The Boston Red Sox nearly earned an impressive comeback win Friday night, but the Minnesota Twins notched a walk-off victory instead, thanks to Joe Mauer.
After the Red Sox tied the game with two runs in the ninth inning, the Twins first baseman took Matt Barnes deep in the bottom half of the frame to give Minnesota the 4-3 win.
Eduardo Rodriguez turned in a quality start for Boston, but the Red Sox’s quiet bats squandered the strong outing.
With the loss, the Sox drop to 15-14 while the Twins improve to 15-12.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Sox mounted a great comeback in the ninth inning, but Mauer’s heroics in the bottom half of the frame pegged Boston with a loss.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Mauer clubbed the first walk-off home run of his career.
ON THE BUMP
— It looked like Rodriguez was in for a rough outing right out of the gate. He plunked Mauer in his second batter faced, and Miguel Sano followed with a triple. Robbie Grossman then plated Sano with an RBI single. But Rodriguez would settled in after allowing two runs in the first frame.
Rodriguez’s night ended after he allowed a leadoff triple to Eddie Rosario to start the seventh inning. The left-hander hurled six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
— Joe Kelly came on in relief and allowed an RBI single to Mauer after punching out Brian Dozier to start his outing. Kelly gave up a single to Sano before punching out Grossman. With the left-handed Josh Kepler on deck, John Farrell opted for a southpaw out of the bullpen.
— Robby Scott entered with two outs in the seventh inning and struck out Kepler to end the frame. Scott stayed on for the eighth inning and pitched a perfect frame.
— Matt Barnes came on in the ninth inning, and after sitting down the first two batters, the right-hander gave up the walk-off shot to Mauer.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Chris Young went 1-for-1 after coming up clutch with a pinch-hit, two-RBI single in the ninth inning.
— Andrew Benintendi continued to be one of the only Red Sox hitting for power. The 22-year-old outfielder crushed his fourth home run of the season in the third inning, going 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
— Rutledge joined Benintendi as the only Red Sox hitters with multi-hit performances. The Red Sox third baseman recorded two singles in the contest to go 2-for-4 with a run.
— Mookie Betts (1-for-4) and Dustin Pedroia (1-for-5) both logged doubles, while Mitch Moreland (1-for-3 with a walk) and Xander Bogaerts (1-for-4) both reached base via single.
— Hanley Ramirez (0-for-3), Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4) and Christian Vazquez (0-for-3) all went hitless, but Ramirez added a walk.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Boston’s lack of power continued Friday night.
The Red Sox and Twins will play Game 2 of their three-game series Saturday afternoon. Rick Porcello will be on the mound for the Red Sox against Minnesota starter Nick Tepesch for the 2:10 p.m. ET contest.
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