Postgame, Twins 8-0: More bad news after this ugly affair in Target Field. Terry Francona said Jacoby Ellsbury did not respond well Thursday and he will have to be re-evaluated when the team gets back to Boston.
Same goes for Mike Cameron, who sounded a bit concerned for his own ailment.
"I got up today and it was hard to even walk," said Cameron, who will have X-rays and an MRI taken in Boston on Friday. "By far I'm not a doctor, but I know most of the time you know your body pretty well and when something hurts you can kinda put a finger on it, but this is something I couldn't really put a finger on."
The Sox cannot afford to carry a bench of Jason Varitek and either David Ortiz or Mike Lowell. Do not be surprised to hear that either Ellsbury or Cameron is put on the disabled list so that they club can get someone up from Pawtucket (Josh Reddick) to fill in for a week or two. Boston does not have another day off until April 29.
We will get you the updates on all of that from the park tomorrow afternoon.
Final, Twins 8-0: Three errors. Six hits. Eight left on base. It was not a great effort for the Red Sox, who fall back below .500 as they head home for 10 straight in the friendly confines.
Boston hopes to have Jacoby Ellsbury back, and we await word on the severity of Mike Cameron's abdominal strain. The club will lean on Josh Beckett in the opener of a four-game series with Tampa Bay on Friday.
First pitch is 7:10 p.m. If you are heading to the park, check the forecast. If you are staying in, follow along right here.
End 8th, Twins 8-0: I'm straining to find a positive for you here and may finally have one. Ramon Ramirez, who entered with an untidy 33.75 ERA, worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Hey, take what you can get. It's 8-0.
Mid 8th, Twins 8-0: You knew Adrian Beltre was not taking a walk in that situation, and who can blame him? The Sox need eight runs, not one. But Beltre drives in none, grounding into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth.
End 7th, Twins 8-0: Nick Punto is making the Red Sox look silly. It was his alert baserunning (and Victor Martinez's poor decision-making) which led to a Twins run in the sixth. And he gets a pure double on a hard hit to center in the eighth that would've been a single in any other situation.
But Punto hustled out of the box and Bill Hall's lazy throw in wasn't even close.
Minnesota has 14 hits.
3:13 p.m.: Two more for the Twins on a two-run shot for Michael Cuddyer. Scott Schoeneweis is done for the day.
Mid 7th, Twins 6-0: Here is your J.D. Drew update: 4-for-27 (.148) with 12 strikeouts. One more and he ties David Ortiz.
Drew's latest whiff is one of eight punchouts for Francisco Liriano. The Red Sox have just one hit since the second inning.
End 6th, Twins 6-0: If you missed the sixth inning, it's best you just leave it that way. An ugly frame in an ugly game for the Sox.
If you want to know what happened, here is a brief rundown. Adrian Beltre had a throwing error to allow the second batter to reach. A single put two on and then a double by Denard Span led to a complete mess, as the Sox had Span caught between second and third, but ended up allowing the runner on third to come in when Victor Martinez tried to nail Span. Not the best explanation. Just know this: Martinez did not need to make the throw, and Nick Punto did a great job taking advantage by dashing home.
2:49 p.m.: It wasn't the best outing for Tim Wakefield, but he had no run support and the defense is a complete wreck behind him. Another error in the sixth and an ill-advised throw by Victor Martinez helps the Twins tack on two more and chase Wakefield. Scott Schoeneweis is coming on.
Mid 6th, Twins 4-0: The Red Sox finally get a hit (Dustin Pedroia, of course) to snap Francisco Liriano's string at 11 straight batters. Alas, nothing comes of it and Liriano will take a shutout into the seventh.
End 5th, Twins 4-0: After a passed ball opened up first base in the seventh inning Wednesday, the Red Sox elected to intentionally walk Joe Mauer and instead attack Justin Morneau. It worked. The second time Boston goes with that strategy it hurts. Went to the well one too many times.
Morneau, who has good numbers against Wakefield, drives a long single off the wall in right to knock in the Twins' third run of the game.
Morneau is now 7-for-19 (.368) against Wakefield.
Minnesota scored earlier in the inning on back-to-back doubles by Nick Punto and Denard Span. Mauer came in later on a sacrifice fly by Michael Cuddyer.
Mid 5th, Twins 1-0: That is now 11 straight retired by Francisco Liriano, who has thrown 69 pitches and struck out five in five innings.
End 4th, Twins 1-0: Two errors in four innings for the Red Sox, the latest a throwing error by Victor Martinez. The Boston backstop has thrown several balls this year which have been caught at second, but only after Dustin Pedroia or Marco Scutaro are forced to climb the ladder to haul it in. Something is very wrong with his mechanics.
For the second time, the error does not end up hurting the Red Sox. Tim Wakefield is doing a nice job to strand runners.
Mid 4th, Twins 1-0: With the history he had had against the Red Sox and with the way his afternoon began, it figured to be a short start for Francisco Liriano. But he stranded a series of runners early and is now in cruise control.
Two groundouts and a strikeout (Liriano's fourth) get the lefty through the fourth in no time. He has set down eight in a row.
End 3rd, Twins 1-0: It's Minnesota's turn to leave a runner at third. Orlando Hudson doubles, moves up 90 feet and is stranded when Tim Wakefield gets Justin Morneau to fly to left.
A lot of early work for Bill Hall in center and Jeremy Hermida in left. That's not exactly what the Sox wanted to see.
Mid 3rd, Twins 1-0: Francisco Liriano gets Tim Wakefield back up off the bench in a hurry by plowing through the 2-4 hitters in the Red Sox lineup.
It is the first 1-2-3 inning for Liriano.
End 2nd, Twins 1-0: Tim Wakefield needed just 13 pitches to get the first five outs before three straight singles and an error by Bill Hall in center gets the Twins on the board.
Hall played shortstop the other day for the first time since 2006 and had an error by the second inning. He is playing center field for the second time since 2007 and, again, has an error by the second inning.
The latest doesn't end up hurting the Sox as the run had already scored but it did allow two runners to move up a base before Wakefield escaped further trouble.
Marco Scutaro almost had two web gems in the inning, but Jim Thome's line drive goes off his glove for the Twins' first hit of the game.
A batter earlier, Scutaro made a sliding stop in the old 5.5 hole and makes a lightning quick transfer before gunning out Michael Cuddyer for the second out.
Thome followed with his hit. Jason Kubel had a single and then J.J. Hardy drove in the first run of the game with a base hit to center, the ball that Hall bobbled.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: There was discussion in spring training about Mike Lowell being a good fit for the Twins. If by some chance they are still looking at him as an option down the road, Lowell shows them a little something in the first.
In his initial at bat as a designated hitter, Lowell lines a single to left. He improves to 3-for-3 career against Francisco Liriano. Lowell moves to third on a walk to Bill Hall and a groundout by Jeremy Hermida. He is left there when Marco Scutaro grounds to third to finish the frame.
The Sox have left three runners in scoring position in two innings.
By the way, all this talk about David Ortiz struggling and very quietly J.D. Drew has gone 4-for-25 (.160) with 11 strikeouts. His only two RBIs came on a home run in Kansas City the other day.
End 1st, 0-0: Bill Hall gets early work in a rare center field appearance, putting away the first two outs of the bottom of the first inning. Joe Mauer grounds out to end it and Tim Wakefield is through one with just 10 pitches thrown.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Dustin Pedroia Express just keeps on rolling. He is 9-for-17 during a five-game hitting streak and now 5-for-6 in his career against Francisco Liriano after a single in the first.
Not to be outdone, Victor Martinez improves to 6-for-13 off Liriano with a double to put two men in scoring position with one out.
But Liriano battles back to strike out Kevin Youkilis and get Adrian Beltre to ground to third.
Big wasted opportunity there. We'll see if that comes back to hurt the Sox.
1:05 p.m.: It is somewhat comical that April 15 is all about two things — taxes and Jackie Robinson. The former we despise, the latter we revere.
We also love day baseball, and we're just minutes from the third game at beautiful Target Field.
Tim Wakefield has enjoyed facing the Twins over the years. He may especially like working through the latter half of the lineup Thursday. Batters five through nine in the Minnesota lineup are a combined 18-for-99 (.182) with 24 strikeouts against Wakefield.
12:45 p.m.: The more you look at it, the more you realize the Sox could be up against it Thursday. They have only Jason Varitek and David Ortiz on the bench (let's hope there is no need for a pinch runner) and will have some other guys in unfamiliar roles.
Bill Hall has played just one game in center field since 2007, when he played 130 games out there. He has appeared 138 times in his career in center.
Also, I know everyone is in love with Jeremy Hermida right now, and with good reason. But remember that he was originally not in the lineup against the lefty Francisco Liriano for a reason. Hermida is a career .239 hitter with 114 strikeouts in 419 at bats in his career against southpaws.
Mike Lowell will be playing his 17th career game at designated hitter, some of which came in 2009. He has hit .259 with a paltry .297 OBP in that role.
And while there is a bit of shuffling going on, the one constant on April 15 will be evident on the backs of every jersey on the diamond at Target Field. Each player will sport No. 42 in honor of the great Jackie Robinson, who made his debut on this date in 1947.
11:42 a.m.: A change to the Red Sox lineup. All of you pining for Jeremy Hermida will be happy as he replaces Mike Cameron, who was a late scratch with an abdominal strain. Bill Hall, originally slated to play left, will take over in center. Here is the new lineup:
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mike Lowell DH
J.D. Drew RF
Bill Hall CF
Jeremy Hermida LF
So, Jacoby Ellsbury moves to left to make way for Mike Cameron, and a week and a half into the season both are injured. This is where the value of the Red Sox bench will be realized. We'll take a closer look at some numbers involved with this new lineup in a bit.
11:25 a.m.: The lineups were posted at Target Field. We already knew that David Ortiz would sit in favor of Mike Lowell. And as predicted here Wednesday, Bill Hall is in left against the southpaw Francisco Liriano. Here are the lineups for both teams:
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mike Lowell DH
J.D. Drew RF
Mike Cameron CF
Bill Hall LF
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Jim Thome DH
Jason Kubel LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Punto 3B
8 a.m.: The Red Sox have a chance to win a series in Minnesota for the first time since 2007 when they take on the Twins at Target Field in the rubber game of a three-game set.
Tim Wakefield is on the mound in the finale of a six-game road trip, looking for career win No. 190. He was denied that victory when the bullpen lost a lead in Kansas City on Friday.
Reports surfaced shortly after Boston's 6-3 win Wednesday that David Ortiz will sitagainst left-hander Francisco Liriano, likely opening the door for Mike Lowell to get his first start at designated hitter.
Jacoby Ellsbury will probably miss his third straight game with a bruised rib.
First pitch is 1:10 p.m. and NESN will be your source for all the coverage and analysis.
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