Bottom 9th: Red Sox 6, Twins 3
Jonathan Papelbon allows two base-runners (walks to Denard Span and Justin Morneau) but strands runners in scoring position to preserve a three-run lead. Papelbon earns his third save by getting Michael Cuddyer to fly to right for the third out.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 6, Twins 3:
Daniel Bard had a shaky 8th, allowing a solo homer to Michael Cuddyer as the Twins pulled within three which likely will lead to Jonathan Papelbon coming into the game in the 9th for a save situation.
Top 8th: Boston 6, Twins 2
Jeremy Hermida, starting in left for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury, hit a bases-loaded double to the left center gap off Jesse Crain to open this game wide open for the Sox. Hermida was 0 for 3 before the hit, but it was a big one.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 3, Twins 2:
Lackey left after two outs in the 7th after putting two Twins aboard (an infield hit to Nick Punto and a walk to Denard Span). Francona came out for him after he retired Orlando Hudson on a short fly to left. With Joe Mauer up, Francona brought on Hideki Okajima. The Sox wound up walking Mauer intentionally after a passed ball by Victor Martinez advanced the runners to second and third. They chose to pitch to Justin Morneau. Good move. The lefty slugger popped to Beltre to end the threat. Lackey threw 107 pitches, allowed 7 hits, 2 runs, walked 4, and struck out 2.
Top fifth: Red Sox 3, Twins 2
Dustin Pedroia smacked his fourth homer – 362 feet on a line to left field – to give the Sox a one-run lead again. The homer came on a 2-0 fastball by Kevin Slowey with two outs. Pedroia, who has also driven in 10 runs, was 2 for 6 against Slowey entering the game and had doubled in Boston’s first run in the first inning. The Sox put two more runners on when Victor Martinez singled to left and Kevin Youkilis walked. After ball one to Ortiz, the grounds crew came out to work on the mound and the batter’s box area as the steady rain has taken its toll on the infield. Lots of umbrellas in the stands. Ortiz swung at the first pitch following the delay and popped to left. Update:Pat Neshek has replaced Kevin Slowey to start the sixth. Slowey’s line: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks. He threw 98 pitches.
Bottom 3d: Red Sox 2 Twins 2:
Raining harder here. Lackey was tagged for a couple of runs, but the Twins didn’t exactly drill the ball. He allowed his first run on a two-out single to center to Orlando Hudson and Joe Mauer (.450, two homers entering the game) reached on an infield hit on a ball that Scutaro dove and blocked from going through the infield. It almost looked like Lackey would wiggle out of the inning without any damage after giving a groundball double to right field to Delmon Young to lead off the third. With two outs he walked Denard Span and couldn’t get the third out until two runs had scored. Lackey got Justin Morneau to fly deep to center, with Mike Cameron making a circus type catch to secure the out.
Top 3d: Red Sox 2, Twins 0
A bit of rain started midway through the inning but not enough to stop play. Sox went out tamely. Ortiz walked and then was caught stealing 2-4. Looked like a missed hit-and-run with Adrian Beltre. At least we hope Ortiz wasn’t trying to steal on his own.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 2, Twins 0
Leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro singled to right to score J.D. Drew with the second Sox run. Drew drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and got to third on Jeremy Hermida’s groundout. But Before Hermida’s at-bat, Mike Cameron, who is quietly (compared to Ortiz) struggling with no RBIs, struck out swinging.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Twins 0
After walking leadoff man Denard Span, John Lackey turned on the sinker and got Orlando Hudson to ground out into a 1-6-3 DP and Joe Mauer to ground out.
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Twins 0:
Not sure how you can misplay a ball any more than Delmon Young did Dustin Pedroia’s low liner that hit in front of him and then bounced over his head all the way to the left field wall, scoring Marco Scutaro (single). It was kindly ruled a double. Kevin Slowey was working pretty slowey in the first, unsure of his command. The Sox had runners at the corners with one out, but David Ortiz struck out on a high fastball before Adrian Beltre ran the count to 3-2 before hitting a soft liner to short. The Sox allowed Slowey to find himself. We’ll see how that plays later in the game.