BOSTON — If low-scoring baseball games put you to sleep, this week’s Red Sox-Minnesota Twins series was not for you.
No, this three-game set — which the Red Sox swept by virtue of a 2-1, walk-off, 10-inning win Wednesday — was all about the men on the mound.
John Lackey turned in his best outing of the season in the finale, scattering three hits and a walk over nine scoreless innings while striking out nine.
“He pitched outstanding (Wednesday),” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “One-hundred five pitches, nine complete shutout innings. … He was well aware that he did his job.”
Lackey was matched pitch for pitch, though, by Twins starter Kyle Gibson, who in his second season has already shown the potential to become a future ace.
Gibson allowed just one hit — a Daniel Nava double in the fifth — over his seven scoreless innings of work, finishing with zero walks and a season-high eight K’s. His streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run now sits at 22, the longest by a Twins starter since Francisco Liriano in 2010.
“You’ve got to give their kid (Gibson) a lot of credit,” Lackey said. “He’s a talent. He threw the ball tremendously.”
– Twins right fielder Chris Parmelee was the only player on either side to have a successful afternoon at the plate. Parmelee’s accounted for two of Lackey’s three hits allowed (both singles), and his home run off Koji Uehara in the top of the 10th gave his team the first lead of the game. It was Parmelee’s second three-hit game of the season, both of which have come against the Red Sox.
Parmelee’s homer also snapped a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings for Uehara that dated back to May 1.
– David Ortiz and Mike Napoli responded to Parmelee’s bomb by launching back-to-back homers of their own in the bottom of the inning, allowing the Red Sox to walk off with the win and the sweep. It was the first time the Sox had hit back-to-back home runs since A.J. Pierzynski and Will Middlebrooks did so April 26 in Toronto and the first time they’d walked off with consecutive homers since 1999, in a game also against the Twins.
– The Red Sox offically released Grady Sizemore on Wednesday after designating him for assignment the previous day. Sizemore compiled a .216/.288/.324 slash line with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 52 games with Boston, and the emergence of Brock Holt as a capable outfielder made him expendable.
– The Red Sox also announced that Brandon Workman’s appeal of his six-game suspension for throwing behind Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria has been denied. He began his punishment Wednesday.
Farrell said the team was not ready to announce who will start in place of Workman this Friday in Oakland, but he called Felix Doubront “a definite candidate.” Doubront, who recently completed a minor league rehab stint, hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox since May 20.