Twins unload on Red Sox
It was an unexpected night from Minnesota’s usually anemic offense.
Pedro Florimon had a solo homer and a two-run double in the Twins’ season-high, seven-run second inning that carried them to a 15-8 rout of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Entering the day with the American League’s second-fewest hits and third-fewest runs, the Twins didn’t have any pregame batting practice due to some showers at Fenway Park. Then they went out and compiled a season high in runs and hits (20).
”We’ll be asking for a little BP rain tomorrow,” joked Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. ”It was a crazy night. The ball was flying early. Both pitchers, their young guy, we didn’t let him breathe, and they did that to our pitcher, too.”
Ryan Doumit had a two-run homer, Oswald Arcia went 4 for 5 with three singles and a double, and Trevor Flouffe drove in three of the Twins’ runs.
Florimon had a career-best three RBIs.
”It felt good,” he said, breaking into a smile as he was leaving the clubhouse. ”I feel like I’m going pretty good.”
David Ortiz went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and three groundouts to snap his 27-game hitting streak, dating to last season. Ortiz had hit safely in his first 15 games this season, giving him Boston’s longest streak since Manny Ramirez also hit in 27 straight in 2006.
Jonny Gomes hit his fourth career grand slam – first with the Red Sox – and drove in five runs. Shane Victorino added a solo homer for Boston, which lost for the fifth time in six games.
In the first two innings, the teams combined for 17 runs and 10 extra-base hits, chasing both starting pitchers as the Twins held an 11-6 edge after posting their big second.
Ryan Pressly (1-0) pitched four shutout innings of relief for his first major league win.
”That was a big pick up by him,” Gardenhire said.
Pressly was once part of Boston’s organization.
”I just wanted to get out there, speed the game up and get outs,” he said.
Boston’s Allen Webster (0-1), making his second career start, gave up eight runs, six hits and walked three while getting only five outs.
Twins starter Pedro Hernandez faired just a little better, allowing six runs and seven hits in two innings of his fifth career start.
”(My) head really wasn’t in the game today,” Hernandez said via a translator. ”Someone (I) really loved passed away.”
Hernandez said a 38-year old cousin died two days ago and the funeral was Wednesday.
Trailing 5-4 in the second, Minnesota sent 11 batters to the plate and had its biggest inning of the season. Florimon tied it with a leadoff homer into the seats above the Green Monster. Justin Morneau’s sacrifice fly pushed the Twins ahead, before Plouffe’s RBI double chased Webster. Aaron Hicks then had a two-run single off Felix Doubront and Florimon followed with his two-run double, making it 11-5.
”The team did all they could to help me out,” Webster said. ”I just went back out there and if I had thrown a zero we’d probably win the game, but I didn’t.”
That was all the offense the Twins needed.
”A tough night from the mound tonight. A number of pitches found their way to the middle of the plate,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ”Once again, they swung aggressively, they hit a number of fastballs that didn’t get to the intended location. The one thing that’s a little concerning with Felix is that while he’ll get ahead of certain hitters, still lacks the ability to put some guys away and we’ve seen that the last two outings for him.”
Victorino’s homer into the left-field seats cut it to 11-6 in the bottom of the second.
Minnesota added a run in the fourth on Florimon’s double-play grounder. Plouffe delivered a run-scoring single and Arcia collected his fourth hit of the game in the fifth – an RBI double – to make it 14-6.
The Twins had grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first. After Webster fanned Jamey Carroll to start the game, he walked the next two before Morneau’s RBI double. Plouffe followed with a sacrifice fly before Doumit homered into Boston’s bullpen.
Boston responded by taking the lead with five runs after two outs in the bottom of the inning. Gomes belted his slam completely out of Fenway over the Monster after the Red Sox loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. Stephen Drew’s RBI single made it 5-4.
NOTES: Ortiz’s personal season-opening streak is the best by a Boston player since Tony Pena also hit in his first 15 in 1990. … The Red Sox honored Orlando Cepeda (Boston) and Ron Blomberg (Yankees) during a pregame, on-field ceremony for the 40th anniversary of the DH. Current Red Sox DH Ortiz handed them each commemorative framed pictures. … Farrell said 3B Will Middlebrooks had an MRI on his right side after bruising his ribs making a sliding grab of a foul pop before colliding with C David Ross in Tuesday’s loss. ”He’s banged up a little bit,” Farrell said before saying the team was awaiting the results. Both Middlebrooks and Ross were not in the lineup. Farrell also said Ross still had ”some soreness” in the left quadriceps. … The Twins close out their 10-game road trip Thursday when Kevin Correia (3-2, 2.83 ERA) is slated to face Boston’s John Lackey (1-2, 3.52) is the series finale.