Final (10 innings), Red Sox 3-2: Koji Uehara tossed a perfect 10th inning, and the Red Sox pick up another come-from-behind victory.
Friday’s 3-2 extra-inning win over the Twins didn’t exactly have the drama of Thursday’s ninth-inning rally against the Rays, but it’s still huge for a team that’s looking to regain some momentum following a rough stretch.
The Red Sox pushed across the game-winning run on Jonny Gomes’ sacrifice fly to left field in the 10th. The 10th-inning damage was sparked by Dustin Pedroia, who made up for a rough night at the plate by hitting a leadoff single and scoring the game-winning run.
Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox found themselves down 2-1 for most of the game after Pedro Florimon yanked a two-run homer down the right-field line, but the Sox rallied for a run against Minnesota’s bullpen in the seventh inning. Jacoby Ellsbury tied the game with a single that ricocheted off Florimon at short.
Alex Wilson, who recorded the final out of the ninth inning, picks up his first career win, although Andrew Miller deserves credit for his solid 1 2/3 innings of work. Buchholz began the game with seven strong innings, but he didn’t factor in the decision.
The Red Sox have now won three straight games. They’ll look to make it four in a row in Minnesota on Saturday. Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and Ryan Dempster will get the start for Boston.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 10th, Red Sox 3-2: The Red Sox snagged a lead in the 10th inning, and they’ll now try to put the Twins away.
Dustin Pedroia stepped into the box in the 10th inning after having the game from hell — at least offensively — and he got the wheels turning on the Red Sox’ offense.
Pedroia singled into right field to lead off the 10th. Pedroia, who was 0-for-4 before the 10th-inning single, hit into some big outs earlier in the game, but his confidence obviously never wavered.
David Ortiz followed up Pedroia’s single with a walk, and he was then lifted for a pinch-runner in Pedro Ciriaco.
Will Middlebrooks, in a somewhat surprising move, dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance two runners into scoring position with one out. It was a bold decision, not only biggest of Middlebrooks’ offensive potential, but also because the Twins were able to walk the next batter, Stephen Drew, to set up a potential inning-ending double play. (The sac bunt was the first of Middlebrooks’ big league career.)
John Farrell’s decision to bunt with Middlebrooks paid off. Jonny Gomes hit a fly ball to left field that scored Pedroia, and the Red Sox grabbed a 3-2 lead.
Aaron Hicks made the play on Gomes’ fly ball, which wasn’t hit all that deep, but he nearly collided with left fielder Oswaldo Arcia. That forced Hicks to double pump before firing to the plate, and his throw sailed up the first-base line, allowing Pedroia to score easily.
Koji Uehara will be the one tasked with closing the door in the bottom of the 10th.
End 9th, 2-2: Andrew Miller started the ninth inning and Alex Wilson ended it. The two combined to keep the Twins’ offense in check, and we’ll have bonus baseball at Target Field.
Miller, who tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning, came back and retired two more hitters in the ninth. Ryan Doumit grounded out, and Miller struck out Oswaldo Arcia swinging on a nasty-looking slider.
Wilson took over with two down, and he retired Trevor Plouffe on a fly ball to center.
Mid 9th, 2-2: The Twins have a chance to walk off with a win, as the Red Sox couldn’t muster up any offense in the top of the ninth.
Twins closer Glen Perkins, pitching in a tie game, twirled a 1-2-3 inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava each struck out, and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to short.
Ellsbury nearly reached when Pedro Florimon bobbled his ground ball, but the Twins shortstop recovered very quickly to record the out. Justin Morneau also deserves a great deal of credit for a good stretch at first base.
End 8th, 2-2: Andrew Miller did his job in the eighth inning, and to the ninth inning we go.
Miller took over for Clay Buchholz after Buchholz went the first seven innings. The lefty retired all three hitters he faced.
Miller struck out two in the inning, including Chris Parmelee to lead off the frame. Miller got Parmelee looking on a fastball on the outside corner. The pitch was similar to the one that Mike Carp struck out on during the top half of the inning. Clearly, home plate umpire Eric Cooper is willing to give the pitcher the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the outer half of the plate.
Josh Willingham flied out to center field for the second out, and Justin Morneau struck out to end the inning. Morneau chased a slider in the dirt, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia fired down to first base to complete the out.
Buchholz allowed two earned runs on four hits in his seven innings of work. He struck out nine and walked three while throwing 110 pitches (72 strikes). Both runs came on Pedro Florimon’s home run in the third inning.
Mid 8th, 2-2: Stephen Drew and Jonny Gomes tried to spark a two-out rally, but Jared Burton escaped trouble in the eighth.
The inning started with David Ortiz grounding out to second base. It’s the first time Ortiz — who had been 3-for-3 — has been retired in this game.
Will Middlebrooks then grounded to his counterpart at third base for the second out, but Burton found the third out to be elusive.
Drew doubled into the right-center field gap to try and get something going for Boston. Drew was a bit shaken up after diving head first into second base, but he stayed in the game after a brief delay. It looked as if Drew favored his back after getting up.
Gomes put up a very nice two-out at-bat, which ended with a walk. Gomes was actually down in the count 1-2, but he showed great patience, and even checked his swing on a pitch out of the zone with two strikes.
Mike Carp couldn’t cash in with two runners on, though. He also worked a full count, but Burton struck him out looking with a changeup on the outside corner. Carp was none too pleased about the call, but the pitch looked pretty good — definitely something you should swing at with two strikes.
End 7th, 2-2: That was an important inning for Clay Buchholz, and he handled it perfectly.
Buchholz made quick work of the Twins, which allows Boston’s offense to get right back to work.
Aaron Hicks tried to bunt his way on for the Twins, but his bid was right back to Buchholz, who took care of it for the first out.
Buchholz also retired Pedro Florimon on a comebacker, and he then struck out Brian Dozier to end the inning.
The Red Sox’ offense will now try to build on the momentum it established in the top of the seventh.
Mid 7th, 2-2: Dustin Pedroia’s rough night at the plate continues.
Casey Fien came on and escaped Minnesota’s two-out jam by getting Pedroia to pop out to second base.
Pedroia is now 0-for-4 with six men left on base. He grounded into two inning-ending double plays earlier in the game, and now he adds another missed opportunity to his stat line.
10:27 p.m., 2-2: The Red Sox tied the game in the seventh inning, and they’re threatening for more.
Brian Duensing entered the game and walked Jonny Gomes to lead off the seventh. Duensing bounced back to strike out Mike Carp, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia went the other way for a one-out single, setting up runners at first and third.
The Red Sox tied the game when Jacoby Ellsbury lined a ball back up the middle. Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon tried to make a sliding play, but it kicked off him and into right field, which allowed Gomes to score the tying run.
Duensing struck out Daniel Nava after Ellsbury stole second base, but the Twins will turn to Casey Fien with Dustin Pedroia batting and two runners in scoring position.
End 6th, Twins 2-1: Clay Buchholz had a much better handle on the sixth inning.
Buchholz, who narrowly escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth, retired the Twins in order in the sixth.
Buchholz made quick work of Ryan Doumit for out No. 1. He started the at-bat off with a couple of offspeed offerings before going with a fastball to pick up a called third strike. Doumit has struck out twice in this game.
Buchholz got to two strikes on Oswaldo Arcia, but Arcia slapped a curveball to second, where Dustin Pedroia handled the play for the second out.
Trevor Plouffe ended the inning by lining to left field. At first, it looked as if Plouffe might have his second hit of the game, but it hung up long enough for Jonny Gomes to make a play.
The Twins will now turn to the bullpen after six innings from Vance Worley. Brian Duensing is coming in to pitch.
Mid 6th, Twins 2-1: The way Vance Worley’s night started off, it was acceptable to assume the worst. The righty settled down, though, and he’ll exit after six solid innings.
Worley gave up a run in the first inning and threw 49 pitches through two innings, but he survived the tightrope walk and Minnesota still holds a 2-1 lead.
David Ortiz singled to lead off the sixth, but Will Middlebrooks grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to kill any potential rally. Stephen Drew flied out to left field to end the inning.
The Red Sox, obviously, are more focused on the scoreboard, but Ortiz has put together a nice night. He’s 3-for-3 with three singles, including an RBI single back in the first inning.
End 5th, Twins 2-1: Not only did the Twins load the bases in the fifth inning, but they also got exactly who they wanted at the dish. Clay Buchholz showed a lot of fight on the mound, though, and Minnesota’s lead is still just one run.
Buchholz gave up a leadoff single to Aaron Hicks to begin the fifth inning. Then, after retiring Pedro Florimon, whose two-run homer is the difference, Buchholz walked Brian Dozier.
Chris Parmelee followed up with a sinking line drive into right field. Daniel Nava charged in, but the ball dropped just in front of him. Nava played the ball on a hop and fired to second base — as Dozier had to make sure the ball dropped before continuing on to second — but his bid was unsuccessful, and the Twins had the bases loaded with one out.
Making life even more difficult for Buchholz was the fact that he had to deal with Minnesota’s No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau. And Morneau entered the game hitting .500 (8-for-16) against Buchholz.
Buchholz struck out Willingham for his seventh K of the game, and Morneau flied out to left field. Morneau got ahead in the count 2-0 and then fouled off three straight pitches before flying to left.
Buchholz is up to 85 pitches (54 strikes) in this ballgame.
Mid 5th, Twins 2-1: Dustin Pedroia has been one of the Red Sox’ best hitters this season. But this is not his night.
Pedroia grounded into his second inning-ending double play of the game in the fifth, and the Red Sox left the tying run at third base.
The Sox found themselves with runners at the corners and one out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a leadoff single, and Daniel Nava reached base safely for the third time by delivering a single into right-center field. Nava’s single sent Salty scampering to third base, but Pedroia couldn’t cash in on the scoring chance, and Pedey is now 0-for-3 in this game.
The Red Sox opted to hit-and-run after Pedroia ran the count full. But even with Nava taking off for second, the Twins were able to spin the huge double play. Shortstop Pedro Florimon did a nice job of avoiding the hustling Nava to deliver a strong throw to first base.
End 4th, Twins 2-1: Clay Buchholz retired the first two batters he faced in the fourth inning, but control became an issue.
Buchholz got Josh “The Hammer” Willingham to pop out in foul territory just in front of the Minnesota dugout for the first out. Justin Morneau grounded out to second base for the second out.
Buchholz ran into some two-out trouble, however, when he walked Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia. Buchholz had two strikes on Arcia, but the outfielder laid off a high fastball to earn the free pass.
Buchholz fell behind Trevor Plouffe 2-0, but the right-hander battled back to strike him out. Buchholz received two generous calls on the outside corner after missing with his first two pitches, so that certainly helped.
Mid 4th, Twins 2-1: The Red Sox put two runners on in the fourth inning, but Vance Worley settled down to keep the one-run lead intact.
David Ortiz, who knocked in Boston’s run with an RBI single back in the first inning, smacked a base hit up the middle to kick things off.
Will Middlebrooks made a bid to tie the game with a drive to deep right-center, but Chris Parmelee retreated to track it down. Parmelee made the grab and slammed into the wall, robbing Middlebrooks of extra bases.
Surely, the result wasn’t what Middlebrooks was looking for. But he’s really starting to show off his power the other way. Middlebrooks hit a home run and a double to the opposite field in Wednesday’s win over the Rays. If he can continue to use all fields, Middlebrooks could really come alive going forward.
Stephen Drew followed Middlebrooks’ loud fly out with a walk, setting up first and second with one out. Jonny Gomes lined out to center fielder Aaron Hicks, who has tremendous range, and Mike Carp grounded out to shortstop Pedro Florimon to end the inning. Florimon initially had a hard time getting the ball out of his glove, but he eventually made the transfer and fired to first.
End 3rd, Twins 2-1: Clay Buchholz rolled through the first two innings, but the third inning spelled trouble right out of the gate.
Trevor Plouffe wasted no time getting the Twins’ offense going in the third. He drove a first-pitch fastball up over Daniel Nava’s head in right field and motored to second for a leadoff double.
Aaron Hicks, who has had a disappointing rookie campaign thus far, was called upon to bunt. He didn’t get the job done in the traditional sense, but his ground ball to the right side allowed Plouffe to advance to third base.
It didn’t matter where Plouffe stood, though. Minnesota’s No. 9 hitter, Pedro Florimon, made sure the Twins tossed up two in the runs column with his second home run of the season.
Buchholz tried to get ahead of Florimon with a curveball and he missed his spot. Jarrod Saltalamacchia appeared to be set up outside, but Buchholz’s curveball hung inside, and Florimon hooked it right down the right-field line for a two-run blast.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Daniel Nava’s first-inning walk led to a run. The Red Sox couldn’t repeat that feat in the third inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a fly out to left fielder Oswaldo Arcia, who looked a lot more comfortable making the play than he did on Stephen Drew’s second-inning fly ball.
Nava walked, but Dustin Pedroia, who fouled off a couple of low and outside pitches to begin the at-bat, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Clay Buchholz looked sharp in the first inning, but he was absolutely dominant in the second inning.
Buchholz struck out the side in the second, and he now has five strikeouts overall.
Buchholz started off the perfect second frame by sitting down Justin Morneau on three pitches. Morneau entered the game hitting .500 (8-for-16) off Buchholz in his career, but Buchholz went right after him. Buchholz started the slugger off with back-to-back changeups before going to the four-seamer to pick up the K.
Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia struck out swinging as well. They both went down on changeups, and Buchholz needed just 11 pitches to take care of business in the second.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Vance Worley has already gone to four three-ball counts, and he’s already up to 49 pitches through two innings. He still kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard in the second inning, though.
Stephen Drew, who is batting sixth for the first time this season, led off with a line drive to left field. Oswaldo Arcia misjudged it off the bat and it almost soared over his head, but Arcia recovered to make a leaping grab.
Jonny Gomes grounded out sharply for the second out, and Mike Carp worked a four-pitch walk. Jarrod Saltalamacchia ended the inning with a strike out.
Worley has really been trying to paint the outside corner early on. He consistently stayed away against both Carp and Saltalamacchia in the second inning, experiencing mixed results along the way.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The first inning wasn’t kind to Clay Buchholz the last time he faced the Twins. Buchholz had no problem this time around.
Buchholz retired the Twins in order in the first inning, picking up two strikeouts along the way.
The inning started off with Dustin Pedroia making a sensational play. Brian Dozier hit a hot shot that Pedroia nabbed on the back hand while diving to his right. Pedroia then bounced to his feet and fired to first for the out.
Buchholz capped off the inning by striking out Chris Parmelee and Josh Willingham. Both K’s came on the four-seamer, and neither hitter really had much of a chance.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox are off to a fast start.
The Sox scored just one run in the first eight innings of Thursday’s game, but they’re already on the scoreboard in this one. David Ortiz’s first-inning single into right field beat the shift and plated Daniel Nava with the game’s first run.
Twins starter Vance Worley really had to work in the first inning. He threw 31 pitches before heading back to the dugout, and that’s without Mike Napoli — who leads all of baseball with 4.46 pitches seen per plate appearance — in the Red Sox’ lineup. Red Sox batters lead the majors with 4.07 pitches seen per plate appearance.
Jacoby Ellsbury worked a full count to lead off the game, but he was ultimately retired on a grounder back to the mound. Trouble started to settle in for the Twins when Nava smacked the ninth pitch of his at-bat — a 3-2 fastball — back up the middle. Second baseman Brian Dozier made the play on the back hand. Not only did he not have any chance of nailing Nava at first, though, but he tossed an ill-advised throw into the seats to allow Nava to reach second base.
Dustin Pedroia’s ground out to the right side moved Nava to third, and Ortiz drove him in to pick up his 23rd RBI of the season. Ortiz is playing in his 1,400th game with the Red Sox, passing Dom DiMaggio to move into 10th on the franchise’s all-time list.
8:12 p.m.: Vance Worley’s first pitch of the game is a fastball down the pike for a strike. Away they go at Target Field.
8:01 p.m.: This game marks the second matchup of the season between Clay Buchholz and Vance Worley. Buchholz and Worley squared off at Fenway on May 6, and each pitcher received a no-decision in what was eventually a 6-5 win for Boston.
Buchholz will be hoping for better results on Friday. He didn’t suffer a loss in that May 6 tilt, and he settled down after a rocky first inning, but it was definitely his worst start of the season. Buchholz gave up four earned runs on seven hits over six innings in that contest.
7:54 p.m.: Shane Victorino said before the game that he hopes to be available if the Red Sox need him in the later innings, but manager John Farrell hopes that isn’t the case. Farrell said the club will do everything it can to stay away from playing Victorino in order to give the outfielder a day off his feet.
The good news, however, is that Victorino doesn’t think his back issue is as bad as the one that kept him out of action earlier this season.
“Last time I missed a week. That’s not the goal to do the same thing this time. But again, I’m not evaluating it like it was the last time. It’s nowhere near that,” Victorino said. “I just don’t want it to get to that point because these are the symptoms I felt the last time. I can’t go out there and make it a week. Hopefully we can calm it down, ASAP. Like I said, hopefully I’ve got three hours to calm it down, and if I’m needed to play tonight, that’s the goal.”
7:35 p.m.: David Ross, who is on the seven-day concussion disabled list, hoped to rejoin the Red Sox during their series in Minnesota, but it looks like the Red Sox catcher may be further away from a return than originally anticipated.
“Everything pointed to him being re-examined there and him joining us here in Minnesota but much like we’ve seen with many other concussions, these things take on a life of their own,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s still experiencing some light-headedness and fatigue, so we’ve just got to give it time.”
5:40 p.m.: Shane Victorino and outfield walls just aren’t getting along lately.
Victorino crashed into the right-field wall at Tropicana Field on Thursday, just four days after he experienced a violent collision with the right-field wall at Fenway Park. Victorino’s back, which he had problems with earlier this season, started to tighten up a bit after Thursday’s collision, and manager John Farrell will give him a rest on Friday. Daniel Nava will shift to right field, and Jonny Gomes will be inserted into the lineup to play left field.
Mike Napoli will also get the night off. Mike Carp will start at first base in his place and bat eighth.
Stephen Drew, who was moved up to seventh in the order on Thursday amid his hot streak, will slide up another spot for Friday’s game. He’ll bat sixth.
Joe Mauer will be out of the Twins’ lineup with back stiffness.
The rest of Friday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (24-17)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Jonny Gomes, LF
Mike Carp, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP (6-0, 1.69 ERA)
Brian Dozier, 2B
Chris Parmelee, RF
Josh Willingham, DH
Justin Morneau, 1B
Ryan Doumit, C
Oswaldo Arcia, LF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS
Vance Worley, RHP (1-4, 7.15 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: It’ll be hard to top Thursday’s drama.
The Red Sox were down to their final strike twice, yet they overcame a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to pull off an improbable 4-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. Will Middlebrooks delivered the big blow — a bases-clearing double off Rays closer Fernando Rodney, who walked three hitters to set up the drama.
It was a huge win for the Red Sox against a division rival. They avoided losing their fourth consecutive series, and it marks their first set of back-to-back wins since May 1 and May 2. (The Sox took home Wednesday’s contest in convincing fashion.)
Now, it’s time to put the come-from-behind victory and the Rays in the rearview mirror, as the Red Sox travel to Minnesota to open up a three-game set with the Twins. The Sox dropped three of four to the Twins at Fenway Park last week.
Clay Buchholz will get the start for Boston in Friday’s series opener. He’ll look to join Yu Darvish, Matt Moore and Jordan Zimmerman on baseball’s seven-win list.
Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and follow all of the action right here with NESN.com’s live blog.