John Lackey pitched six strong innings and Will Middlebrooks and Dustin Pedroia homered as the Red Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-1 in a game delayed by rain for three hours in the middle of the seventh inning.
With the win Boston swept the three game series and paid the Twins back after Minnesota came to Fenway Park in early May and won 3 out of 4 games.
Middlebrooks homered in the top of the first to put Boston up 1-0 and Lackey pitched very well, retiring the first twelve batters he faced.
The Twins only run off Lackey came in the fifth when Pedro Ciriaco could not complete a double play and threw wide of first base allowing Trevor Plouffe to come around and score. The important stat for Lackey, though, was no walks in the game to go along with five strikeouts and only one hit allowed.
After Saturday night’s pitching debacle in which starter Ryan Dempster walked six and couldn’t get out of the fifth inning in a game the Sox won 12-5, it was good to see Lackey settle things down.
Why this game was resumed after thunderstorms moved in prior to the bottom of the seventh inning is anyone’s guess. The Twins are going nowhere this year and the Sox needed to catch their flight to Chicago. If the score was reversed you can be sure the game probably would have been called right away.
Pedroia rubbed salt in the Twins wound after the ridiculous rain delay by hitting a two-run homer in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
The Red Sox have won five straight on this important road trip after losing the first game in Tampa. They are now 14-7 on the road and will try to keep it going tomorrow night in Chicago in the first of three against the White Sox as Jon Lester opposes Dylan Axelrod at 8:10.