Game over: Red Sox 11, Twins 5
The Mayor's Cup is clinched. No sign of Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 11, Twins 4
Jonathan Papelbon in for a four-out appearance. With a runner on first in the ninth just now, he threw over to the bag. Only the first baseman wasn't there, he was playing in the hole. Because what runner would go down 11-4 in a spring training game?
Back later with a report from the champagne-soaked clubhouse.
Middle of the 7th, Red Sox 11, Twins 4
Just returned from the clubhouse and speaking to Clay Buchholz. He called starting the third inning by getting Joe Mauer to ground to short a turning point for him, both in the game and for him in general this spring.
He and John Farrell spoke about why he needed 51 pitches for the first two innings and then 34 over the last 2.2. It's all about throwing strike one and fastball command. The best pitch is always strike one. It's easy to say but pitchers sometimes forget it.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 11, Twins 4
Tug Hulett's three-run pinch hit homer in the 6th has given the Sox a big lead. The Tugger has 13 RBI this spring, the most on the team. Of course I predicted that back in February when I wrote "Tug Hulett Key To Mayor's Cup" for the paper.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 8, Twins 4
Scott Atchison allowed two hits in his 1.1 innings but no runs. Both teams are starting to make changes. Kevin Frandsen is in to play shortstop for the Sox.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 8, Twins 4
Buchholz is done: 4.2 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 1 home run. He threw 53 of his 87 pitches for strikes and retired the final 10 batters he faced, four by strikeout.
Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 8, Twins 4
The Sox can smell the Mayor's Cup. Pedroia doubled with two outs and scored on a single to center by Martinez, who has hammered the ball three times today. Youkilis followed with a single before Ortiz lofted a ball into the right-field stands.
Pedroia, Martinez and Youkilis are 9 for 9 with 7 runs scored and 4 RBI.
Middle of the 4th: Twins 4, Red Sox 4
Another good inning for Buchholz, who fanned Thome and Kubel before Hardy grounded out. He has retired eight straight.
Top of the 4th: Twins 4, Red Sox 4
The Sox had a big inning that could have been bigger. Pedroia, Martinez and Youkilis started it with singles. After Ortiz popped out, Beltre slammed an RBI single into left. Cameron struck on a 3-2 pitch but Hall singled to left, scoring Martinez. But Kubel threw Youkilis out at the plate.
Middle of the 3rd: Twins 4, Red Sox 2
Great inning for Buchholz as he retired the side on eight pitches and fanned Cuddyer again.
Top of the 3rd: Twins 4, Red Sox 2
Cameron was hit by a pitch before Hall walked. But Scutaro struck out before Ellsbury bounced into a 5-3 double play as Harris stepped on the bag and made a throw that Morneau scooped up.
Top of the 2nd: Twins 4, Red Sox 2
Another rough inning for Buchholz. Thome worked the count full then lined an opposite-field single to left. J.J.Hardy followed with a two-out single. Buchholz then got Brendan Harris to hit a liner to second base. It might have been a double play had Pedroia been standing there. But with Hardy running, he was covering second o it was an RBI single instead. Span followed with a sac fly to right.
Buchholz has thrown 51 pitches in two innings.
Bottom of the 1st: Twins 2, Red Sox 2
Oh, the drama of the Mayor's Cup! Pedroia reached on a single then scored on a double by Martinez. Youkilis followed with an RBI single and we're all tied up.
Middle of the 1st: Twins 2, Red Sox 0
Buchholz came back to strike out both Morneau and Cuddyer swinging. He has such good stuff, it's just a matter of him harnessing it.
Top of the 1st: Twins 2, Red Sox 0
Clay Buchholz did not get off to a good start. Denard Span lined a hard single to center, moved up on a bunt and scored when Joe Mauer sent a ball soaring over the fence in left. Clay threw a first-pitch strike to one of the first four batters and is not in the "attack" mindset John Farrell wanted.