Final, Twins 8-6: The Sox elected to go with Andrew Miller in the ninth, and it didn’t end well, as the Twins walked off in in a big way.
Things were looking good when Trevor Plouffe and Framingham, Mass. native Chris Colabello, who pinch hit for Jason Kubel, both struck out swinging to start things off.
But Kurt Suzuki reached first after Will Middlebrooks was unable to dive for a ball to the left of third base, and lefty Chris Parmelee ripped a home run for the walk-off win.
This was a surprising result, as the left-handed Miller had kept lefties to a .095 average with 10 strikeouts and zero runs so far this season. It was also a disappointing finish after the Sox put up a good rally to tie the game in the seventh after trailing 5-1 when the Twins struck hard in the second inning. The Sox have yet to win at least three games in a row.
The Sox will look to bounce back Tuesday when Felix Doubront faces off against Kevin Correia. Target Field is uncharted territory for Doubront, who has yet to face Minnesota in his career.
Mid 9th, Tied 6-6: Glen Perkins came in to close for the Twins, and he did what he was supposed to.
Shane Victorino got on base with a one-out single, but Perkins handed out back-to-back strikeouts to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to erase the threat.
End 8th, Tied 6-6: Craig Breslow came back in the eighth but only for a short time, as he was pulled immediately after dealing a lead-off walk to Danny Santana.
Junichi Tazawa came in and quickly ended any chances the Twins had at a run.
Brian Dozier flied out to Jonny Gomes in left, and Santana had no time to try and tag up. However, Santana then strayed too far from first with Joe Mauer at the plate, and Tazawa was able to pick him off.
Mauer then flied out to left himself to end the inning.
Mid 8th, Tied 6-6: Jared Burton took the mound for the Twins and turned a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Xander Bogaerts struck out swinging to start things off, and Will Middlebrooks flied out to Chris Parmelee in right. Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out also, but he looked at his third strike.
End 7th, Tied 6-6: Craig Breslow came in and did work in the seventh.
Breslow turned a 1-2-3 inning, including back-to-back strikeouts to Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Nunez.
Mid 7th, Tied 6-6: The Sox came back in the seventh to tie things up.
Michael Tonkin entered the game for Ricky Nolasco, but he left pretty quickly.
Xander Bogaerts grounded out to third, and Will Middlebrooks struck out swinging for two quick outs.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino then each hit singles, with Victorino’s bringing Bradley home.
Brian Duensing relieved Tonkin and was tasked with getting out Daivd Ortiz. He failed.
Papi hit a single to right field, knocking in Pedroia for his fourth RBI and advancing Victorino to third. Mike Napoli then walked to load the bases, which ended Duensing’s night and brought in Matt Guerrier.
Jonny Gomes came in to pinch hit for Grady Sizemore, and Gomes walked to plate Victorino and tie the game. That was enough for Guerrier, who was relieved by Caleb Thielbar.
A.J. Pierzynski came up with the bases still loaded and a chance to redeem himself, but he struck out for a third time instead.
End 6th, Twins 6-3: Chris Capuano tried to change the pace of this game with his change-up, but it didn’t fool everyone.
Capuano struck out Danny Santana, who watched a change-up, to start things off. Brian Dozier flied out to left.
Joe Mauer singled to left, and then Capuano loaded the bases with back-to-back walks to Trevor Plouffe and Jason Kubel.
Capuano got out of the jam, though, when Kurt Suzuki grounded to Xander Bogaerts, who made the force out at second.
Mid 6th, Twins 6-3: The Sox put another run on the board to keep themselves in this game.
Shane Victorino started things off with a triple to right field, which Chris Parmelee tried to dive for and missed. Victorino seemed to bang himself up sliding into third, but he stayed in the game.
David Ortiz then knocked in Victorino on an RBI single. Mike Napoli tried to keep the hits coming with a ball to deep center, but Danny Santana did a nice job keeping track of it to make the catch for the first out.
Grady Sizemore walked to threaten the Twins, but A.J. Pierzynski followed up by grounding into a double play and ending the Sox’s chances for more runs.
End 5th, Twins 6-2: Jake Peavy only made it through 4 1/3 innings before getting pulled when the Twins struck again.
Trevor Plouffe started things off with a big double off the center field wall. Jason Kubel flied out to deep left-center, advancing Plouffe.
Plouffe scored easily on a line drive single to left-center off the bat of Kurt Suzuki, and that was the end of Peavy’s night.
Chris Capuano came in for relief, and immediately gave up a single to Chris Parmelee, which advanced the fleet-footed Suzuki to third. A passed ball by A.J. Pierzynski got Parmelee to second but luckily was gathered quickly enough to keep Suzuki at third.
Eduardo Nunez struck out swinging, and Eduardo Escobar grounded out to short to end the threat.
Mid 5th, Twins 5-2: Ricky Nolasco saw Jake Peavy’s 1-2-3 inning and raised him another.
Nolasco fooled Will Middlebrooks with a breaking ball to strike him out swinging for the first out. It was his sixth K of the game.
Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out softly to second base, and Dustin Pedroia grounded out to short for outs two and three.
End 4th, Twins 5-2: It was a much-needed 1-2-3 inning for Peavy.
Danny Santana tried to bunt to start things off, but Jake Peavy was quick to field it and made the out at first. Brian Dozier grounded out to third, and Joe Mauer flied out to Grady Sizemore in left to give Jake Peavy a change of pace.
Mid 4th, Twins 5-2: David Ortiz went yard. Again.
Papi started off the top half of the inning by hitting another solo shot to right-center field. It’s his 382nd home run in a Sox uniform, tying him with Jim Rice for third all-time.
Grady Sizemore got on base with a one-out, broken-bat single to the left-center field gap, but A.J. Pierzynski struck out for the second time, and Xander Bogaerts flied out to left before he could go anywhere.
End 3rd, Twins 5-1: The Twins tried to keep the runs coming, but ultimately ended up stranding two runners.
Kurt Suzuki hit a one-out single on a line drive to right field.
Dustin Pedroia tried to make a diving stop on a well-hit ball from Chris Parmelee, but he couldn’t keep it in his glove. He was able to keep it close, but his throw to second was too late. If anything, though, he stopped another run from being scored.
Eduardo Nunez tried to knock some more runs in, but he grounded out to third and was just out on the throw to first by Will Middlebrooks. Suzuki and Parmelee advanced, but Danny Santana flied out to right-center to end the threat.
Mid 3rd, Twins 5-1: It was an easy 1-2-3 inning for Ricky Nolasco.
Jackie Bradley Jr. flied out to center before Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino struck out respectively to end the top half of the inning.
End 2nd, Twins 5-1: The Twins beat Jake Peavy up in the second.
Peavy issued a one-out walk to Chris Parmelee, who did a good job staying alive on a full count.
Eduardo Nunez then got the Twins on the board with a one-out, two-run homer. Grady Sizemore almost had it, but it hit the top of the wall.
Eduardo Escobar singled, and Danny Santana walked before Brian Dozier knocked both of them in with a two-RBI single.
Dozier stole second easily with Joe Mauer at the plate, and then Mauer hit an RBI-single of his own to add another run.
Luckily, the party for the Twins ended with a much-needed double play. Trevor Plouffe hit one softly to Xander Bogaerts, who turned two easily.
The rough inning put some action in the bullpen, though.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Sox had a shot at another run, but the Twins stopped it quickly.
Grady Sizemore would have probably had a base hit if it wasn’t for Joe Mauer. The catcher-turned-first baseman made a great grab on a line drive off of Sizemore for the first out.
Xander Boagaerts got a two-out triple on a ball that was probably a foot from leaving the park. Center fielder Danny Santana tried to make the tough catch but was put against the wall and missed it.
Will Middlebrooks couldn’t bring Bogaerts in, though, as he grounded out to third to end the top half of the inning.
End 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Twins put a runner on base, but they didn’t even come close to posing a threat.
Brian Dozier grounded out to Xander Bogaerts for the first out.
Joe Mauer hit a ball well off Jake Peavy, but Grady Sizemore got a great jump on it in left field and dove to make the out.
Trevor Plouffe singled, but Peavy struck out Jason Kubel looking to end the inning.
Mid 1st, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox struck first in this game.
After Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino grounded out, respectively, David Ortiz did what he did best.
Big Papi launched a solo home run before Mike Napoli struck out to put the Sox on top.
8:10 p.m.: Nolasco tosses the first pitch of the game for a strike and we’re underway at Target Field.
5:27 p.m.: Besides moving Peavy in the rotation, the Red Sox made a couple of other changes to the lineup.
Grady Sizemore will get the start in left field after Jonny Gomes started against the Texas Rangers Sunday. Sizemore will bat fifth.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks will also be back in the lineup having been scratched due to hand soreness Sunday. He’ll bat eighth, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. will go back to his usual nine spot. Below are the complete lineups for Tuesday’s game.
Boston Red Sox (19-18)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jake Peavy, RHP (1-1, 3.09 ERA)
Minnesota Twins (17-19)
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Jason Kubel, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Chris Parmelee, RF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Danny Santana, CF
Ricky Nolasco, RHP (2-3, 5.64)
5:27 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox announced before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Target field that starting pitcher Jake Peavy would be moving up one spot in the rotation, and Felix Doubront will move down one spot.
However, Peavy’s start on Tuesday has nothing to do with this series. The move was made because of Peavy’s abilities against the Detroit Tigers. The Sox will have an ALCS rematch immediately after their three-game series against the Twins, and the move gives Peavy the start in the third and final game. The Tigers batted .185 against Peavy last season compared to .250 against Doubront.
Even better, Tigers heavy hitters Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, and Ian Kinsler are all batting under .300 against Peavy. That may not sound like much a feat in most cases, but against those three, it says a lot.
Peavy has been solid overall so far this season, and his 1-1 record doesn’t speak much to what he’s been doing. Lack of run support from the Red Sox has caused him to earn a no-decision or a loss in all but one of his one- and two-run games.
The Sox are picking up their momentum, having won three straight series, and a win tonight in Minnesota would be the team’s first win streak of at least three games this season.