remaining in the series.