Red Sox 3, Twins 2: Sox strike first and last, win third straight

J. Meric

A tenth inning sacrifice fly from Jonny Gomes was enough to give the Red Sox a third straight victory Friday night.

A tenth-inning sacrifice fly from Jonny Gomes was enough to give the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins Friday night.

While this was not a pitching matchup which promised a close game wih Clay Buchholz taking on Vance Worley, something about the former Philly puzzled the Red Sox once again. Boston would actually get off to a quick start against Worley, with Daniel Nava singling with one out in the first and then advancing to second as Brian Dozier fired an ill-advised throw into the stands. David Ortiz laced a line drive single to right, and just like that the Sox were up 1-0.

That would be all they'd get against Worley, however, thanks largely to a series of double plays. Dustin Pedroia would account for two inning-enders, and Will Middlebrooks quickly erased a leadoff single from Ortiz in the sixth inning, allowing Worley to get through six frames with only one unearned run on the board despite walking three and striking out just one.

Clay Buchholz would not be quite so stingy. Despite having his command perfect early on, Buchholz struggled in the middle innings. A leadoff double from Trevor Plouffe in the third set up Pedro Florimon, who hooked a curveball down and in over the wall in right.to put the Twins ahead 2-1. Buchholz would survive the next two innings despite giving up baserunner after baserunner before finally tightening up to finish the seventh with two earned runs to his name.

Buchholz would not leave in line for the loss, though, because with Worley finally out of the game, the Red Sox went to work on Brian Duensing, A leadoff walk to Jonny Gomes and one-out single from Jarrod Saltalamacchia put men on the corners for Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit a ground ball back up the middle. While for a second there it seemed like the Sox may have just hit into another double play, Florimon could not quite glove the ball, allowing Jonny Gomes to score and the Red Sox to tie the game.

The tie would last through the end of the ninth, but the decisive blow would be struck in the tenth. Up against Josh Roenicke, Dustin Pedroia singled to right and David Ortiz walked to put two men on with zero outs. Not willing to take any risks with another double play, Will Middlebrooks laid down a sacrifice bunt, and after an intentional walk to Stephen Drew, it was Jonny Gomes lifting a fly ball to left-center. Whether Aaron Hicks could have caught Pedroia at home without any interruption, we'll never know. Coming in from left field, Oswaldo Arcia disrupted the catch, forcing Hicks to make an awkward throw home that Pedroia easily beat. Koji Uehara closed out the tenth, and the Red Sox made it three straight wins.

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