(11:02, Game Over, Twins 5-2)
Joe Nathan retired the Red Sox in the ninth to preserve a 5-2 win for Nick Blackburn before 20,019 at the Metrodome. It was Nathan's seventh save. Julio Lugo singled up the middle with two outs in the ninth, but Jacoby Ellsbury flew deep to right-center to end it.
(10:41, top eighth, 5-2 Twins)
David Ortiz popped to left in his fourth plate appearance. He's 1 for 3 with a walk and a double. Did moving him to sixth work? Jury's out.
(10:18, top seventh, 5-2 Twins)The Sox scored a run in the top of the seventh on an error by shortstop Nick Punto on an errant throw. Ellsbury and Pedroia singled. After the bad throw on a grounder by Drew, he was thrown out trying to get to second. Daniel Bard has replaced Jon Lester, who pitched four strong innings until the disaster in the fifth. Lester went six, allowed five runs, six hits, and struck out four. He threw 100 pitches.
(9:55, bottom fifth, 5-1 Twins)
Horrible inning for Jon Lester. If not for a diving catch in center by Jacoby Ellsbury, it could have been far worse. Justin Morneau's three-run homer on a shot to right capped the tough inning. There were four hits and a walk. A ground ball out by Span accounted for one run and a single by Nick Punto accounted for the other.
(9:40, bottom fifth, 1-0 Red Sox)
Former Hanson, Mass. resident Jim Cadres, who now lives in the Minneapolis area and is sitting in the stands tonight, told me that he's sitting next to Joe Mauer's grandparents, a couple of sweet people who are punching their grandson's name on All-Star ballots with much frequency. I get the feeling Mauer's gonna make it.
(9:37, top fifth, 1-0 Red Sox)
Dustin Pedroia is always interesting to watch because he can do things not many hitters can do. He took a Nick Blackburn pitch that was low and outside and pulled it down the left field line for a double, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury with the first run of the game. Ellsbury had reached on a fielder's choice after a Julio Lugo single and stole his 20th base. Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford had started the night with 28 steals to lead the AL.
(9:20, top fourth, 0-0)David Ortiz walked in his second plate appearance. It put runners at first and second with one out, but Delmon Young made a nice running catch of a Jason Varitek fly ball down the left field line and Jeff Bailey struck out to end the threat.
(9:17, bottom third, 0-0)
Jon Lester ticked off Denard Span when he hit him with a pitch on the right elbow with two outs in the third. Span threw his bat and went to first. Lester didn't seem to like the reaction and stared Span down. Span then exacted his revenge by stealing second against the lefty, but that's as far as he got as Lester struck out Joe Mauer to end the inning.
(8:48, bottom second, 0-0)Hitting sixth for the first time since May 11, 2004, David Ortiz stroked a ball to the right-center gap which he hustled into two bases. Ortiz, who didn't play Monday, looked pretty loose and easy before the game. He spent a lot of time during batting practice greeting some of his old Twins' teammates and acquaintances including former Twins third baseman Corey Koskie, who was on the field before the game. While Ortiz did his part, his teammates stranded him at second as Nick Blackburn got the next three outs.
(8:36, top second, 0-0)
Well at least Joe Mauer was silenced in the first. Batting second, he lined into a double play to second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Jon Lester is trying to continue his good form of his last outing May 21, a 5-1 win over Toronto, when he allowed eight hits and one run over 6-1/3 innings. Justin Morneau reached on a single but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
(8:24, bottom first, 0-0)
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a first-inning single. J.D. Drew, who is in Ortiz's familiar three hole, walked, but the Sox failed to score. The Twins have an interesting lineup in which both lefthanded sluggers - Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau - are batting 2-3 against the lefty Lester.