Red Sox stumble again, drop third straight to Twins
BOSTON - On Monday night, the Twins dropped an 11-inning decision to the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series coming at the end of a three-city, 10-game road trip.
The loss dropped Minnesota's season record to 13-15, and there was every reason to believe the young team could slip further at the end of its journey.
However, manager Ron Gardenhire's team responded by winning three straight, capped by Thursday night's 5-3 win over the Red Sox.
Rookie Oswaldo Arcia, who had four hits Wednesday, tripled and scored in the fifth inning Thursday, then hit his third homer of the season as the Twins scored four unearned runs off John Lackey in the sixth.
The gates opened after Lackey (1-3) threw the ball into center field on what looked like an inning-ending double play.
The Twins scored 26 runs in the three wins.
Kevin Correia (4-2) worked the first 5 1/3 innings and got the win with help from three relievers. Glen Perkins worked the ninth (one walk, two strikeouts) for his eighth save in as many chances.
The Red Sox, losing for the sixth time in seven games to fall to 21-14, dropped into a virtual three-way tie with the Orioles and Yankees atop the AL East. Boston, which left at least one runner on base in every inning Thursday, has been leading or tied for the division lead every day this season.
One reason for Boston's struggles is defense; a team that made three errors in the first 16 games has made 11 in the current 1-6 stretch.
Lackey struck out eight in seven innings. He gave up six hits and five runs (one earned).
Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon left the game with a tight right hamstring and is day-to-day. Replacement Eduardo Escobar booted Will Middlebrooks' grounder for a rare Twins error. Minnesota was trying to reach 12 straight error-free games for the first time since 2002.
The misplay left runners on first and second with one out in the eighth, but Jared Burton struck out Stephen Drew and pinch hitter Mike Carp to end the inning.
Lackey, making his third start since coming off the disabled list from a right biceps injury and only his fourth start since last year's Tommy John surgery, retired the first eight hitters, with the eighth out coming on Aaron Hicks's liner back to the mound. On the next pitch, Florimon singled through the box and then stole second, but Brian Dozier grounded out to end the inning.
Correia got the first two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Shane Victorino lined one of the glove of leaping first baseman Justin Mornwau and hustled to second for a double. Pedroia singled up the middle on the next pitch and it was 1-0.
More two-out work put Boston ahead 2-0 in the fourth. Daniel Nava singled with one out and moved up on Middlebrooks' groundout. Drew followed with a single up the middle to deliver the run.
The Twins broke through against Lackey with a run in the fifth. With one out, Arcia tripled to deep center and scored when Hicks doubled to deep right.
NOTES: Middlebrooks and C David Ross returned after missing a game with injuries suffered in their Tuesday collision. ... Red Sox RHP Joel Hanrahan was moved from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list and was headed to see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his right forearm. Manager John Farrell said the best-case scenario would be 60 days of treatment, rest and rehab, but it sounds like Tommy John (or some) surgery is likely. ... RHP Jose De La Torre was added to Boston's roster and recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, with Wednesday night starter and loser Allen Webster returned to the minors. ... The great Ryan Doumit hit controversy raged into its second day, and the Twins DH/catcher now gets credit for three hits, not four, after Wednesday night's baserunning adventure that ended in a double play. It was originally scored a fielder's choice, then changed after the game, then changed back Thursday. ... LHP Pedro Hernandez, chased from Wednesday night's start after two innings, pitched despite the death of his cousin in Venezuela. Hernandez could have left the team but decided to stay and pitch ... A 10-game road trip over, the Twins host the Orioles over the weekend, with RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-3) going against RHP Jason Hammel (5-1) on Friday night. LHP Jon Lester takes his 4-0 record into Boston's home series opener against Toronto, which counters with veteran RHP Ramon Ortiz, making his first start for the team. ... Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe invited four Watertown, Mass., police officers (involved in the Boston Marathon bomber capture) to be his guests Thursday. ... Heavy downpours hit less than two hours before game time, but the game started on time.