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Final: Twins 9, Red Sox 8

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 26, 2011 07:00 PM

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Game over: Twins 9, Red Sox 8

It's only spring training. But that's an ugly loss.

Middle of the 9th: Twins 9, Red Sox 8

What a disaster. Jenks allowed six runs on five hits, a walk and a wild pitch. An error didn't help matters. Sox need a rally to avoid their ninth straight loss.

Top of the 9th: Red Sox 8, Twins 3

Dan Wheeler allowed two runs. Now Bobby Jenks in to try and finish it off. The English-speaking media just had an interview session with Matsuzaka. The Red Sox are breaking in a new translator and that takes time. But basically he's pleased with where he's at and he thinks the new between-start routine Curt Young advised him to try is working well.

Young basically has cut down on some of the throwing Matsuzaka did between starts and it seems to have helped his arm strength.

Top of the 8th: Red Sox 8, Twins 1

Salty's RBI double pads the lead. Six outs left for the Mayor's Cup.

Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 7, Twins 1

Hideki Okajima may have helped his cause by allowing a soft single and striking out two in his inning. But as Francona pointed out before the game, nobody can pitch their way onto the team at this point.

Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 6, Twins 1

Dice-K left the bases loaded by striking out Valencia with a curveball. Both teams have subbed out their starters. Stunningly, they're not sticking around for the postgame tumult.

Top of the 6th: Red Sox 6, Twins 1

The Sox can smell the Mayor's Cup. And that's not just because it's stored in a musty closet at All Out Bail Bonds two blocks away.

McDonald singled and took third on a double by Pedroia. Crawford's grounder to short scored a run and sent pinch runner Drew Sutton to third. Youkilis then delivered a sacrifice fly to right. Gonzalez (2 for 3) singled, driving Duensing out of the game. Ortiz also singled but Cameron flied to center.

Dice-K, meanwhile, is working on a three-hitter with one walk. He has allowed three runs in his last 15.2 innings.

Top of the 5th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1

Dice-K has retired seven straight. The Red Sox went quietly in the bottom of the inning.

Top of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1

Adrian Gonzalez drilled an off-speed pitch from Duensing over the fence in left center. That was the first homer of the spring for him (albeit in his 20th at-bat) and the Sox build their lead.

Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis is 0 for 2 and is now 10 for 49 (.204) this spring with two extra-base hits and 13 strikeouts

Top of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Twins 1

Darnell McDonald lined a three-run triple to the gap in left with two outs in the bottom of the second to give the Sox the lead. Cameron (single), Salty (single) and Lowrie (E-5) scored.

No word on if the mayor is here to award the Mayor's Cup. He could be working late at Walgreen's.

Top of the 2nd: Twins 1, Red Sox 0

Poor start for the Sox. Span singled and took second when Cameron overran the ball. Nishioka grounded to first, advancing the runner. Mauer then lined a rocket off the fence in left. But Dice-K left Mauer stranded.

The Sox then grounded out three times.

Pre-game: What excitement here at City of Palms Park as the Mayor's Cup will be decided. Biggest day in the Fort since Larry's Pawn Shop had that 2-for-1 special on watches.

The game is on NESN and WEEI but hang out here for updates and please leave your comments, too. The Sox are due for a win. Then again, that's been the case for a few days.

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