Final, Twins 15-8: It was a rough night to be a pitcher, especially a pitcher with “Red Sox” written across your chest.
Allen Webster, making his second career major league start, lasted just 1 2/3 innings. The rookie was absolutely demolished by the Twins’ offense, which scored 11 runs in the first two innings, and Minnesota cruised to a 15-8 victory.
Minnesota’s offense banged out 19 hits total. Oswaldo Arcia led the way with four hits, while Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe and Ryan Doumit each had three. Doumit and Pedro Florimon went deep for the Twins, who improve to .500 (15-15) with the victory.
Webster was charged with eight earned runs in his 1 2/3 innings. He gave way to Felix Doubront in the second inning, and Doubront struggled as well. The left-hander was charged with six earned runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings, and more importantly, he was once again unable to put hitters away. Doubront’s velocity has been down and his stuff has been lacking over his last few outings, and that trend continued on Wednesday.
The Red Sox actually responded to Minnesota’s four-run first inning with a five-run first of their own, which was highlighted by Jonnny Gomes’ grand slam. But it was all Twins from there, and the Red Sox have now lost five of their last six.
David Ortiz, who entered the game with a 27-game hit streak, finished 0-for-5 in the loss.
The Red Sox and Twins will finish off their four-game series at Fenway on Thursday. John Lackey and Kevin Correia will be matched up as Boston tries to salvage a split. Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Good night, everyone.
10:49 p.m., Twins 15-8: Here’s something we haven’t heard often. It was a rough night at the plate for David Ortiz.
Ortiz went 0-for-5, which means his 27-game hit streak has been snapped.
Mid 9th, Twins 15-8: Junichi Tazawa took over in the ninth inning and immediately ran into trouble. He eventually escaped after surrendering just one run.
Jamey Carroll and Joe Mauer hit back-to-back singles to get the ninth inning going. Tazawa then hit Josh Willingham to load the bases with no outs.
All things considered, Tazawa is fortunate to have given up just the one run. After loading the bases, he retired the next three hitters he faced. Justin Morneau lifted a sac fly to center, Trevor Plouffe struck out and Ryan Doumit flied out to left.
End 8th, Twins 14-8: The Red Sox posted another run in the eighth inning, but it’ll take a miracle for them to pull this one out.
Right after the Fenway Faithful got done cheering about the score of the Bruins game, which was posted on the Green Monster scoreboard, they were given something else to cheer about. Stephen Drew reached on what was essentially a swinging bunt, and Pedro Ciriaco walked to put runners at first and second with no outs.
It didn’t take long for that rally to die down. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded to second and beat out what was almost a double play. That set up runners at the corners, at which point Daniel Nava knocked in Boston’s eighth run with a sac fly to center.
Dustin Pedroia popped out in foul territory to end the inning, which means David Ortiz will lead off the bottom of the ninth with his 27-game hit streak on the line.
10:25 p.m., Twins 14-7: There was just a loud ovation at Fenway Park, as those still in attendance realized the Bruins scored in overtime to defeat the Maple Leafs. The B’s take a 3-1 series lead with the OT game-winner.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled baseball game.
Mid 8th, Twins 14-7: Andrew Miller was very impressive in the eighth inning, as he struck out the side.
Miller struck out Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks swinging before getting Pedro Florimon looking. Arcia and Hicks both went down hacking at a slider, while Florimon laid off a slider that caught enough of the strike zone.
Arcia’s strikeout marks the first time he’s been retired in this game. He had been 4-for-4.
End 7th, Twins 14-7: Comeback!
OK, there’s still a long way to go. The Red Sox did put up a run in the seventh inning off new pitcher Casey Fien, though.
Dustin Pedroia singled and advanced to third base when Mike Napoli smacked a base hit of his own. Jonny Gomes then drove in his fifth run of the game by lifting a sac fly to left.
David Ortiz grounded out back to the mound in the inning, which means he’s now 0-for-4. He’ll get one more chance to extend his 27-game hitting streak before all is said and done.
Daniel Nava entered the game in right field, and Mike Carp — who pinch-ran for Mike Napoli in the seventh — will remain in the game as the new first baseman. Andrew Miller is coming in to pitch for Boston.
Felix Doubront pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief after Allen Webster stumbled out of the gate. Doubront gave up six earned runs on 12 hits. He struck out four, walked two and threw 105 pitches (70 strikes).
Mid 7th, Twins 14-6: The things you see in a 14-6 game.
Josh Willingham reached on a throwing error by Pedro Ciriaco, who has had all sorts of trouble down at the hot corner the past two nights. He advanced to second base when Trevor Plouffe singled into left field.
The inning then ended in rather wacky fashion.
Ryan Doumit hit a fly ball toward the wall in left-center. Jacoby Ellsbury went back and made a leaping attempt, but it hit off the wall just above his glove. The play caused a ton of confusion — both on the field and in the press box — as it looked initially like Ellsbury had tipped the ball into the air and then caught it on the way down. Thinking it was caught on the fly, the Twins’ baserunners froze in their tracks, at which point the Red Sox completed a double play.
The play is being ruled a single, followed by an 8-6-4-3 double play. Most importantly, it ended the inning.
End 6th, Twins 14-6: If that’s the end of Ryan Pressly’s night — and it could be with Casey Fien warming up in the Minnesota bullpen — then it was a job well done by the right-hander.
Pressly came on after Pedro Hernandez stumbled through the first two innings, and he settled things down in a big way. Pressly pitched four shutout innings while allowing just two hits, walking two and striking out three.
Pressly struck out Pedro Ciriaco with a high fastball, and then got Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino on a pair of fly outs to end the sixth inning.
Felix Doubront has been asked to provide innings as well since replacing Red Sox starter Allen Webster. He hasn’t pitched with the same effectiveness as Pressly, though, and that’s ultimately why this game seems out of reach at this point.
Mid 6th, Twins 14-6: Felix Doubront actually gave the Red Sox a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. It’s a feat the Sox hadn’t yet accomplished in this game.
Pedro Florimon and Jamey Carroll each grounded out to second base, and Doubront struck out Joe Mauer swinging to end the inning.
End 5th, Twins 14-6: Ryan Pressly hasn’t been without his struggles, but things have settled down for the Twins since he entered the game.
The Red Sox came up empty again in the fifth inning, marking their third straight scoreless inning after posting six runs in the first two frames.
Mike Napoli led off with a single, but Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew were retired in order.
Mid 5th, Twins 14-6: The Red Sox’ offense has slowed down a bit. The Twins’ offense hasn’t.
Minnesota posted two more runs in the fifth inning behind two doubles and two singles.
Joe Mauer led off with a double. Felix Doubront looked briefly like he had things under control, but after he struck out Josh Willingham and got Justin Morneau to ground out, Trevor Plouffe singled into left field to bring home Mauer.
Ryan Doumit then singled into left, and after a mound visit, Oswaldo Arcia doubled off the wall in left-center field.
Aaron Hicks grounded out to Stephen Drew at shortstop to end the inning, but not before more damage was done. The Twins’ lead is now eight runs, and both teams are really starting to trend in opposite directions in this game.
Minnesota’s No. 4 through No. 7 hitters are having themselves a field day against Red Sox pitching. Morneau, Plouffe, Doumit and Arcia are a combined 11-for-13 with eight RBIs. Arcia is leading the way with four hits for the Twins.
End 4th, Twins 12-6: The Red Sox threatened to chip away, but Ryan Pressly worked his way around some trouble.
Pressly endured some early control issues in the fourth. He walked Pedro Ciriaco and Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the inning. That set the table for the middle of the order, but Boston couldn’t do anything with the free passes.
Shane Victorino, who homered already in the game, grounded to second base. Jamey Carroll tried to start a double play, but Victorino managed to beat out the back end, setting up runners at the corners with one out.
Pressly settled down and retired both Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Pedroia grounded out sharply to first base, where Justin Morneau made the play and looked Ciriaco back to third.
Ortiz grounded out to first as well, and he’s now 0-for-3. That means his 27-game hitting streak is currently in jeopardy despite the game’s huge offensive totals.
Mid 4th, Twins 12-6: You knew that scoreless trend couldn’t keep up too long, right?
Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia led off the fourth inning with back-to-back singles, and each advanced on a passed ball charged to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Aaron Hicks walked to load the bases, but Felix Doubront ended up getting a huge 4-6-3 double play. Doumit scored Minnesota’s 12th run on the twin killing, but in a bases-loaded situation with no outs, the Red Sox will gladly trade the run for two outs.
Jamey Carroll grounded out to third base to end the inning.
End 3rd, Twins 11-6: Ryan Pressly replaced Pedro Hernandez in the third inning, and he kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for the first time.
No, seriously. It was a scoreless third inning all around. Amazing stuff.
Mike Napoli grounded out and Jonny Gomes, who hit a grand slam in the first inning, struck out swinging. Jarrod Saltalamacchia kept the frame alive by singling into right field, but Stephen Drew then flied out to center.
Pedro Hernandez’s pitching line is complete. The left-hander gave up six earned runs on seven hits in two innings. He struck out two, walked one and gave up two home runs. Hernandez threw 51 pitches (34 strikes).
Pressly, meanwhile, is a Rule 5 draft guy who spent last season in the Red Sox organization. He pitched 34 games between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland.
Mid 3rd, Twins 11-6: For the first time in this game, someone failed to score.
Felix Doubront kept Minnesota’s offense in check in the third inning, although it wasn’t without the lefty almost getting his head knocked off.
Doubront got Joe Mauer to ground out, and he struck out Josh Willingham looking for the second out. Justin Morneau then sent Doubront ducking out of the way on a single right back through the box.
Trevor Plouffe ended the inning by grounding into a 5-4 force out. It’s paramount that Doubront settles this game down a bit. The Red Sox need someone to eat some innings, and Doubront is probably going to be the guy.
End 2nd, Twins 11-6: You know the game is wild when the home team adds a run on a home run and it seems like a relatively calm inning.
Shane Victorino smacked his second home run of the season over the Green Monster to trim Minnesota’s lead to five. The crazy thing is, that lead is far from safe at this point.
Dustin Pedroia nearly added another run, but his fly ball to left plunked off the wall. David Ortiz ended the inning by grounding back to the mound.
Mid 2nd, Twins 11-5: Felix Doubront entered the game for the struggling Allen Webster in the second inning, but he hardly provided any relief.
Doubront started his outing with six straight balls. That put Ryan Doumit at first base and Oswaldo Arcia in a favorable hitter’s count. Arcia ended up singling into left field to load the bases.
Aaron Hicks made Doubront pay. He singled home two runs to keep the inning going.
Pedro Florimon, who started the inning with a home run, drove in two more runs. He got ahead in the count 2-0, and then shot a two-run double into the left-center field gap.
Jamey Carroll struck out to finally end the inning, but this game is nuts right now. The Twins scored seven runs on six hits and two walks in the second inning.
The book is closed on Allen Webster, and his souvenir for the game is an ugly pitching line. The rookie gave up eight earned runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two, walked three and gave up two home runs while throwing 54 pitches (30 strikes).
8:02 p.m., Twins 7-5: We could be in for a slugfest. Actually, we’re already in the midst of a slugfest.
The Twins went right back to work offensively in the second inning, and this game has evolved into something out of a video game. Allen Webster has been yanked with two outs in the second, and Felix Doubront — who was originally supposed to start this game — is coming on to pitch.
Pedro Florimon led off the second by pulling a 3-2 fastball into the bullpen to tie the game at five apiece.
Jamey Carroll then walked — marking Webster’s second walk of the game — and Joe Mauer doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs. Josh Willingham popped out in the infield and Justin Morneau flied out to center, but Morneau’s fly ball was deep enough to score Carroll and move Mauer to third.
Trevor Plouffe then made it a three-run inning for Minnesota by banging a double off the left-field wall. That was enough for John Farrell, as the Red Sox will be forced to turn to the bullpen early.
Even the outs in this game have been hit hard.
End 1st, Red Sox 5-4: Well then. So that’s how this game’s going to go?
The Red Sox clearly have the rookie’s back. Just minutes after Allen Webster surrendered four first-inning runs, the Boston offense put up five runs of its own — four of which came on a grand slam by Jonny Gomes.
Shane Victorino sparked the rally by dropping a bunt single down the third-base line with one out. Dustin Pedroia followed up with a long, wall-ball single that sent Victorino from first to third.
David Ortiz struck out for the second out of the inning, but Pedro Hernandez couldn’t escape the threat. Mike Napoli worked a four-pitch walk to load the bases, and then Gomes jumped all over a fastball on the inside corner. Gomes crushed the grand salami over everything in left field. It was his fourth career grand slam and his first since July 13, 2012, which also came against Minnesota.
The Sox added a fifth run and took the lead when Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a two-out double into the left-field corner and Stephen Drew followed up by dropping a bloop single into right field. Drew tried to stretch the hit into a double, but he was thrown out at second.
Mid 1st, Twins 4-0: The biggest strides Allen Webster has made in recent months have been with his control. Yet it was a lack of command that doomed him in the first inning.
Webster struck out Jamey Carroll swinging to begin the ballgame, but he ran into a hefty amount of trouble from there. Webster walked Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham — each on five pitches — before Justin Morneau smoked a ground-rule double down the right-field line. That allowed Mauer to score and advanced Willingham to third base.
The Twins weren’t done. Trevor Plouffe lifted a sac fly to center field to make the score 2-0, and Ryan Doumit followed up with a two-run home run into the bullpen in right field to extend the lead even further.
Oswaldo Arcia reached by lining a comebacker right off Webster, which brought John Farrell and the Boston trainer out of the dugout. Everything checked out OK, and Webster struck out Aaron Hicks to end the inning, but it was a very rough start to the ballgame for the rookie.
What makes the first inning even more discouraging is that it could ultimately lead to an early exit if Webster is unable to settle down. That will tax a bullpen that is already banged up.
7:10 p.m.: Allen Webster’s first pitch is a strike, and we’re under way.
6:45 p.m.: The tarp is off the field, the conditions are dry (for now, at least) and we’re almost ready for baseball.
6:30 p.m.: The Red Sox aren’t the only Boston team in action on Wednesday. As you may know, the Bruins and Maple Leafs will be playing Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series up in Toronto.
NESN has you covered when it comes to both the Sox and the B’s on Wednesday. The Bruins-Leafs playoff game will air on NESN, while the Red Sox-Twins game will air on NESNplus. If you’re unsure of your NESNplus channel, check out the listings at the link below.
If you plan on tuning in mostly to the Red Sox game, feel free to tag along with NESN.com’s Bruins live blog throughout the evening. Mike Cole will take you through all of the action.
5:55 p.m.: John Farrell provided an update on both David Ross and Will Middlebrooks.
Ross is apparently feeling better and can get down into a catcher’s position, so he is available on an emergency basis in this game. Middlebrooks, on the other hand, is unavailable, although tests revealed no fractures. The third baseman is dealing with soreness in his rib cage, and Farrell described him as “banged up a bit.”
Both players are out of the starting lineup. Those who are in the starting lineup can be seen below.
Red Sox (21-12)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Stephen Drew, SS
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B
Allen Webster, RHP (0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Jamey Carroll, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Josh Willingham, LF
Justin Morneau, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Ryan Doumit, DH
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS
Pedro Hernandez, LHP (1-0, 3.92 ERA)
5:15 p.m.: The tarp has been brought onto the field at Fenway Park. It started pouring briefly, although it appears that the rain is beginning to let up. We’ll see how this New England weather develops throughout the evening.
8 a.m. ET: Tuesday’s loss hurt in more ways than one. Not only did the Red Sox drop a 6-1 decision to the Twins, but catcher David Ross and third baseman Will Middlebrooks each left the game with an injury.
Ross and Middlebrooks collided while chasing a popup along the wall in foul territory. Ross’ knee banged into Middlebrooks’ torso, and although Middlebrooks made a sliding catch, it was clear that the out was costly.
Ross exited after staying behind the plate for one more batter, while Middlebrooks left after his at-bat in the sixth inning. The hope, obviously, is that neither injury is serious and that each player’s departure was simply precautionary, but the collision adds to what has been a rough few days for the Red Sox.
The Sox have dropped four of their last five games and, in addition to losing Ross and Middlebrooks, they’ve lost relievers Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan. That has thrust Junichi Tazawa into the closer’s role for the time being.
Getting the start on Wednesday as a result of the team’s jumbled pitching staff is rookie Allen Webster. Webster is a guy who evokes a lot of excitement in Red Sox fans. The 23-year-old has immense potential, which we already saw flashes of during his first big league start on April 21. Webster went six innings against the Royals in that outing, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out five and walking one.
Webster will have another chance on Wednesday to prove his time is now — assuming the weather holds up. Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.