BOSTON (AP) _ For one day, everything was fine again with the
Boston Red Sox.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer, Franklin Morales turned in
another solid substitute start and the Red Sox averted a four-game
sweep with a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
“Hopefully it’s the start of a long run,” said Gonzalez, who
finished with three RBIs.
Carl Crawford added three singles, an RBI and a leaping catch
for the Red Sox on his 31st birthday.
The victory snapped Boston’s four-game losing streak and
salvaged a rough weekend against the AL’s second-worst team.
Coming off consecutive late-inning losses _ one in extra innings
and the other when they blew a two-run ninth-inning lead Saturday,
the Red Sox rebounded behind a strong showing by Morales (3-2).
Grumbling about manager Bobby Valentine’s decisions and the lack
wins can take a break for at least a day. The underperforming Red
Sox moved to within a game of .500 again (54-55).
The 26-year old left-hander, taking Josh Beckett’s turn in the
rotation after the righty left his previous start with a back
spasm, gave up one run on three hits in six innings.
Now, Valentine just needs to find a spot for him in the
“I think it’s an easy decision. We just have to figure out all
the parts,” Valentine said. “He wants to start and I want him to
start. We can’t always count on a guy getting injured to get him
Gonzalez also understands how well Morales has pitched in a spot
“Yeah, it’s really impressive,” he said. “Every time he’s out
there he does a good job.
Josh Willingham hit a solo homer, his 28th, and Ryan Doumit a
two-shot for the Twins.
Ben Revere extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games
with a single, drove in a run and made a splendid over the shoulder
catch for Minnesota.
On Saturday, Joe Mauer’s three-run homer with two outs in the
ninth capped a comeback win for the Twins.
“We’ve had a pretty good feeling. One big hit, a couple of
walks, take some pitches and try to make them throw some pitches,”
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You get a couple of guys
on, you never know what’s going to happen. We’ve had some success
battling, we’ve been in a lot of close ballgames lately. We’re not
going to quit. I can guarantee you that.”
Alfredo Aceves, the losing pitcher Saturday, got the final three
outs for his 23rd save.
The Red Sox hadn’t been swept in a four-game series at home by
Minnesota since 1991.
Morales has given up two runs or fewer in five of his six starts
Revere’s hitting streak is the longest by a Twins’ player since
Torii Hunter had a 23-gamer in 2007.
Leading 2-1 with two outs in the fifth, Gonzalez hit a drive
into seats above the Green Monster off starter Nick Blackburn (4-7)
after Crawford singled.
Cody Ross’ RBI single made it 5-1 in the seventh. Jacoby
Ellsbury added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Blackburn’s road woes continued, giving up four runs on nine
hits in five innings to fall to 17-35 in career road starts.
Revere robbed Jarrod Saltalamacchia, running full speed to the
center-field wall to make the grab on the track and then turning to
throw to second to complete a double play.
Willingham and Doumit homered off reliever Vicente Padilla in
Blackburn had a feeling the Twins were going to do it again.
“I thought we had a decent chance there in the ninth,” he
said. “It’s exciting to see.”
Boston had jumped in front 2-0 with a pair of runs in the third.
Crawford had an run-scoring grounder after Mike Aviles singled and
Ellsbury doubled. Gonzalez followed with an RBI single.
Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the fifth on Revere’s sacrifice fly.
Alexi Casilla walked, stole second and advanced on Jeremy Carroll’s
Crawford, who wore his uniform pants high with his bright red
socks showing nearly to his knees, robbed Doumit with his
second-inning catch at the wall.
The two clubs have played seven four-game sets in Fenway Park
since the last time the Twins swept a four-game series.
NOTES: During the game the Red Sox acquired Twins 3B Danny
Valencia for Class A outfielder Jeremias Pineda. The 27-year old
Valencia hit .198 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 34 games with
Minnesota this season. He was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Pineda is hitting .421 in 36 Gulf Coast League games. … OF
Willingham was back in the starting lineup after resting Saturday
with a right-hander going for Boston. … Valentine said
“everything is on track” for Beckett to start Wednesday against
Texas. … Boston CF and leadoff hitter Ellsbury returned to the
starting lineup after resting what Valentine called a minor leg
injury Saturday. … Red Sox righty Aaron Cook (2-5) faces Japanese
star and Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish (11-7) at Fenway on Monday
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)