By Rhett Bollinger and Patrick Donnelly
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rick Porcello tossed seven strong innings and received plenty of run support, including a three-run double from Dustin Pedroia and two homers from Chris Young, in an 11-1 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.
Porcello, who had received a combined eight runs of support in his past four starts, was helped by an eight-run second and cruised through his outing. He scattered seven hits, allowing one run on a solo shot from Robbie Grossman in the third. He improved to 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA, getting his first win since Opening Day to snap a streak of five winless starts.
"I just try to keep the same mindset regardless of what the score is," Porcello said. "I'm looking to get the same results either way. I try and be conscious of pounding the strike zone and keeping the tempo of the game going on our side and maintaining that momentum."
The Red Sox beat up on right-hander Nick Tepesch, who was making his first Twins start of the season and his first since April 20 with Triple-A Rochester. Tepesch was charged with seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, but only one was earned because of an error by shortstop Jorge Polanco with two outs.
"I think any time the door's left open for you and you're able to capitalize on it, it's a big boost," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. After Polanco's error, Pedroia's three-run double broke the game open, and four consecutive hits after that all but sealed the Twins' fate.
"I just need to do a better job of getting ahead of hitters and putting them away," Tepesch said. "The biggest thing is getting ahead of hitters more. I fell behind a little bit."
After Sandy Leon homered and the Red Sox put two runners on in the ninth, Twins catcher Chris Gimenez made his second relief appearance of the season. Gimenez retired Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi, needing only four pitches to record the two outs. Gimenez became the first Twins position player to record two scoreless outings in a season since the team moved to Minnesota.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Polanco's costly error: Tepesch induced a routine ground ball to short with two outs in the second, but Polanco couldn't handle it as he looked to toss it to second for a forceout. After Tepesch loaded the bases, Pedroia cleared them with a double. Benintendi followed with a two-run double that knocked Tepesch from the game. Reliever Drew Rucinski made his season debut, but he surrendered an RBI single to Hanley Ramirez and an RBI double to Mitch Moreland.
"We'll never know how it might've changed the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We couldn't make a play and then couldn't get off the field. I don't know if I've ever seen a game where it's 0-2, two outs, nobody on base and then eight runs." More >
Young again: Young's first homer came off Tepesch to open the scoring in the second, and he came through with another solo shot in the fifth off Rucinski. His first homer was crushed, going a projected 430 feet, which was his second-longest of the Statcast™ era going back to 2015. His second homer wasn't hit quite as hard, but it still went a projected 404 feet. It was his 14th-career multihomer game and his first since June 1, 2016.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Eddie Rosario went 0-for-3, ending his career-best 15-game hit streak. It was the second-longest active streak in the Majors behind Mike Trout's 17-game streak.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Left-hander Chris Sale (2-2, 1.38 ERA) has struck out 10 or more batters in each of his past five starts. He'll put that streak on the line on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET against the Twins, a team he knows well from his seven years with the White Sox, Minnesota's American League Central rivals.
Twins: Right-hander Ervin Santana (5-0, 0.66 ERA) has the best ERA in the Majors among starters, and will look to keep it rolling against the Red Sox in the series finale on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT. Santana didn't have his best command last time out, but he tossed six scoreless innings against the A's.