All good things must come to an end for the 2021 Boston Red Sox.
The Minnesota Twins beat the Red Sox 4-3 on Thursday at Target Field. The result ends Boston’s winning streak at nine games.
Twins starter Michael Pineda masterfully held the Red Sox to just two hits in seven shutout innings, but Boston rallied for three runs in the eighth inning against his replacements, with Alex Verdugo’s three-RBI double providing the dramatics.
However, the Twins ultimately scored the winning run in the ninth, consigning Red Sox reliever Adam Ottavino to the loss.
Boston fell to 9-4 on the defeat, while Minnesota improved to 6-7.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Forgive Red Sox fans for expecting yet another comeback win, or at least extra innings, after the team tied the score at 3-3 in the eighth inning. But disappointment prevailed when the Twins manufactured the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
ON THE BUMP
— A bumpy second inning put the Red Sox and starter Garrett Richards in a hole. He walked Michael Sano, and Bobby Dalbec’s error allowed Sano to reach second base and Jake Cave to reach first. Ryan Jeffers then loaded the bases with a single. The Twins went up 2-0 in the marathon frame on Luis Arraez’s bases-loaded single.
In five innings of work, Richards allowed two runs and four hits and struck out four batters.
— Hirokazu Sawamura replaced Richards at the start of the sixth inning, and Sano hit a solo home run off of him on the third pitch. Sawamura then retired the next three batters.
— Josh Taylor took over in the seventh inning. He retired three of the four batters he faced, only allowing Nelson Cruz to single off him.
— Matt Andriese replaced Taylor in the eighth inning. He allowed Kyle Garlick to double and walked Miguel Sano before Jake Cave moved them to second and third base, respectively on a sacrifice bunt.
After the home-plate umpire ejected Red Sox manager Alex Cora for arguing a clearly missed call, Dawrinzon Hernandez replaced Andriese. Hernandez got pitch hitter Mitch Garver to line out to end the eighth.
— Ottavino entered in the ninth inning. He allowed Arraez to single then hit Jorge Polanco with a pitch. After Ottavino struck out Nelson Cruz, Max Kepler hit a game-winning single, which scored Arraez.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— After giving up a leadoff single to Kiké Hernández, Pineda retired the next 14 Red Sox batters between the first and fifth innings.
— Xander Bogaerts’ single in the top of the seventh was Boston’s first hit since Hernández led off. But there was no rally, as Christian Vazquez then followed Rafael Devers’ flyout by grounding into a double play to end the inning.
— Immediately after the Twins pulled Pineda, the Red Sox came back. Relief pitcher Hansel Robles walked Christian Arroyo, Hunter Renfroe and Marwin Gonzalez to load the bases.
Then, on what some are calling the at-bat of the season, Alex Verdugo hit a bases-clearing double on the 10th pitch he faced from Taylor Rodgers, tying the score at 3-3.
It was Verdugo’s only hit in four at-bats.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Verdugo’s double truly was a magical moment.
The Red Sox return home to Fenway Park, where they’ll face the Chicago White Sox on Friday on Friday in the opener of their four-game Patriots’ Day weekend series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.