By Kerry Walls and Brian Hall
Special to MLB.com |
MINNEAPOLIS -- Xander Bogaerts, who went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs, scored the go-ahead run after some heads-up baserunning as the Red Sox pounded the Twins, 15-4, on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
The Red Sox, who scored five runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, staked starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a 4-0 lead before he threw a pitch. Jackie Bradley Jr. capped the first inning with a three-run homer to right off Twins starter Kyle Gibson.
"I think we're a pretty special offense," Bradley said. "We've been able to score a lot of runs. We've been able to put together a lot of great at-bats. When somebody doesn't get the job done, we have a whole lot of faith in the next person that they're going to get the job done."
Minnesota's offense came in the form of a three-run homer by Kurt Suzuki in the fourth and a sacrifice fly from Trevor Plouffe in the fifth to tie the game at 4. Gibson, making his first start since April 22, allowed five runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"I think there was some pitches made in the first inning that were some good pitches," Gibson said. "Obviously, the pitch to Bradley was the one that set everything off and really caused the outing to go from a decent outing to a really good team to a below-average outing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Quick thinking: Bogaerts nearly single-handledly was responsible for the eventual game-winning run. He opened the sixth with his second hit. When David Ortiz grounded to second with Minnesota in a shift, Bogaerts didn't simply stop at second. A throw from second baseman Brian Dozier was late to shortstop Eduardo Nunez covering second. Bogaerts, before he even reached the base, rounded the bag and went straight to third with no Twins player there to cover. Ortiz was thrown out at first, but Bogaerts (8-for-10 in the series with two homers and seven RBIs) was in position to score the tiebreaking run on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez.
"Never have I seen a guy round the base and just really didn't care about sliding at all," Gibson said. "It's a heads-up play by him and I wasn't able to make the same heads-up play and keep it from going." More >
A short start: Rodriguez made his third start since coming off the disabled list. Rodriguez, who dealt with a right patella subluxation (partial dislocation), had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 4 2/3 innings. Rodriguez was cruising early and was clocked as high as 96 mph in the first. But he ran into trouble in the fourth and couldn't finish the fifth. He gave up four runs on six hits and four walks. He's allowed 11 runs in his three starts, spanning 16 1/3 innings.
"He's coming off an unusual break in time, and it's almost like he's getting back into pitching shape at this level," Boston manager John Farrell said of Rodriguez. "You can't replicate this setting. He's got a few games under his belt, but he's still working toward refining it all."
Suzuki's two-out thunder: Suzuki roped a Rodriguez changeup into the left-field seats for a two-out, three-run homer in the fourth, pulling the Twins to within a run with his second long ball of 2016.
Arcia's drop opens floodgates: A Dustin Pedroia fly ball to the warning track in right seemed to be a routine play for Oswaldo Arcia until it dropped out of his glove at the last minute. Bogaerts then followed with a two-run homer, and Boston erupted with its first of back-to-back five-run innings.
"After I dropped the ball, the game took a whole different direction," Arcia said. "I know that's my fault." More >
"It's kind of a learn by failure. I'm going to do my best to not let it happen again. I just got caught watching the play, really. It's just not something you think about." -- Gibson, on his role in Bogaerts' dash
"Yeah. I'm 100 percent sure, yeah." -- Leon, on whether Saturday was his best game in the Majors. It was the first four-hit game of his career and he's 5-for-5 since being recalled from Triple-A
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello (7-2, 4.04 ERA) wraps up the series, and the road trip, Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET as Boston eyes a three-game sweep. Porcello has gone without a decision in his last three starts after nine consecutive decisions. Porcello has allowed 12 runs in 18 2/3 innings during his past three starts.
Twins: Lefty Pat Dean makes his fifth start in the finale Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT at Target Field. He allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Marlins on June 7. After surrendering four runs over 13 innings in his first two starts, the southpaw has given up eight runs over his past 9 1/3 innings.