Clay Buchholz and Stephen Drew combined to play stopper and halt the Red Sox’ losing streak at three. Drew hit a game tying home run in the seventh and then a game winning double in the eleventh to give the Sox the walk off win.
The game began with Buchholz seemingly unable to find the sharp command he usually has. After getting a quick first out, he surrendered two straight wall-ball doubles courtesy of Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham, followed by a Justin Morneau single, and all of a sudden the Twins were up 2-0. After a brief visit from pitching coach Juan Nieves, the real Clay Buchholz seemed to show up. Twins rookies Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks helped Buchholz out by swinging at some bad pitches and eventually both striking out.
The two rookies would start a string of nine in a row retired by the tall righthander. However, with one out in the fourth, Arcia and Hicks would come back to bite Buchholz with back to back doubles into the corner in right field which put the Twins up 3-0. Shane Victorino then led off the bottom of the frame with his first home run of the year, a ball which wrapped around Pesky’s pole in right.
The shaky version of Buchholz came back out in the top of the fifth as a string of a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly once again put the Twins in the lead by 3. With one run on the board, the Sox started working in the fifth, scoring a second run thanks to Daniel Nava’s double and a Drew single. Then in the sixth, Victorino scored courtesy of Mike Napoli, putting the Red Sox within one.
Drew kept the ball rolling in the seventh, hooking a 3-1 offering into the stands in right to tie the ball game for the first time since the first inning. Drew’s equalizer prevented Clay Buchholz from taking his first loss of the year. The righty gave the Sox six innings, walking two and striking out nine, while giving up four runs on seven hits. In the eighth, Dustin Pedroia launched his first home run of the year into the Monster seats to give the Sox the 5-4 lead.
Yet, Joel Hanrahan, not to be outdone, came into the ninth, got the first out and promptly surrendered a solo shot to Brian Dozier, tying it at five in the ninth. However, Hanrahan would leave the game with an apparent arm injury, and Clayton Mortensen, fresh off a loss to Texas, was called in to finish the inning.
With two outs in the eleventh inning, the Sox hit their groove. Twins reliever Jared Burton botched the throw on a swinging bunt by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, allowing Salty to reach safely. Salty moved to second on a single by Will Middlebrooks. Then, with a runner in scoring position, Drew stepped in and doubled to left, over the head of Twins outfielder Ryan Doumit. Saltalamacchia scampered home, and the Sox walked off with their twenty-first win of the season.
Tags: Boston Red Sox