Red Sox 3, Twins 2(10)
Will Middlebrooks gave Boston a comeback victory the night
before with a big swing. This time, he dropped down a bunt to
advance the go-ahead run.
After losing 93 games last season, the Red Sox aren’t worried
about style. A win is a win.
Jonny Gomes hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the
Red Sox past the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Friday night.
”We don’t want to be the heart-attack kids, but it’s a good
character check for us right away,” Gomes said.
The Red Sox have won three straight after losing 10 of their
previous 14 games, while the Twins have dropped three in a row
after winning six of nine.
Twins reliever Josh Roenicke (1-1) gave up a single and a walk
to open the 10th. After the sacrifice by Middlebrooks, Stephen Drew
was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Gomes sent a drive
to center field, where Aaron Hicks caught the ball but
double-clutched on his throw after bumping into left fielder
Oswaldo Arcia. Hicks didn’t have a chance to get the speedy Dustin
”I would have liked to have seen Hicks come up clean with that
one and have a shot at throwing him out,” Twins manager Ron
At Tampa Bay on Thursday, Middlebrooks hit a three-run double in
the ninth to give Boston a 4-3 victory. The only prior sacrifice of
the second-year third baseman’s entire professional career came in
2008 for Class-A Lowell, but manager John Farrell didn’t hesitate
to call for the bunt.
”He’s a very good athlete. He’s got good hand-eye
coordination,” Farrell said. ”Knowing that it wasn’t part of his
game as an offensive player, still I thought the game situation
called for it. And he executed it perfectly.”
Alex Wilson (1-0) picked up the victory by getting the last out
of the ninth and Koji Uehara threw a perfect 10th for his first
save, with closers Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey both on the
Yes, the Red Sox relievers had a big hand in this, too, after
Clay Buchholz recovered from an early two-run homer by Pedro
Florimon, just the second time the right-hander was taken deep this
Buchholz walked three, including one in the fifth while the
Twins loaded the bases with one out. But struggling slugger Josh
Willingham took a called third strike, and Justin Morneau flied out
to left field at medium depth. Morneau’s 11-game hitting streak
Starting with Willingham, the Red Sox retired 17 straight
batters to finish the game.
”We’ve got a good staff. That’s really what it comes down to,”
said Buchholz, who struck out nine batters over seven innings,
including five in a row spanning the first and second frames. He
was stuck with a no-decision for the third straight start and
couldn’t match Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore with the second 7-0 record in
the majors this year.
Buchholz’s ERA, second-lowest among American League qualifiers,
actually rose nine points to 1.78.
”Buch’s throwing the ball really well. I just want to pick up
wherever he leaves off,” said Andrew Miller, who struck out three
and went five up and five down.
Florimon also had a hand in three double plays induced over six
innings by Twins starter Vance Worley, who gave up just one
unearned run on David Ortiz’s RBI single. The shortstop made a
slick pivot and quick throw to end the third and the fifth on
grounders hit by Pedroia.
Florimon had a chance to start a fourth, with Brian Duensing
pitching in the seventh, but Jacoby Ellsbury’s sharp bouncer
glanced off his glove as he tried to make a sliding stop. The ball
rolled into center field for a single, and Gomes – who led off with
a walk – scored to tie the game at 2.
With Joe Mauer and his 14-game hitting streak on the bench
because of a stiff back, the Twins had only two players in the
lineup entering the game with a batting average better than
Florimon’s .247. But Trevor Plouffe doubled off the wall to start
the third, and with one out Florimon drove a first-pitch curveball
just inside the foul pole and just over the right-field wall to put
the Twins up 2-1.
Buchholz has finished seven innings in all but one of his nine
starts this year, against the Twins at home two weeks ago, and
allowed more than two runs in only one turn, also in that game when
the Twins scored four times against him. Buchholz’s last home run
surrendered was in his first start on April 3.
”Team wins. That’s what this game’s about. There’s absolutely
no disappointment,” he said.
NOTES: Morneau, whose 17 RBIs are the most in the majors in May,
dropped to 6 for 8 with 13 RBIs with the bases loaded this season.
… Red Sox backup catcher David Ross, on the 7-day DL due to
post-concussion symptoms, had an exam pushed back until Monday. He
is still light-headed and fatigued. … The Red Sox will send RH
Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.75 ERA) to the mound on Saturday, opposite LH
Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08 ERA) of the Twins. Both of them gave up
six runs and took the loss in their last start.