Dozier backs Gibson as Twins top Red Sox

Dozier backs Gibson as Twins top Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Right-hander Kyle Gibson struck out seven in 3 1/3 strong innings and Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario homered to lead the Twins to a 9-4 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.

Gibson, making his third Grapefruit League start, gave up one run on two hits and a walk before exiting with one out in the fourth inning after reaching his 60-pitch limit. The lone run he gave up came on a homer from Mookie Betts to open the game.

Gibson strikes out Betts

"I feel like I was 1-2 against most guys, and most of my pitches I had decent command of tonight," Gibson said. "I'm not sure if it's the curveball being in the mix making it different, but I feel like that's been a pretty good pitch for me this spring. So I'm pretty excited about that. Now that I'm throwing it more, I feel like it's another pitch they have to think about."

Right-hander Clay Buchholz started for the Red Sox, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks over four innings. The Twins scored against him early, as Miguel Sano drove an RBI double to right-center field in the first. Sano then scored on a single from Trevor Plouffe to give the Twins a 2-1 lead.

Plouffe singles to center

Dozier connected on a solo shot off Buchholz in the third for his second homer of the spring. The second baseman went 2-for-3 and is hitting .435 in Grapefruit League play.

"First time going out there and throwing all of my pitches," Buchholz said. "I'm still feeling for the changeup, obviously. Other than that, I gave up two well-hit balls, a lot of ground-ball outs. 

"This team is aggressive. They've been that way over the last couple of years. You know what you're going to get when you go out there -- early swings and contact. It's not necessarily a bad thing if you can locate your stuff. The first inning, I had a little bit of trouble locating, but I felt like it got better through the next three."

Suzuki loses bat

The highlight of the night for the Red Sox came on defense, when Hanley Ramirez made a spectacular diving stop on a hot shot down the first-base line and took a hit away from Joe Mauer. Ramirez is transitioning from left field to first base this season and is looking more comfortable by the day.

"I got lucky," quipped Ramirez, who went 1-for-3. "Any time we get outs, it's good."

Hanley's diving stop

Rosario padded Minnesota's lead with a two-run blast in the fifth against reliever Koji Uehara after a single from Dozier. The Twins added on in that inning on a two-run double from Byung Ho Park off Uehara. Park, who joined the Twins this offseason after starring in his native Korea, leads Minnesota with nine RBIs in 10 Grapefruit League games.

Rosario's two-run homer

The Twins added a pair of runs in the seventh on RBI singles from non-roster invitees Juan Centeno and Wilfredo Tovar. The Red Sox got on the board again in the eighth, scoring on a throwing error from second baseman Buck Britton.

Up next for the Red Sox: Lefty Henry Owens, in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, starts Thursday's 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Orioles. Tommy Layne, Noe Ramirez and Matt Barnes are expected to see action out of the bullpen. Fans can listen live to an exclusive free webcast on redsox.com.

Up next for the Twins: With back-to-back night games and Trevor May being moved to the bullpen, the Twins are set to use a string of relievers in Thursday night's game against the Orioles in Sarasota. Left-hander Taylor Rogers, who is competing for a spot in the bullpen, gets the start in the 6:05 p.m. CT contest, which will be available live on Gameday Audio. Right-hander Phil Hughes will start in a Minor League game and May will see action in a Minor League game as well.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.