CHICAGO — Jon Lester is 4-5 with a 5.43 earned run average in 10 career starts against the White Sox. That’s more than half a run higher than it is against any other team in the American League.
“I don’t know,” Lester said when asked what it was about the White Sox after a 6-4 Red Sox loss Monday night. “I don’t know. It’s just one of those teams. You have those teams.”
Even when Lester played it smart in the first inning, it backfired. With a runner on second and two outs, Lester pitched carefully to Paul Konerko, a righthanded hitter who was 10 for 23 against him with three home runs.
Konerko walked on five pitches. Lefthanded hitting Adam Dunn, 1 for 6 against Lester, was next. Lester fell behind him and left a pitch over the plate that was crunched deep into the stands in right field.
“Just didn’t do a good job there. Ended up leaving a guy who’s got stupid pop a cutter that’s down the middle. He did what he was supposed to do with it,” Lester said.
Lester (6-1) left after six innings trailing 6-2. He allowed seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts. The two strikeouts, naturally, were his fewest of the season. The five earned runs matched Lester’s most for a start this season.
Lester knows the White Sox hit him hard. But he can’t change the way he pitches for one team.
“I’m not going to shy away from me. That’s what they want me to do,” Lester said. “They want us to overthink things and get us even more then. You just have to ... see what happens.”
A few other notes:
• Dustin Pedroia extended his streak to 12 games. He is 22 of 49 in the streak.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 13 of 34 with six extra-base hits in his last 11 games. He is up to .270
• Jacoby Ellsbury grounded to second base four times and accounted for five outs. He is 3 for 24 on the road trip and is now hitting .241 with a .303 on-base percentage. He has gone 162 at-bats without a home run.
CHICAGO — Shane Victorino came out of Monday night's game in the sixth inning with a tight left hamstring. He reached on an infield single and then felt the muscle grab when he went from first to third on a deep fly ball hit by Dustin Pedroia that was the third out.
Victorino moved slowly out to right field after the inning but came out of the game after manager John Farrell and a trainer went to speak to him.
“I was a little worried. But after talking with the trainers and having them look at it, it’s something mild,” Victorino said.
Victorino missed two games earlier in the road trip because of a back injury. That came after missing seven games with a back injury that occurred on April 24. The hamstring injury is not necessarily a result of that, but there could be a connection.
“You can tell the frustration,” Victorino said after sighing. “I just want answers why.”
It is unlikely Victorino will play on Tuesday.
“Given all he is dealing with, we’ll stay on the cautious side of this,” Farrell said.
Game over: White Sox 6, Red Sox 4: The Red Sox' five-game winning streak came to an end. Red Sox starter Jon Lester lost for the first time this season, allowing all six runs (five earned) over six innings. Adam Dunn blasted a three-run homer in the first inning to pace the White Sox attack. Jarroid Saltalamacchia belted his fifth homer, had two hits and nearly tied the game when his drive to center was caught near the wall by Alex Rios.
Mike Napoli singled to open the ninth inning off White Sox closer Addison Reed, but the Red Sox were unable to sustain a rally. Middlebrooks hit long drive to the 400 foot market in center, but it was caught.Paul Konerko made a great diving stab of Stephen Drew's hard grounder and throw to the pitcher covering to end the game. Reed earned his 15th save. The game was played in 2:52 before 21,816 at US Cellular Field.
Bottom 8th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 4 - White Sox threaten but do not score off Craig Breslow. Viciedo walked and Keppinger doubled, but Breslow got the next two batters to escape.
Injury update: Shane Victorino left the game with tightness in his left hamstring.
Top 8th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 4 - Shane Victorino walked with one out and Pedroia did his best to avoid a double-play when he beat the relay to first on his ground ball to second base. Ortiz popped out.
Bottom 7th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 4 - White Sox can't muster anything off Clayton Mortensen.
Top 7th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 4 - Will Middlebrooks knocked in a pair with a double to left field after Ortiz and Napoli drew walks. Line on Lester: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. He threw 109 pitches.
Bottom 6th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 2 - Jon Lester retired the side.
Top 6th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 2 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to lead off the inning, but Jacoby Wllsbury knocked into a double play. After Shane Victorino reached an infield hit to the pitcher, Dustin Pedroia flew out to end the ining.
Bottom 5th: White Sox 6, Red Sox 2 - Ramirez reached on an error by Will Middlebrooks, stole second. Alex Rios walked, but Konerko knocked into a double play. After Dunn walked, with runners now at the corners, Viciedo got the count to 3-2, before shooting a single up the middle to score the sixth White Sox run.
Top 5th: White Sox 5, Red Sox 2 - Nava, Middlebrooks and Drew retired.
Bottom 4th: White Sox 5, Red Sox 2 - Lester has his first 1-2-3 inning.
Top 4th: White Sox 5, Red Sox 2 - Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield hit to third base, but was doubled up on David Ortiz' GIDP. Mike Napoli, who entered the game hitting .214 with 19 strikeouts in 56 career at-bats at US Cellurlar, struck out.
Bottom 3rd: White Sox 5, Red Sox 2 - Lester allowed a single to Viciedo with two outs, but rebounded to get Jeff Keppinger to ground out for the third out.
Top 3rd: White Sox 5, Red Sox 2 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia hits his fifth homer to leftcenter batting lefthanded to chip away at the ChiSox lead.
Bottom 2nd: White Sox 5, Red Sox 0 - Jon Lester often talks about there are those five or starts when you have nothing. This might be one of them. Three straight doubles by Tyler Greene, Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez produce two runs,
Top 2nd: White Sox 3, Red Sox 0 - The first six Red Sox hitters have been retired by Dylan Axelrod.
Bottom 1st: White Sox 3, Red Sox 0 - Rough start for Jon Lester who gave up a three-run homer to Adam Dunn on a 2-0 pitch with Alex Rios and Paul Konerko aboard after he'd retired the first two White Sox batters.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, White Sox 0 - The Red Sox couldn't muster a lot against Dylan Axelrod as he got outs with ground balls from Jacoby Ellsbiry and Shane Victorino and a fly ball out to right by Dustin Pedroia.
CHICAGO — Backup catcher David Ross, who is out with a concussion, was cleared to start working out. He then threw, hit off a tee, and rode an exercise bicycle.
"The symptoms have resolved," manager John Farrell said. "We'll look to increase the intensity of the work tomorrow. So he's turning the corner."
When the Sox get back to Fenway on Friday, they'll decide whether Ross gets activated or plays in a minor league game or two.
• Farrell played and coached at Oklahoma State and he was following the news of the tornadoes there the last few days. "Our thoughts are with all the people," he said.
Will Middlebrooks also was following the news. His sister, Lacey, is a recent graduate of Tulsa University and his father, Tom, is from Oklahoma.
• Ryan Dempster played for the Cubs from 2004 until he was traded to the Rangers last July. This is his first time back in uniform in Chicago.
Dempster's children live in Chicago and he had his son, Brady, with him in the clubhouse.
• The Cleveland Indians are 26-17 under Terry Francona after beating Seattle today. Has Farrell heard much from his old friend?
"He's too busy winning," said Farrell. "I think everybody in baseball is watching. They have a very good team. They're playing with a heck of a lot of confidence."
The Indians arrive at Fenway Park on Thursday for four games.
CHICAGO — The Red Sox, as expected, activated Andrew Bailey off the disabled list today. Righthander Jose De La Torre was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket.
Bailey has been out since April 29 with a biceps strain. Bailey was pitching well before the injury. He had a 1.46 earned run average through 13 games and 12.1 innings. Bailey had allowed only six hits with four walks and 20 strikeouts.
De La Torre appeared in two games.
Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (27-17)
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (6-0, 2.72).
WHITE SOX (19-23)
De Aza CF
Pitching: RHP Dylan Axelrod (1-3, 4.27).
Game time: 8:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.
Red Sox vs. Axelrod: Ciriaco 3-3, Ellsbury 0-3, Middlebrooks 0-3, Ortiz 1-3, Salty 0-3, Napoli 0-1, Pedroia 1-1.
White Sox vs. Lester: Rios 9-38, Konerko 10-23, Ramirez 5-22, Wells 0-10, Dunn 1-6, De Aza 2-7, Viciedo 3-8, Flowers 1-3, Keppinger 1-2.
Stat of the Day: The Red Sox are averaging 5.47 runs in 21 road games.
Notes: The Red Sox have won five straight and are 5-1 on a road trip that has three games left. ... The Red Sox were 6-2 against the White Sox last season and are 5-2 at U.S. Cellular Field the last two seasons. ... Lester is 5-5, 5.20 in nine career starts against the White Sox. That's his highest ERA against an American League team. ... Axelrod made one start and one relief appearance against the Sox last season. He allowed two runs over nine innings. ... Pedroia has hit in 11 straight at 21 of 45 (.467) with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs. He has had multiple hits in eight of those games. ... Ellsbury has gone 158 at-bats since his last home run. ... Ortiz has hit in seven straight at 12 of 28 with 12 RBIs. ... Middlebrooks is 11 of his last 40 (.275) with nine extra-base hits. ... Lester and Buchholz are 12-0, 2.21. The Sox are 15-3 in their starts. ... The Sox have a 2.83 ERA on the road trip. Their relievers have allowed one run over 21 innings in six games.
Song of the Day: "Midwestern You" by The Susan Constant.
CHICAGO — When he managed the Red Sox, Terry Francona's only rule when it came to a dress code on road trips was that a player shouldn't look any worse than he did.
A few of the players would wear suits — Jonathan Papelbon was a snazzy dresser, believe it or not — but most of the guys wore pants and a decent shirt. There were plenty of jeans, cowboy boots and untucked shirts.
It was generally the same last season under Bobby Valentine. The Sox weren't sloppy by any means. But it was fairly rare to see a suit on the road.
That has changed this season. John Farrell changed the dress code to require a jacket but not necessarily a tie. Then a few of the older players got together and decided that the Sox should step it up beyond that.
Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, and Jon Lester now dress like hedge fund managers on road trips. Ryan Dempster has custom-made suits he gets in Montreal. Jonny Gomes cleans up real nice in suits that would work in any boardroom. Mike Napoli has jackets with distinctive patterns. There are Burberry ties, cuff links and starched collars everywhere you look.
Dustin Pedoia rocks a pocket square these days. Seriously.
"Pretty sick, huh?" he said in Tampa when he slipped on a dark jacket.
"It's kind of a fun thing," Lackey said. "Farrell mentioned it spring training but I think it was something we wanted to do anyway."
On Sunday, as the team left Minnesota, the players were talking a lot about their clothes. It's not really a competition, but it's evident the players are taking pride in how they look on the road.
"I think it's part of being a big leaguer," Gomes said. "I really do. We're supposed to be at the top of our profession. We should try and look like it."
Is that why the Sox are 27-17? Certainly not. If it was that easy, every team would dress up. The Rays have been an excellent for several years now and Joe Maddon has theme road trips where all the players dress in football jerseys or like nerds. That hasn't affected their play.
But it is yet another sign that the Red Sox are going in the same direction again after several years of discord. If they believe dressing up helps team unity and that team unity leads to playing well on the field, that's all that really matters.
In the end, it comes down to talent. But if that talent is well-tailored, maybe that's worth a little something, too.
Monday: LHP Jon Lester (6-0, 2.72) vs. RHP Dylan Axelrod (1-3, 4.27), 8:10 p.m., NESN.
Tuesday: LHP Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.03) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (2-1, 3.97), 8:10 p.m., NESN.
Wednesday: RHP Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.78) vs. LHP Chris Sale (5-2, 2.53), 8:10 p.m., NESN.
John Lackey had his best performance in recent memory as the Red Sox outlasted the Twins and the rain, 5-1.
Nick Cafardo writes the Red Sox bullpen has been a quiet success story.
The notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury getting his first day off.
Game over: Red Sox 5, Twins 1: - Junichi Tazawa put a couple of runners on base but managed to protect the lead as the Red Sox won their fifth straight game and swept the Twins. John Lackey improved to 2-4 with six one-hit innings. The game was played in 3:15 with a 3-hour rain delay before 33,042 (but about 300 of the Twins' intimate friends) at the end.
Top 9th: Red Sox 5, Twins 1 - Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer off Josh Willingham's forearm (the ball bounced over the fence) with Jonny Gomes (walk) aboard. David Ortiz followed with a single.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Twins loaded them up vs. Koji Uehara but he struck out Joe Mauer swinging to get out of the inning.
Top 8th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - The Red Sox offense had to dust off the cobwebs of a long rain delay. After Nava and Middlebrooks whiffed, Salty drew a walk before Pedro Ciriaco flew out to right.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - After a 3-hour rain delay, play resumed. Andrew Miller replaced John Lackey, who went six innings, allowed one hit, no runs, no walks and five strikeouts. Miller retired Justin Morneau (grounder to first), Trevor Plouffe (K) and Oswaldo Arcia (grounder to third).
UPDATE When we resume (and yes 6:25 central has come and gone), Andrew Miller will be the new Red Sox pitcher. He's warming up right now. The Sox have taken the field here in the bottom of the 7th.
UPDATE: Anticipate a 6:25 (central) restart. Tarp is off. Field is being worked on.
RAIN DELAY The delay began at 3:30 p.m. and it's really coming down. It's very dark and gusty winds. The latest forecast says that the rain may move through at about 5:30 central time and play could resume as early as 6, but don't hold us to that. There seems to be clearing after that. The Twins are trailing 3-1.
To review. John Lackey pitched six very strong innings and was on the mound to start the seventh, but presumably the Red Sox will now go to their bullpen to finish it off, if and when play resumes.
The Red Sox are scheduled to fly to Chicago tonight for the start of a three-game series with the White Sox.
We'll have more soon.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Shortly after God Bless America was sung, heavy rain halted play at 3:30 p.m. central time. John Lackey had not thrown a pitch.
Top 7th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - With thunder in the distance, the Red Sox made some quick outs.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Lackey gets through the inning, strikes out Joe Mauer to end the inning. Very dark here. Looks like a downpour at any time.
Top 6th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Looks rain is heading our way. But for now its cloudy and the Red Sox went down in order, holding on to their two-run lead.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Trevour Plouffe provided Minnesota's first hit,a double. Arcia was then hit with a pitch and the Twins' first run scored when Pedro Ciriaco threw wide of first base while trying to complete a double play. He was charged with an error.
Top 5th: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli all hit singles to produce a run. Daniel Nava also singled in a run.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0 - Twins are making contact, but none of them have resulted in a basehit vs. Lackey over the first 12 batters.
Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0 - Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each singled with one out, but the Sox were unable to add to their lead.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 2, Twins 0 - Lackey has retired all nine batters he's faced.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 2, Twins 0- Sox added to their lead when leadoff man Shane Victorino walked and asvanced to third on Jonny Gomes' single to left. The run scored when Dustin Pedroia's grounder to third was thrown wide of second by third baseman Trevor Plouffe.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - Lackey continues his strong start mowing down the Twins in the second. Lackey lasted only 4-1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs in is last start vs. Tampa Bay in a 5-3 loss. Lackey is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - Will Middlebrooks hit No. 8 off Pedro Hernandez to rightcenter. Sox take the early lead.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Twins 0 - When you can retire Joe Mauer on a strikeout and Justin Morneau on a weak ground ball, you're doing something right. John Lackey has started out strong.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Twins 0 - Today is an exercise at trying to beat the rain. It's 80 degrees and partly cloudy right now. Leadoff hitter Shane Victorino started the game with a hard single to right, he stole second base, but he was stranded there when David Ortiz tapped back to the pitcher.
MINNEAPOLIS — Jacoby Ellsbury has played every inning of every game this season. But he was given today off day to rest. Shane Victorino is starting in center field.
“Just wanted to make sure in this stretch of 20 games [in 20 days] that we get everybody involved and give every one of our normal regular guys a day off,” Farrell said.
Ellsbury is hitting .246 with a .309 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the only player on the roster to have started every game. Does Farrell have the temerity to sit him down?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “Pedey will fight that one tooth and nail. He’s the last man standing right now and that’s probably just the way he likes it. If it comes to it, he and I will sit and talk. As well as he’s playing, as good as he feels, as headstrong as he can be, all that’s taken into account.”
Pedroia has never played all 162 games. The closest he came was 159 games in 2011.
“I don’t really think about that stuff,” he said. “I go day-to-day. Whatever John wants is fine.”
• Stephen Drew has missed the last two games with a back injury, he result of an awkward slide into second base on Friday night. But he hopes to play on Monday. “Obviously day-to-day. But we don’t think this should be a prolonged situation,” Farrell said.
• Backup catcher David Ross, who is on the concussion disabled list, told Farrell that his symptoms are subsiding. Ross is scheduled for an examination on Monday and hopes to start working out after that.
“There’s improvement to the point where he was making requests [on Saturday] if he could throw. But we’re still holding back any kind of physical activity,” Farrell said. “Everything projects that after the re-exam on Monday he’ll start to go through some exertion testing.
“He was in much better spirits. In his own words he felt like he was turning the corner.”
• Andrew Bailey is set to come off the disabled list on Monday after pitching an inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday night. The righthander has been out since April 29 with a biceps strain.
Farrell will use Bailey as a closer but does not plan to use him on consecutive days right away. Still, his addition will give the Red Sox more options for the late innings.
“To slide guys back a little earlier, it gives us that flexibility with Junichi [Tazawa] a little bit more than holding him back to close out games,” Farrell said. “I think just getting guys back one slot earlier in the game certainly makes us stronger.”
Rookie Jose De La Torre would likely be optioned to Triple A Pawtucket. He has appeared in two games since being called up.
• David Ortiz hit two home runs on Saturday, the 38th time he has done that for the Sox. It broke a tie with Ted Williams and gave Ortiz the team record for games with multiple home runs. Since 2003, only Albert Pujols (44) has had more in the majors. Ortiz has never hit three homers in a game. Williams did that three times. Ortiz is 49th in career home runs with 408, having passed Duke Snider on Saturday.
Good morning. Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (26-17)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (1-4, 4.05).
Pitching: LHP Pedro Hernandez (2-0, 5.79).
Game time: 2:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.
Weather report: Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for the area, some potentially severe. The Sox do not return to Minnesota this season, so every effort would be made to play the game.
Red Sox vs. Hernandez: Elllsbury 3-5. Ciriaco 1-3. Middlebrooks 1-3. Ortiz 0-2, Pedroia 2-2, Victorino 2-2, Drew 1-1, Gomes 1-1, Napoli 0-1, Salty 1-1.
Twins vs. Lackey: Morneau 9-35, Mauer 11-27, Willingham 0-6, Carroll 0-4, Dozier 0-4, Arcia 2-3, Doumit 0-2, Florimon 1-3, Hicks 1-3, Plouffe 0-3.
Stat of the Day: The Red Sox are 4-1 on their road trip with four games to play. The bullpen has allowed one run over 18 innings and struck out 15.
Notes: The Sox have won four straight and the Twins have lost four straight. ... The Sox have the third best record in the American League behind the Rangers (28-15) and Yankees (27-16). ... The Sox are 13-7 on the road, outscoring their opponents 110-71. ... Lackey faced the Twins on May 9 at Fenway, allowing one earned run in seven innings. That was the game his throwing error cost the Sox four runs and the game. ... Lackey is 7-6, 3.53 in 16 starts against the Twins. ... Hernandez has faced the Sox twice in his career with bad results: 6 IP, 19 H, 14 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5 HR. He started at Fenway on May 8 and allowed six runs on seven hits in two innings. ... The Sox have played eight consecutive games without an error. ... Every game on the road trip so far has lasted at least three hours and 14 minutes. ... The Sox are 27-18 against the Twins since the start of the 2007. A victory today would give the Sox the season series for seven consecutive years. ... Ellsbury has played every inning of every game. Farrell has said he wants to give all the regulars a day off on this road trip.
Hot Sox: Pedroia has hit in 10 straight at 19 of 40 with five doubles, 11 runs and five RBIs. His batting average has climbed from .299 to .341. ... Ortiz has hit in six straight at 10 of 23 with 12 RBIs. He is 19 of 38 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 10 games at Target Field. ... Jonny Gomes in his last three games with a plate appearance: two hits, four runs, three walks, one sacrifice fly. ... Nava has reached base safely in 28 of 36 games. He has 27 RBIs in 142 plate appearances. He had 59 RBIs in 505 plate appearances in the first two seasons of his career. ... Salty is 10 of his last 28 with five extra-base hits. ... Alex Wilson has allowed only two earned runs over 14.1 innings since being called up.
Song of the Day: "You Love The Thunder" by Jackson Browne.
David Ortiz homered twice and drove in six runs as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 12-5.
Nick Cafardo writes that Dustin Pedroia is having a superlative season.
The notebook has Mike Napoli looking to make more contact. There are updates on Andrew Bailey and Franklin Morales, too.
Dan Shaughnessy has some picked-up pieces
In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick looks at the winners and losers with the season 25 percent in the books.
MINNEAPOLIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell does not go to the mound to counsel his pitchers. That is the job of pitching coach Juan Nieves.
When Farrell goes to the mound, it's to take the pitcher out of the game.
So when Farrell walked out on the field in the fifth inning on Saturday night, Ryan Dempster looked like a goner. The righthander had thrown 122 pitches to that point and was clinging to a 7-4 lead. The Twins had a runner on base and two outs.
But Farrell did not raise his right arm to call in Clayton Mortensen from the bullpen. He let Dempster convince him to stay in the game.
"He kind of talked his way into it," Farrell said. "In hindsight probably should have [made] the move at the time. But, still, it’s a veteran guy who’s fine physically in terms of his arm. Trying to get him the last out in the fifth to get give him a chance to get a win.”
Dempster got ahead of Jamey Carroll 0-and-2 but could not finish him. Carroll dumped a 2-and-2 pitch into right field and Farrell came to the mound again.
Dempster gave up five runs on eight hits and six walks.
“I wasn’t very good tonight,” he said. “Throwing strikes, that was a big problem. I just didn’t have anything going tonight. But at the end of the day we won the game and that’s all that matters.”
Dempster, 36, threw 127 pitches. That's the most for a Red Sox pitcher this season and tied for the fourth-most in the majors this season. Dempster had not thrown that many since the 2011 season. Before that you have to go back to 2001.
"You want to give a guy every opportunity to record a win," Farrell said "It's a delicate balance but at some point that decision had to be made."
Dempster threw 128 pitches on Sept. 13, 2011. On regular rest in his next two starts he allowed four earned runs over 13 innings. One difference: Those 127 pitches came over seven innings, not 4 2/3.
"I'll be fine," Dempster said. "I know my body and I know what I need to do."
Assuming the Red Sox do not shift their rotation, Dempster will pitch against Cleveland on Thursday at Fenway Park.
Dempster said he appreciated Farrell giving him a chance to get the win. So did Clay Buchholz.
"It didn't work out. But I know all the starters liked that [Farrell] did that. You want the manager to trust you and he trusted Demp there," Buchholz said. "The guy had earned that chance with his experience."
Had the Red Sox lost the game, Farrell would have been justifiably roasted for chasing a player's individual statistic at the expense of the team. Leaving Dempster in was obviously a mistake.
But within the clubhouse, loyalty to a veteran player commands respect. Farrell is building a base of support that will serve him well down the road. Compare that to last season and the disdain the Red Sox had for Bobby Valentine.
"The fact he was given that opportunity will make Demp feel better about the whole situation," Buchholz said. "It's huge. It's been good what has happened with this team. Everybody on this gets along and supports each other. That's the coaches and the players.
"It didn't work out for John this time. But I bet that pays off down the road in other ways."
MINNEAPOLIS — It has been said that living well is the best revenge. For David Ortiz, that has meant reminding the Minnesota Twins what a big mistake they made.
The Twins released David Ortiz after the 2002 season. He was a .266 hitter over six seasons and entering free agency. The organization thought they could do better at the time. The Red Sox signed Ortiz and you're probably familiar with what transpired.
Ortiz has delighted in making the Twins regret their decision ever since, no more so than on Saturday night.
Ortiz drove in six runs with three hits, two of them thunderclap home runs to right field as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 12-5, before a crowd of 36,967.
Ortiz is 66 of 199 (.332) against the Twins since they let him go with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs over 53 games. He is 19 of 38 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 10 games at Target Field.
“I try to do well against everyone sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It worked tonight,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz admitted he once had extra motivation against the Twins.
“But not any more,” he said. “I just try and go about my business. Guys see me trying to hit the moon every time I hit anyway. So it’s nothing new.”
Ortiz is 6 for 8 with two walks and seven RBIs in the first two games of the current series. The Sox have won four straight.
Ortiz is hitting .362 on the season with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 24 games since coming off the disabled list.
Game over: Red Sox 12, Twins 5: Alex Wilson finished things off for the Red Sox. The story was David Ortiz with two homers and 6 RBIs. Daniel Nava drove in three. Another fine all around game by Dustin Pedroia, who reached base four times and made a spectacular defensive play turning a pop up into a double-play.
The Red Sox remained a game behind the Yankees, overcoming a poor outing by starter Ryan Dempster who couldn't get out of the fifth and walking six and throwing 127 pitches. The game was played before 36,967 at Target Field in 3:53.
Top 9th: Red Sox 12, Twins 5 - The ReD Sox loaded the bases with two walks by Ortiz and Napoli and a single from Daniel Nava (3 RBI an 2 hits). After Will Middlebrooks struck out, Ryan Lavarnway's sac fly made it an even dozen for the Sox.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - The Twins are retired in order by Alex Wilson. We've just been informed by the official scorer that Craig Breslow will be the pitcher of record.
Top 8th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - The top of the Sox order are retired in order.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - Jamey Carroll managed a single against Craig Breslow, but the Twins couldn't advance him.
Top 7th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - David Ortiz, again. Big Papi belted a two-run blast with Dustin Pedroia aboard. Ortiz has driven in 6 runs tonight ewith a three-run homer, RBI single and a two-run homer. Daniel Nava also got into the act with a two run blast.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - The pitching is brutal. But Dustin Pedroia keeps you watching (check out my On Baseball column in the Globe tomorrow on Pedroia). He made a over the shoulder catch on a pop to short right by Aaron Hicks and then threw out the runner (Doumit) at the plate who tried to tag and score.
Top 6th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - Red Sox went down in order.
Rehab update from Pawtucket - Andrew Bailey pitched an inning for Triple A Pawtucket. He allowed a run on two hits — one a home run — and struck out two. He threw 14 of 17 pitches for strikes. Bailey, who is on the disabled list with a biceps strain, hit 96 miles-per-hour with his fastball and is expected to be activated on Monday.
Franklin Morales started that game and was hit hard, giving up five runs in four innings. He gave up two home runs. It was the fourth rehab start for Morales, who has been out all season recovering from a spring training back injury. The Sox are preparing the lefthander to work as a starter in case one is needed.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - John Farrell stuck with Ryan Dempster for a long time (127 pitches) on a night when it was obvious he didn't have it. Ryan Doumit doubled and eventually came in on a ground ball out by Plouffe. After another walk, Pedro Florimon drove in a run witha single to right. Jamey Carroll then blooped a single to right tp score the fifth Twins run. Clayton Mortensen then came on.
Top 5th: Red Sox 7, Twins 2 - The Red Sox piled on three more runs. A Dustin Pedroia double knocked in Jonny Gomes (double). Later in the inning, Daniel Nava's sacrifice fly scored the second run and Ryan Lavarnway's hard single to center scored the seventh Red Sox run.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 4, Twins 2 - Justin Morneau drove in Joe Mauer (double) with a single.
Top 4th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - Red Sox go down in order.
Justin Morneau drove in Joe Mauer (double) with a single.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - Dempster got into some more trouble allowing a double to Josh Willingham, who went to third on a wild pitch. Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe walked to load the bases. With two outs, Aaron Hicks flew out to right.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - David Ortiz is hot again. He scorched an RBI single to right driving in Jonny Gomes (walk). A key play was Dustin Pedroia beating out an infield hit to get the runner into scoring position.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Dempster almost escaped this inning without any damage, but not quite. After Dempster walked Doumit and Arcia, Trevor Plouffe advanced the runners to scoring position with a grounder to third. Lefthanded hitter Aaron Hicks then sent a grounder down the third base line which Middlebrooks fielded and threw to the plate where Doumit got caught in a rundown. He was nailed on a play scored 5-2-6-1 with Dempster making the tag. No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon singled to center scoring the first Twins run. With the bases loaded, Dempster struck out Joe Mauer on a nasty splitter.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - Will Middlebrooks continued his good spell with a leadoff single, but he was erased on Ryan Lavarnway's double-play grounder.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - The best thing the Twins did that inning against Ryan Dempster was having Justin Morneau beat the shift and singled to left field.
Top 1st: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - David Ortiz hit a three-run homer to right with two aboard (Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia). Ortiz is now 17-for-35 with four homers and 13 RBI at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS — Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew are out of the Red Sox lineup with sore backs.
Victorino was injured in the eighth inning against the Rays on Thursday when he crashed into a wall making a catch in right field. He came out of the game before the ninth inning and did not play on Friday.
Victorino took batting practice in the cage and on the field and said he hopes to play on Sunday.
“Shane feels better than he did last night. But still there’s probably a little too much risk running him out there today when another day might just get him over the hump somewhat,” manager John Farrell said.
Once Victorino is ready to go, he could be starting a game in center field.
Farrell wants to get all of his regulars a day off in this stretch of 20 games in 20 days. Jacoby Ellsbury has started every game and through Friday had played in every inning.
Victorino has not played center field this season, even in spring training, but has been a center fielder for much of his career.
Drew was injured in the eighth inning on Friday night when he doubled and contorted his body when he slid into the base. He stayed in the game.
Drew’s pain is in the middle of his back and affects his throwing more than his hitting. Farrell said his absence was more of a precaution.
• Jonny Gomes is starting for the fourth time in last five games and will probably be getting more time with the Sox facing lefthanders on Sunday (Pedro Hernandez), Tuesday (Carlos Quintana) and Wednesday (Chris Sale).
Farrell said his intent was to start the righthanded hitting Gomes against all of those lefthanders.
Through Friday, Gomes was hitting .183 with a .333 on-base percentage thanks to 16 walks.
“He’s had good at-bats against righthanders,” Farrell said. “The base hit against James Wright down in Tampa [on Wednesday]. He’s taken some walks; he’s laid off some breaking balls that have been to the edge or off the plate.”
Farrell feels that more regular at-bats will help Gomes become more productive.
“We could sure use what he’s capable of and getting him involved in the mix,” Farrell said.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia heard the Powerball lottery jackpot was over $600 million and he purchased some tickets via one of the clubhouse attendants. Saltalamacchia joked that he would keep playing if he won but his daughters would sit in the dugout with him to watch the games.
• David Ortiz has played in 1,401 games for the Sox, moving past Dom DiMaggio for 10th place in team history. Jason Varitek is ninth with 1,546 games.
• More Papi: Ortiz is a career .323/.421/.610 hitter in 52 games against the Twins since they released him in 2002 and he joined the Red Sox. Ortiz did not hit well at the old Metrodome as a member of the Sox (.214/.353/.314 in 19 games). But he enjoys Target Field (.471/.550/.824 in nine games).
• Perhaps you’ve noticed the Red Sox are on the field for the national anthem this season. Farrell made it a team rule. In recent years, under both Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine, there were rarely more than two or three players on the field. Farrell also cleaned up how the team dresses on the road, mandating at least blazers. Many of the players now wear suits, a change from past seasons.
Good afternoon Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (25-17)
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.75).
Pitching: LHP Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08).
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.
Red Sox vs. Diamond: Victorino 0-6, Gomes 0-4, Ellsbury 1-3, Napoli 0-3, Ortiz 1-3, Pedroia 0-3, Drew 1-2, Middlebrooks 0-2, Salty 0-1.
Twins vs. Dempster: Doumit 7-29, Carroll 6-18, Willingham 1-14, Mauer 1-10, Morneau 4-9, Plouffe 1-9, Dozier 0-6, Escobar 0-3, Parmelee 0-3, Ramirez 1-3, Florimon 1-1.
Stat of the Day: Pedroia is 61 of 174 (.351) against the Twins in his career. For players with a minimum of 150 plate appearances since 1961, only Mark Teixeira (.375) and Will Clark (.355) have higher batting averages against the Twins.
Notes: The Sox have won three straight and the Twins have lost three straight. ... Dempster and Diamond is a rematch from May 7 at Fenway, a game won 6-1 by the Twins. Dempster went seven innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Diamond went seven shutout innings, allowing three hits. He struck out two without a walk. ... The Sox are 26-18 against the Twins since the start of the 2007 season. ... Pedroia has hit in nine straight at 17 of 37. ... Ellsbury and Pedroia are the only Sox to play in every game this season. Ellsbury is the only player to play in every inning. ... The Sox are 15-3 in games started by Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester and 10-14 in games started by others. They are 3-5 in games Dempster has started.
Song of the Day: "Too Close Together" by Peter Wolf.
The Red Sox beat the Twins in extra innings as Jonny Gomes executed in a big spot.
Nick Cafardo writes that the Sox are getting good at winning close games.
The notebook has Stephen Drew playing strong defense at shortstop.
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Miller pitched the top of the eight inning for the Red Sox on Friday night and was in the dugout looking to grab a piece of gum.
"I heard this whistling noise behind me," he said. "Then it happened."
What happened was that teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia had fouled a ball into the Red Sox dugout. It struck a padded wall and ricocheted off Miller's forehead.
"I was like, 'What just happened?' But I was OK," Miller said.
Miller stayed in the game and got two outs in the ninth before coming out of the game. He came away without a scratch.
Miller is 6-foot-8. This was one time his height worked against him.
"I couldn't duck," he said.