BOSTON -- Twins starter Trevor May turned in a dominant performance to help his team salvage a doubleheader split with the Red Sox, notching a 2-0 victory in Wednesday's nightcap at Fenway Park.
May (4-3, 4.45 ERA) held Boston to just two hits over seven innings. Both of the hits -- a single by Carlos Peguero and a double by Dustin Pedroia -- came in the third inning. The righty retired the last 13 batters he faced.
"That might be as well as I've seen him pitch in terms of command [and] first-pitch strikes," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "No walks. He had a couple three-ball counts along the way. They weren't just first-pitch strikes, they were quality strikes. Pitches that they really couldn't do a lot with if they would have decided to offer."
Rick Porcello also had a strong night for Boston, aside from a brief hiccup in the top of the second, when he allowed both of his runs. The big hit was an RBI double by Chris Herrmann.
"Very little history with May," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We've got all the video you can watch. Nothing replaces first-hand experience and at-bats against a given pitcher. But he was very good. He didn't miss much over the middle of the plate, and when he did, we fouled some pitches off.
"Particularly today, there's really no opportunity to work counts. You've got to swing the bat. Both sides were pitching with a very big strike zone. You've got to be aggressive."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED May-gnificent: May's pitches were on point throughout his start as he flustered Red Sox hitters time and again. He recorded a season-high nine strikeouts, issued no walks and allowed only two batters to reach base en route to the first scoreless outing of his career.
"[Command] is the name of the game," May said. "Something I didn't do well in the last start -- sometimes really battling and laboring at times. Kind of having quicker and smoother innings, just getting ahead of guys, giving yourself a chance to make good pitches and put them away." More >
Porcello bounces back: After two straight shaky starts, Porcello found his groove, giving up five hits and two runs over eight innings, walking none and striking out five. It was the second time Porcello has gone eight innings this season. Thanks to Boston's lack of firepower, Porcello (4-5, 5.01 ERA) took a tough-luck loss.
"The most encouraging thing, I thought, was in the middle and later innings, the two-seamer was in the right part of the zone, down," said Farrell. "He put the ball on the ground a number of times. We just couldn't get anything going offensively, but Rick certainly gave us an opportunity tonight." More >
Finding a way: The Twins scratched across their only runs of the game in the second inning. Herrmann smacked a double off the Green Monster to score Eddie Rosario, who reached base on a leadoff single, giving his team a one-run lead.
Two batters later, with runners on the corners, Danny Santana pulled off a safety squeeze bunt that plated Herrmann from third.
"[The double] was a huge part of our minimal offensive output tonight," Molitor said.
Boston bats go silent: After a solid performance in the Game 1 victory, Boston's bats went into near silent mode in the nightcap, producing just two hits -- and none after the third inning. The last 19 Boston batters recorded outs.
"Certainly it's what we didn't expect, I can tell you that, going into the game," said Farrell. "That's not to take anything away from May. He stayed in the corners, he was down, he had good stuff, threw pitches for strikes. We capitalized on some pitches up in the strike zone in Game 1. We didn't get those today in the nightcap." More >
"We've done well at this juncture. We've been able to minimize any kind of losing streak, basically -- like today, when you think about Boston being here in their park and getting the first couple games of the series after a challenging trip for them, and try to keep it on us." -- Molitor, on bouncing back from two losses to begin the series
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Red Sox starting pitchers are 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA in their last five games at Fenway Park. Overall, the rotation has a 3.29 ERA and a .224 opponents batting average in 21 games since May 13, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 16 of those games.
• Since starting the year 0-3, the Twins have dropped consecutive games in a row only four times this season. None of those streaks have lasted longer than three games.
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: For Thursday's series finale, the Twins will recall left-hander Tommy Milone from Triple-A Rochester for the 3:05 p.m. CT start. Milone has allowed 13 earned runs in two career starts at Fenway.
Red Sox: The Red Sox will be right back out there Thursday at 4:05 p.m. ET for the finale of this four-game series. Knuckleballer Steven Wright makes the start.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.