Final: Twins 6, Red Sox 4: The Sox wasted seven strong innings from starter Clay Buchholz and a pair of solo homers by Mike Aviles and Pedro Ciriaco, whose pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie, as the Twins rallied for five runs in the last two innings of the game, including four in the ninth, to extend the Sox losing streak to four consecutive games.
Alfredo Aceves (2-7) absorbed the loss after he gave up four runs on four hits in the ninth, including a three-run homer by Joe Mauer on a 3-and-2 pitch with two outs.
Top of 9th, 2 out: Twins 6, Red Sox 4 Alfredo Aceves, who was one pitch away from delivering the Red Sox a 4-3 victory, wound up giving up a three-run homer on a 3-and-2 pitch to Joe Mauer, which ended his night after allowing four runs on four hits in the frame.
Craig Breslow entered the game and got Morneau to fly to left to end the inning.
Bottom of 8th: Red Sox 4, Twins 2: The Fenway Park crowd of 37,914 chanted “Pe-dro! Pe-dro! Pe-dro!” after Pedro Ciriaco, pinch-hitting for lead-off hitter Ryan Kalish, belted a solo homer off lefty reliever Glen Perkins. It was the first homer of Ciriaco’s career and gave the Sox a 3-2 lead.
Alex Burnett relieved Perkins with two out and Dustin Pedroia at second (hit by pitch, stolen base) when Cody Ross ripped an RBI single to right that scored Pedroia to give the Sox a two-run buffer.
Burnett struck out Saltalamacchia (looking, 94 fastball) to end the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury. who was a late scratch because of a “leg issue,” entered the game in the top of the ninth for Ciriaco.
Top of 8th: Red Sox 2, Twins 2: Andrew Miller wasn’t long for the game — let alone the inning — when he loaded the bases after walking Denard Span, giving up a base hit to Ben Revere and walking Joe Mauer.
It prompted Sox manager Bobby Valentine to summon Alfredo Aceves, who inherited loaded bases with no outs. Aceves got Morneau to loft an RBI sacrifice fly to right, enabling Span to tag up from third and score the tying run.
Aceves got out of the iherited jam when Ryan Doumit popped to short and pinch-hitter Josh Willingham grounded to short for a force out at second.
Bottom of 7th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: The Sox stranded a runner when Saltalamacchia reached on a lead-off single to center. But Mr. De Vries got Aviles to fly to shallow right, struck out Shoppach (for the third time in as many at-bats) and got Punto to ground to second.
Andrew Miller was summoned to relieve Buchholz (7 IP, 1 unearned R, 1 BB, 3 K). He threw 103 pitches, 66 strikes.
Top of 7th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: The defense came up big once again for Buchholz when they turned a 3-6-3 double play after Brian Dozier reached on an infield hit. Punto then robbed Jamey Carroll of a potential extra-bases hit when he poached a scorched liner to third. End of inning.
Buchholz has thrown more than 100 pitches for the night with 103, 66 for strikes.
Bottom of 6th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Mr. De Vries — we’ll just keep calling him that — continued to keep the Sox off the board.
After giving up a solo homer to Aviles, Mr. De Vries has retired 14 of the next 16 batters he faced, striking out the side in the sixth, and allowing just one hit and a walk in that stretch.
Top of 6th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Buchholz was the beneficiary of some solid defense when he gave up a lead-off single to Justin Morneau, but got Ryan Doumit to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Buchholz got out of the inning by getting Mastroianni to ground to third.
Through six innings, Buchholz has allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out three batters. He’s thrown 93 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Bottom of 5th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Impressive inning for Mr. De Vries, who struck out the side, fanning Shoppach (84 slider), Punto (83 curveball), and Kalish (92 fastball) to give him four strikeouts for the game.
Top of 5th: Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Jamey Carroll scored Minnesota’s first run of the night when he reached on sharply-struck single toward the hole between third and short. Nick Punto made a diving stab, but was unable to make the throw in time.
Buchholz commited his second throwing error of the game (and third overall of the season) when he missed wide on a pickoff attempt at first, enabling Carroll to advance to second. Carroll scored from second when Ben Revere reached on an infield nubber in front of the plate, which enabled Carroll to take third. He wound up scoring when catcher Kelly Shoppach made a throwing error to first.
Joe Mauer grounded to third to end the inning as the Sox clung to a one-run lead.
Bottom of 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: De Vries retired the first two batters he faced, making it seven in a row since giving up the solo homer to Mike Aviles, before he issued a walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
But Aviles came up and flew to center on a towering fly ball to end the inning.
Top of 4th: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: Buchholz gave up a two-out double to Darin Mastroianni, then struck out Brian Dozier (swinging) to keep the Twins at bay for four consecutive scoreless innings.
Bottom of 3d: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: De Vries retired the top of the Sox’ order in 1-2-3 fashion, as well.
Top of 3d: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: Nice 1-2-3 inning for Buchholz, who got through the top of Minnesota’s order by sandwiching a pair of ground ball outs to short around a fly ball out to left. He’s thrown 44 pitches (28 for strikes) through three innings.
Bottom of 2d: Red Sox 2, Twins 0: Mike Aviles belted a solo homer into the Green Monster seats to give the Sox a 2-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the second.
Aviles’s homer, on a 1-and-0 pitch from Twins starter Cole De Vries, was his 11th of the season, setting a new single-season career high for the Sox shortstop.
Top of 2d: Red Sox 1, Twins 0: Buchholz extricated himself from a bases-loaded jam when he gave up back-to-back singles to Justin Morneau, who advanced to second on Buchholz’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first, and Ryan Doumit.
Buchholz clawed his way back by striking out Darin Mastroianni. Nick Punto then made a great diving stab at Brian Dozier’s scorched liner. Buchholz walked Alexi Casilla to load the bases but got out of the inning unscathed by inducing Jamey Carroll to ground to first.
Bottom of 1st: Red Sox 1, Twins 0: Carl Crawford wasted little time giving Buchholz and the Sox some breathing room when he ripped an RBI double off the wall that scored Ryan Kalish, who drew a lead-off walk, from first base.
Top of 1st: Twins 0, Red Sox 0: Clay Buchholz, looking to record his 10th win of the season, got off to a strong start with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the first batter he faced, Denard Span, on an 82-mile-per-hour changeup.
Pregame: Welcome to Fenway Park where the Red Sox (53-54) will attempt to climb to the .500 mark yet again this season by sending RHP Clay Buchholz (9-3, 4.75 ERA) to the mound to snap a three-game losing streak against the Twins and their RHP Cole De Vries (2-2, 3.98 ERA).
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