BOSTON — It was closer than it should’ve been, but the Red Sox will take a win any way they can.
The Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 8-7 on Sunday to earn a series split after dropping the middle two games. Rick Porcello was pitching at the top of his game once again — his stat line didn’t reflect how well he pitched — and Boston was sending homers all over the place. However, the Red Sox’s bullpen made this a tough win.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Porcello was pitching well, the Red Sox were scoring runs and everything was cool. Until the bullpen came in. Matt Barnes loaded the bases in the eighth, and the Twins pulled within a run. That definitely created a lot of tension in the ballpark with the Red Sox trying to salvage this series.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Brad Ziegler closed out the game and earned the save.
The Twins were down by only one run, so this one wasn’t over until the Red Sox recorded their 27th out.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello’s stat line Saturday almost was unfair. The right-hander pitched a great game, but wound up with four earned runs allowed after right fielder Brock Holt dropped a fly ball that was scored as a double for Twins catcher Juan Centeno. Byron Buxton singled in the next at-bat, scoring both runners on base and putting a blemish on Porcello’s otherwise strong start.
Porcello ended his outing with five runs allowed (four earned) on six hits with eight strikeouts and only one walk over 6 2/3 innings.
— Barnes got the final out of the seventh inning, getting first baseman Joe Mauer to ground out. However, he loaded the bases with two singles and a walk before being pulled for Junichi Tazawa.
Barnes finished with two runs allowed over 1/3 of an inning plus the three batters in the eighth.
— Tazawa didn’t fare too badly considering he came in with the bases juiced. The right-hander started by giving up a sacrifice fly to designated hitter Kennys Vargas and struck out left fielder Eddie Rosario. Tazawa then gave up an RBI single to Centeno, but he struck out Buxton to end the threat.
— Ziegler pitched a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Not too shabby.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Hanley Ramirez did his job as the cleanup hitter, blasting a three-run, go-ahead home run to the last row of the Green Monster seats in the third inning. The first baseman, who was filling in for David Ortiz as the designated hitter Sunday, went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.
— Xander Bogaerts had another three-hit day, going 3-for-4 with two runs.
— Dustin Pedroia added to the Red Sox’s slugfest in the fifth inning with a solo shot and finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
— Travis Shaw hit Boston’s third homer with a three-run blast in the fifth. The third baseman, who played first Sunday, went 1-for-3 with a run and three RBIs.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. (1-for-4) and Bryce Brentz (1-for-4) added a single each to the Red Sox’s 10 hits.
— Brock Holt (0-for-3), Aaron Hill (0-for-4) and Ryan Hanigan (0-for-3) all went hitless. Holt added a walk in the sixth, and Hill reached on an error in the same inning and scored on Shaw’s homer.
TWEET OF THE DAY
This ball was crushed.
The Red Sox stay at Fenway to start a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Lefty Drew Pomeranz will get a chance to redeem himself against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jul 19, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) is congratulated in the dugout after being pulled from the game during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports