The Red Sox offense put up another loss-worthy effort Monday night, scoring just one run against a pitcher in Kevin Correia with an ERA north of 5.00. But Rubby De La Rosa refused to be the tough-luck loser, holding the Twins to just one hit in seven innings of shutout baseball en route to a 1-0 win.
Rubby went ahead and got his baserunners out of the way early. After Danny Santana led off the game with a groundout, De La Rosa threw eight of his next eleven pitches for balls, walking both Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer to put himself in immediate distress. After going to 2-1 against Josh Willingham, however, Rubby was bailed out by the Minnesota outfielder grounding to third, where Xander Bogaerts started an inning-ending double play to get him out of trouble.
Gifted new life, De La Rosa did not manage to stay out of trouble for long. Relying heavily on his changeup, Boston's starter managed to induce four more ground balls before walking Sam Fuld on five pitches in the third. With Fuld stealing second base and Danny Santana singling behind him, the Red Sox nearly saw an all-important run cross for the Twins, but a heads-up cutoff from Mike Napoli by the pitcher's mound caught Santana between first and second, ultimately leading to Sam Fuld being tagged out by third base after a series of rundowns.
From there, however, the Twins could do nothing. De La Rosa ended the third by inducing a ground ball off the bat of Brian Dozier, then proceeded to retire the next twelve batters he faced. The Twins could manage only a couple of hard hit outs, never actually getting anything past the defense, striking out three batters in the process. Rubby was not as on as he was against the Rays, but it turns out when you don't give up hits, good things happen.
That, unfortunately, was a lesson Kevin Correia learned well. Because once again Boston's offense just did not show up. Through the first two innings, the Red Sox had only a pair of lineouts to their name. Even when Stephen Drew doubled to lead off the third, the combined efforts of the bottom of the order couldn't so much as move him to third. The fourth inning saw no improvement, with the heart of the order going down 1-2-3.
Ultimately, though, with Rubby keeping the Twins off the board, the Red Sox only needed one small attack to actually get the job done. It came in the fifth, with Daniel Nava singling and Stephen Drew moving him to third with a base hit of his own, even as the shortstop was gunned down at second. That would be Boston's last baserunner of the inning, but with Nava reaching third, Boston needed only a sacrifice fly from A.J. Pierzynski to take the 1-0 lead.
Maintaining that lead was not always easy. Entering the eighth with one out, Badenhop quickly surrendered a single and double to Kurt Suzuki and Sam Fuld respectively before hitting Danny Santana to load the bases. Finally, though, facing his fifth batter of the night, Badenhop got Brian Dozier to foul tip a slider into A.J. Pierzynski's glove, ending the threat. Unsurprisingly, Koji Uehara produced rather less drama, wrapping the win up nicely with a 1-2-3 ninth.