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Happy Birthday!: Adrian Gonzalez Leads Red Sox' Offensive Explosion

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For most of America, today is Mother's Day; a day to appreciate those who gave us life, and swing pink bats. For Adrian Gonzalez, however, it also happens to be his birthday. 

Today he celebrated at the plate.

Unfortunately, it was not a special day for everyone. For Daisuke Matsuzaka, it was business as usual, digging the Red Sox an early hole thanks to a first inning that was as much bad pitching as it was bad luck. By the time he had recorded the third out, the Twins led by 3-0, and Matsuzaka's pitch count was sky high, especially with the Red Sox' bullpen still in flux.

The Red Sox would piece together a run in the second inning, scoring Kevin Youkilis with a pair of ground balls after a leadoff double. But it was the third inning that set them off. It started with Carl Crawford tripling off the Monster in left-center, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Jason Varitek provided the Sox with some situational hitting they had been sorely lacking with a ground ball out to the right side of the infield to score Crawford and bring the Sox within one run. 

Up came Jacoby Ellsbury, and another hitting streak grew by one game--up to 17 for the young center fielder, who started a new rally with a single. Dustin Pedroia walked, and up came birthday boy Adrian Gonzalez. He didn't waste much time in tying the game, taking the second pitch he saw back up the middle to score Ellsbury. The Twins almost escaped the inning on the Kevin Youkilis ground ball that followed, but Youk beat out the throw to first, allowing David Ortiz and J.D. Drew to follow with back-to-back singles, capping off the four run inning and giving the Sox a 5-3 lead.

Daisuke immediately gave a run back on a homer off the foul pole in left, but then settled down. The same could not be said for Twins starter Carl Pavano, who gave up the second hit of the day to Adrian Gonzalez: an effortless opposite field home run. A second run would score in the inning after an error on an attempted double play scoring Kevin Youkilis (he would touch home plate four times on the day).

The Red Sox added two more runs in the seventh, thanks to Gonzalez' third hit and a two run double from Jed Lowrie. But they wouldn't need it. The Twins only picked up one more run thanks to a fluke of a double off of Matt Albers, and Daniel Bard closed the game out, with defensive replacement Jose Iglesias recording the last out of the game--and the first of his career--on a ground out from Alexi Casilla