Playing the Minnesota Twins was just what the Boston Red Sox needed to get back on track.
The Red Sox were 5-5 in their last 10 games heading into Friday’s contest against the Twins in Minneapolis, and some of those losses were particularly rough. But Boston came together offensively and defensively to earn an 8-1 win over the American League’s worst team.
Steven Wright turned in a fabulous start, and the Red Sox’s bats were hot in the victory.
Here’s now it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
This game was good for the Red Sox on both sides of the ball. It took the offense half the game to figure out Twins starter Tyler Duffey, but once they did, they tagged him for six runs and eventually added two more in the ninth.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
The Red Sox scored three runs in the sixth inning.
Wright did have some trouble Friday, so a 3-0 lead wasn’t necessarily safe, especially considering the knuckleballer loaded the bases in the fifth after Xander Bogaerts put the Red Sox on the board. But a 6-0 lead was plenty of cushion for Wright to keep cruising.
ON THE BUMP
— It was another great night on the mound for Wright, who spun seven scoreless innings before giving up an unearned run in the eighth. Twins shortstop Eduardo Nunez was able to score on a Robbie Grossman groundout after Hanley Ramirez’s throwing error put him at second, and a pitch passed by Christian Vazquez to put him at third. Otherwise, Wright removed himself from every jam in which he found himself.
The knuckleballer finished the evening with one unearned run on seven hits, with two walks and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. His ERA now is at 2.09.
— Matt Barnes came on in the eighth for Wright, striking out Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe and inducing a flyout to second baseman Brian Dozier. The righty finished things off in the ninth, ending his night having allowed one hit and striking out two over 1 2/3 innings.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Xander Bogaerts put the Red Sox on the board in the fifth inning with a three-run homer, and the rest of his night was nothing short of impressive. The shortstop went 4-for-5 with a run and four RBIs.
— Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to an MLB-best 16 games with a double in the first inning, going 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
— Christian Vazquez had a good night, going 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI single in the sixth inning.
— David Ortiz went 2-for-5 with a double. Rusney Castillo replaced him as a pinch runner in the ninth.
— Mookie Betts and Travis Shaw both went 1-for-5 with a run each. Hanley Ramirez also narrowly missed putting a zero in the box score, hitting a single in the ninth to go 1-for-4 with a walk.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-5 with two extra-base hits. The center fielder doubled in the sixth inning — and eventually scored — and hit a two-RBI triple in the ninth.
— Chris Young went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Here’s Bogaerts’ three-run shot in all its glory.
The Red Sox stay in Minneapolis for the second game of their series against the Twins. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will go head-to-head with Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson in the 2:10 p.m. ET contest.
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images