Final: Red Sox 6, Twins 4
The Sox salvaged a 6-4 victory to snap a four-game losing streak after surviving a ninth-inning scare when the Twins rallied for three runs on a pair of homers off Vicente Padilla. It threatened to ruin the good work done by starter Franklin Morales and relievers Mark Melancon and Craig Breslow.
With no out, Alfredo Aceves, who absorbed Saturday night's 6-4 loss when he gave up four runs on four hits in the ninth including a three-run homer by Joe Mauer, picked up the save when he retired the three batters he faced, striking out Jamey Carroll to end the game before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,019.
Bottom of 8th: Red Sox 6, Twins 1: With Luis Perdomo on the mound for Jeff Manship (2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB), the Sox tacked on an insurance run when Jacoby Ellsbury ripped an RBI sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ryan Kalish from third after he doubled to center and advanced on a stolen base.
Vicente Padilla took over for Craig Breslow (1/3 IP) in the ninth.
Top of 8th: Red Sox 5, Twins 1: After he got the first two outs of the inning, Melancon (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K) handed it over to Craig Breslow, who came in and got Joe Mauer to ground to short.
Bottom of 7th: Red Sox 5, Twins 1: With two men aboard, Cody Ross ripped an RBI single to center, scoring Carl Crawford, who singled to right and went to second on intentional walk of Gonzalez.
Saltalamacchia drove a ball to deep center and was robbed of a potential extra-base hit by Ben Revere's amazing over-the-shoulder snag on the warning track. Revere doubled up Gonzalez at second to end the inning.
Top of 7th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1: Strong 1-2-3 inning for Melancon, who struck out Brian Dozier (swinging) with a 95 cutter for the second out of the inning.
Highlight of the mid-inning: American Idol winner Kris Allen performing a beautiful rendition of "God Bless America." That's why he's an American Idol, folks.
Bottom of 6th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1: Sox get two hits in the inning from Will Middlebrooks (single to center) and Mike Aviles (single to left), but strand both runners when Ellsbury grounds to second.
Mark Melancon took over for Morales (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 106 pitches) in the top of the 7th:
Top of 6th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1: A strong 1-2-3 inning for Morales. That would be his third quality start of the season. He has thrown 106 pitches (63 strikes) through six innings, the second most of the season he's thrown since 109 in a no-decision at Seattle June 28.
Jeff Manship took over for Nick Blackburn (5 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 4 K, 90 pitches) in the bottom of the 6th.
Bottom of 5th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1: Adrian Gonzalez hit an opposite-field 2-run HR into the Green Monster seats, scoring Carl Crawford, who reached on a single to center, to give the Sox a three-run cushion.
It was Gonzalez's 11th homer of the season. He was donating $5,000 to the Jimmy Fund for every HR he hit in the second half of the season. His total so far: $25,000.
Top of 5th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Ben Revere's RBI sacrifice fly to center scored Alexi Casilla, who drew a lead-off walk, with Minnesota's first run of the game to pull within 2-1.
Morales struck out Mastroianni for the second time in the game, this time swinging at an 94 fastball.
Bottom of 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: RHP Nick Blackburn retired the Sox in 1-2-3 fashion, striking out Ryan Kalish (looking) for the second out of the inning.
Top of 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: Another strong scoreless inning for Morales, who got two quick ground ball outs before allowing a single to Ryan Doumit. He got out of the inning after inducing Brian Dozier to pop to second.
Through four innings, Morales has allowed three hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He's thrown 71 pitches, 44 for strikes.
Bottom of 3d: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: Carl Crawford broke the ice when he grounded to short for an RBI that scored Mike Aviles (single to center) and Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single to shallow center that scored Jacoby Ellsbury (double to left) that gave the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Sox could have padded that lead but stranded a pair of runners after Dustin Pedroia singled to right and advanced on Gonzalez's run-scoring hit to center.
Top of 3d: Twins 0, Red Sox 0: Morales allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, inducing Revere to ground into a force at second that wiped out Jamey Carroll, who drew a lead-off walk. After Darin Mastroianni singled to center, Morales picked him off at first on a nifty play he engineered with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who snuck behind Mastroianni to make the catch and apply the tag.
Morales got out of the inning when he fielded an infield chopper by Mauer on the first base line and applied the tag himself.
Top of 2d: Twins 0, Red Sox 0 A strong 1-2-3 inning for Morales, who punctuated the inning with a strikeout of Alexi Casilla, who chased an elevated fastball.
The Sox announced a minor trade, acquiring Twins 3B Danny Valencia in exchange for minor league OF Jeremias Pineda. Valencia was optioned to Pawtucket.
Bottom of 1st: Twins 0, Red Sox 0: Carl Crawford, who celebrated his 31st birthday Sunday, was the first Red Sox to reach base when he reached on a one-out single to center. He stole second, but wound up getting stranded there when Dustin Pedroia grounded out to third and Adrian Gonzalez lofted a pop foul to third.
Top of 1st: Twins 0, Red Sox 0 A promising but protracted start for Franklin Morales, who gave up a lead-off hit to Ben Revere (extending his career-high hitting streak to 19 games) then struck out Darin Mastrioanni and Joe Mauer (both looking) before allowing Josh Willingham to walk after a 10-pitch at-bat. Morales got out of the inning when he got Justin Morneau to ground to third.
Pregame Greetings from Fenway Park where the Red Sox (53-55) will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak by sending LHP Franklin Morales (2-2, 3.32 ERA) to the mound to oppose RHP Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.43 ERA). We're moments away from the first pitch.
As always, please feel free to post your comments here. Enjoy the game.