The Minnesota Twins entered Monday coming off a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians, but the Boston Red Sox made sure those winning ways wouldn’t continue.
Thanks to a strong start from Chris Sale, as well as some timely hitting, the Red Sox grabbed a 4-1 victory over the Twins in the series opener at Fenway Park.
Sale tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits with nine strikeouts. Boston’s bullpen would pick up right where Sale left off, as it didn’t allow a hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
With the win, the Red Sox improved to 42-34, while the Twins fell to 39-35.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox entered the contest having dropped two games in a row to the mediocre Los Angeles Angeles. But thanks to the win over Minnesota, Boston ended the short skid and maintained its possession of first place in the American League East.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Red Sox added two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Boston’s bullpen brought its A-game in the series opener against the Twins, and prevented the visiting club from mounting any sort of comeback.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale’s lifetime numbers against the Twins aren’t stellar, but he had no problem with them Monday night. The left-hander came out firing, retiring five of the first six batters he faced in impressive fashion.
His only major blemish would come in the third inning when Chris Gimenez started off the frame with a solo blast over the Green Monster. The left-hander would get back into a groove, though, as he sat down 10 of the next 11 batters, with a Robbie Grossman walk in the fourth inning accounting for the only Twins baserunner in that span.
Trouble would arise in the seventh inning, as Grossman led off the frame with a single followed by a Kennys Vargas walk. Sale would strike out the next batter, Jorge Polanco, but with a pitch count of 108, Red Sox manager John Farrell decided his starter’s night was over.
— Heath Hembree followed Sale and induced an inning-ending double play to escape the seventh.
— Matt Barnes struck out the side in the eighth.
— Craig Kimbrel picked up his 21st save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mitch Moreland continues to be Boston’s hottest hitter. The first baseman blasted a first-inning home run, marking the third consecutive game he’s gone deep. He also added a single and a sacrifice fly as part of his 2-for-3 effort at the plate.
— Dustin Pedroia (2-for-4) added some insurance for the Red Sox when he roped an opposite-field RBI single in the seventh inning.
— Mookie Betts joined Moreland and Pedroia as Red Sox hitters with multi-hit games. The center fielder went 2-for-4 with two singles.
— Andrew Benintendi, Sandy Leon and Tzu-Wei Lin all recorded singles. Lin’s base knock was the first of his Major League Baseball career.
— Xander Bogaerts, Chris Young and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went hitless in the contest.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Lin made history with his single in the second inning.
The Red Sox and Twins will play Game 2 of their four-game series Tuesday night. Drew Pomeranz is scheduled to toe the rubber for Boston and will be countered by Minnesota’s Hector Santiago. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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