Ortiz blasts home run, four RBI as Red Sox defeat Twins 13-2
BOSTON — Tyler Duffey was trailing Boston by a run after throwing just one pitch. It didn’t get much better from there for Minnesota’s young right-hander or the pitchers that followed him.
Mookie Betts hit a leadoff homer on the first pitch he faced from Duffey and the next three Boston batters singled as the Red Sox rode the early lead to a 13-2 rout of the Twins on Thursday night.
"When they’re in a groove like that, if you don’t make them uncomfortable they can lean on some stuff," Duffey said. "When guys are confident, it’s hard to get them out sometimes."
Duffey (5-7) allowed four hits in the first, one in the second and then four more in the third. His night ended after Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled for Boston’s ninth hit with one out in the third and the Red Sox up 6-0.
"They were just jumping on fastballs, breaking balls — it didn’t matter. They had a lot of good at bats," manager Paul Molitor said. "It got ugly. We’ve haven’t had a game like that in a while."
Dustin Pedroia went 5 for 5 with two doubles for Boston, which had 17 hits while winning its third straight and improving to 12-3 in July. David Ortiz added a two-run homer in the eighth and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer and finished with three RBIs.
Steven Wright (12-5) tied his career high with nine strikeouts and held Minnesota to four hits in eight innings. The Twins didn’t reach base against the knuckleballer until the fifth and finished with five hits.
"We just didn’t have a lot of offense to muster off of him," Molitor said. "He had the lead and you knew he was going to ride it out for a while."
The Twins added a ground-rule double by pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar in the ninth off reliever Clay Buchholz.
Max Kepler got Minnesota’s first hit, singling with one out in the fifth to start a two-run rally that turned out to be the only offense for the Twins. He added a single in the seventh and was the only Minnesota batter with more than one hit.
The Red Sox were up 11-2 in the eighth when Ortiz continued his farewell tour with his 24th homer, a shot deep into the seats in right field.
DUFFEY DONE EARLY
After winning his last three decisions, Duffey didn’t last long in his first game pitching at Fenway Park.
"Coming in here, it’s going to be loud and stuff like that. They’re all waiting on the edge of their seat for something awesome to happen," Duffey said. "Early on, first pitch of the game — home run. That’s never a good taste in your mouth."
Duffey said it wasn’t a bad pitch, but he left a little too much of it over the plate and Betts pounced on it. He also thought he pitched well overall, just not quite well enough against the surging Red Sox.
"I was ahead of a lot of guys. I just didn’t put them away," he said.
The Red Sox managed to outdo their 16-hit total from an 11-7 win against San Francisco on Wednesday night and finished with at least 15 hits for the 15th time this season.
"They put together some good at bats," Molitor said. "If he (Duffey) got ahead, they fought their way back in the count."
Twins: OF Bryon Buxton was not in the starting lineup for the Twins as manager Paul Molitor rested him against Wright’s knuckleball. Buxton was 1 for 9 as Minnesota took two of three games against Detroit.
Red Sox: Plans to get C/LF Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) a minor-league rehab stint are on hold because of recurring soreness in his ankle. Swihart has been out since severely spraining the ankle on June 4. Manager John Farrell said Swihart started feeling the soreness as he increased the intensity of his workouts.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.12 ERA) gets his 12th start of the season for the Twins. Gibson allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings last week against Cleveland.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-3, 7.18) goes for his second straight win. Rodriguez threw seven strong innings in a win over the Yankees on Saturday, allowing one run and four hits.