The Boston Red Sox’s reshuffled lineup appears to be working.
The Red Sox scored a season-high 17 runs on 15 hits Sunday at Target Field in a 17-6 rout of the Minnesota Twins. This comes one day after Boston plated 11 runs following manager John Farrell’s decision to change the batting order.
Catcher Sandy Leon belted two home runs to back ace Chris Sale, who didn’t have his best stuff but pitched well enough to earn the win.
The Red Sox improved to 17-14 with the win, while the Twins fell to 15-14 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Both starting pitchers entered the game with an ERA under 1.40, but it wasn’t the pitcher’s duel that most expected. The Red Sox hit four home runs off Twins starter Ervin Santana, while Minnesota scored four runs off Sale in the fourth inning. The Red Sox blew the game open with a 10-run ninth inning against the Twins’ bullpen.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Red Sox scored 10 runs in the ninth inning to put the game away.
Hanley Ramirez started the scoring with an RBI single, while Leon added a two-run blast in the heart of the inning to put the Twins away.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale was good for the Red Sox on Sunday, but his start could have been much better. The left-hander struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced but was tagged for four runs during an uncharacteristic fifth inning that saw him walk two batters and hit a third.
Minnesota loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth in front of Ehire Adrianza. The Twins second baseman cut the Red Sox’s lead to three with a sacrifice fly to right field. Jorge Polanco drove in the next two runs with a single to left-center field, and first baseman Kennys Vargas tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right before Sale finally got out of the inning.
Sale allowed four runs on four hits while striking out 10 and walking three in six innings of work.
— Heath Hembree took the ball in the seventh inning and worked a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and recording a strikeout.
— Matt Barnes took over in the eighth inning and immediately gave up a solo home run to Vargas to trim Boston’s lead to two. Barnes walked the next two hitters before being lifted from the game without recording an out. He was charged with two runs in his brief outing.
— Robby Scott came on to face Eddie Rosario with two on and no out and fired his second pitch to the backstop, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. Rosario knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one.
— Craig Kimbrel was called on to get out of the eighth-inning jam. The Red Sox closer struck out Joe Mauer and Max Kepler to end the eighth inning.
— Joe Kelly worked a scoreless ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started for Boston in the top of the first inning by launching a high fastball into the left-field seats for a solo home run. After Xander Bogaerts was hit by a pitch, Andrew Benintendi blasted a two-run shot to give the Red Sox a three-run lead.
— Mookie Betts scored the Red Sox’s fourth run of the game when he crushed a solo home run over the left-field fence in the top of the fifth inning.
— The Red Sox broke the tie with their fourth home run of the game in the sixth inning. Leon deposited a two-run go-ahead homer into the right-field seats to give Boston a two-run lead.
— Boston struck again in the seventh when Mitch Moreland knocked in Benintendi with an RBI single to give the Red Sox a three-run lead.
— The Red Sox’s offense scored 10 runs in the ninth inning off three different Twins pitchers. Ramirez (one), Moreland (three), Leon (two-run home run), Bogaerts (two) and Chris Young (two) all recorded RBIs in the inning.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Is this good?
The Red Sox will take the diamond again Tuesday when they face the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Drew Pomeranz will get the ball for Boston and he’ll be opposed by Wily Peralta. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports Images