BOSTON -- A rough series defensively for Twins third baseman Miguel Sano concluded with his most costly error yet, as he couldn't field a grounder that proved to be a four-run swing for the Red Sox.
Sano, who entered having made errors in back-to-back games and also had a pop fly land behind him Saturday, couldn't handle a grounder from Aaron Hill with two outs and two on in the fifth, allowing a run to score. Five pitches later Travis Shaw deposited a curveball from Tommy Milone into the right-field seats, which turned out to be crucial in Minnesota's 8-7 loss at Fenway Park.
"To turn what could've been a one-run deficit to get out of there into being down five runs, it was a big swing in the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Unearned runs are painful. It's tough when you can't get off the field."
It was a rough inning for the Twins, as Dustin Pedroia homered with one out and Xander Bogaerts followed with a single before getting picked off by Milone. But after a review, Bogaerts was safe in his attempt to get to second on the pickoff, which helped spark the rally.
"The pickoff, you can't really fault anybody on that play, but you'd like to see an out recorded," Molitor said.
But it was Sano's error with two outs that was the most critical, and he took the blame, but said his confidence about his defense remains high despite his recent struggles.
"That ball was a low line drive and I tried to stay down, but the last bounce it went high," Sano said. "It's bad for me, and the team. He was pitching really good. When I'm in the field, I try to play really hard and catch every ball."
Milone admitted it was tough to see Sano not make the play, but blamed himself for not regrouping against Shaw. He got Shaw in a 2-2 count, but hung a breaking ball that Shaw was sitting on.
"Regardless of what's going on, I have to do my best to make pitches," Milone said. "I felt like I was making pitches that at-bat but just not that one."
Sano was also involved in a tough play in the third, when Bogaerts hit a soft liner toward him, but Sano couldn't quite handle it while trying to make a diving catch. It put two runners on for the Red Sox, and Hanley Ramirez promptly connected on a three-run homer.
"It hit my glove," Sano said. "When I reacted to the ball, I thought the line drive was going a little more fast, and I tried to dive for the ball but at the last second it hit my glove. I did all I could."