Red Sox 6, Twins 4: The Hard Way

Before the first inning I called this a "lose-lose" game.

If the Red Sox won, then they just barely dodged a sweep at the hands of the Twins and ended a four-game losing streak. Nothing to be proud of, exactly.

If the Red Sox lost, they would have just been swept by the Twins, dropping to three below .500 and extending their losing streak to five games. That would have been pretty rock-bottom stuff, so at the very least they managed to avoid it with a 6-4 win, but man if they didn't manage to walk the line.

Credit where credit is due, a lot of the team was downright good today. Carl Crawford had three hits, providing a legitimate spark and even driving in a run with one of the two outs he made. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to left field to keep a legitimate drought from forming again. The only player who didn't have a hit was Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and frankly he was robbed a couple times by strong defensive plays.

Franklin Morales, meanwhile, did a good job of vindicating himself in his return to the rotation. He gave up a few walks, had a lot of full counts, and as a result only made it through six. But he kept the runs off the board aside from one sacrifice fly, and given that he went 106 pitches after nearly a month out of the rotation, these small flaws are easily overlooked.

Heading into the ninth, though, things got messy, and that's what leaves this feeling win even less satisfying than expected. Vicente Padilla entered the game in place of Alfredo Aceves, and the Sox quickly saw their lead shrink by three runs as Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit both took the big man deep. Alfredo Aceves managed to get the outs from there, but it was a dark spot on the game that just wasn't necessary, especially given that Craig Breslow had thrown all of five pitches in recording the last out of the eighth.

Why does every last thing have to be so hard?

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