It was another frustrating night of baseball for the Red Sox in Minnesota. Once again, the offense had chances to score but squandered opportunity after opportunity. This time it was Lance Lynn frustrating the Red Sox, and he struggled with control all night but Boston couldn’t make him pay. This lineup is just in a major funk right now, and while I think it’s mostly nothing to worry about that doesn’t ease the frustration as you watch it happen in real time. In slightly better news, David Price was solid despite not looking his best and picking up the loss. They could have used one of his truly dominant outings, but that this was the result when he didn’t have his best stuff or command is, in a way, encouraging.
It was a continuation of Tuesday’s effort at the plate for the Red Sox offense against Lance Lynn, which is certainly not a compliment. It’s not that Lynn was overly dominant or anything, as the Red Sox got plenty of runners on base and had chances to get big rallies going. They just couldn’t come through. To be fair, control was the issue for Lynn and he did induce a lot of weak contact, and it’s hard to really sustain rallies when you are trying to rely on weak batted balls finding holes. Still, Boston hitters had a few good pitches to hit that they straight-up missed.
Right off the bat, they had a chance to get an early lead and try to get the bad taste out of their mouth that lingered from Tuesday. After a couple of quick outs to start the game the Red Sox got a two-out double from Xander Bogaerts with J.D. Martinez coming to the plate. The slugger, as would be a theme all night, could not come through. He struck out in an ugly at bat and the inning ended without a run.
Boston entered the second suddenly trailing 1-0, and this time they were able to come through, though it wasn’t exactly pretty. They got walks from Mitch Moreland and Brock Holt with one out in between, and after a Christian Vazquez pop up it was up to Jackie Bradley Jr. with two outs. It looked like he would squander the opportunity with a ground ball to first base, but Logan Morrison’s throw to the covering Lynn got away and Bradley was safe at first with Moreland coming around to score. The game was tied thanks to an error and Boston still had runners on the corners with Mookie Betts coming up. This was the most frustrating point of the game. Bradley went for a steal and the Twins didn’t throw through. However, Holt got caught sleeping off of third base and was eventually cut down in a rundown to end the inning. It was an inexcusable mistake, to be frank.
The third was the least frustrating inning against Lynn, which says more about the other innings. The top of the lineup was up and Betts started things off with a single, but the 2-3-4 hitters for Boston all grounded out to end the inning. In the fourth, Moreland and Rafael Devers kicked things off with back-to-back walks to put two on with nobody out, but Holt grounded into a double play and Vazquez struck out to squander that chance. The fifth saw two walks for the first three batters, and Martinez had a chance with runners on the corners with two outs, but once again he failed to come through.
Meanwhile, Price was trying to keep up with Lynn and at least keep his struggling offense within striking distance. The lefty wasn’t quite as dominant as he’d been of late and his command was certainly more inconsistent in this game, but other than two big swings he mostly did the job. It’s worth pointing out that Price leaned more heavily on his offspeed pitches in this game. I think that was more a result of not having full confidence in the fastball/cutter than just trying to change the gameplan.
Things got off to a bad start as quickly as possible for Price as Robbie Grossman did damage to lead off the bottom of the first. Price caught a little too much of the plate on a cutter down and in and the Twins right smashed it into the bullpen in left-center field for a solo shot. Just like that, it was 1-0 Minnesota.
Price settled in for a bit after that home run, allowing an infield single in that first inning and a regular single in the second. Things got a bit dicey in the third but the southpaw was able to pitch around a two-out triple from Eddie Rosario in that inning. He wasn’t so fortunate in the fourth. There, Brian Dozier led things off with a double and after a Logan Morrison walk the Twins had two on with nobody out. Price was able to induce a huge double play in the next at bat, but he couldn’t get the final out. Instead, he threw a changeup in and off the plate to Max Kepler, but the outfielder was still able to turn on it and send it way out to right field for a two-run shot to break the 1-1 tie and put the Twins up by two.
Price would ultimately make it through a couple more scoreless innings before ending his night after six at exactly 100 pitches. He allowed just the three runs — all of which came on homers — on seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Like I said, it wasn’t overly dominant, but it will certainly do.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox offense was going up against the Twins bullpen. They went down 1-2-3 in the sixth against the left-handed Taylor Rogers, and were only able to manage a two-out single against old friend Addison Reed in the seventh.
After Heath Hembree tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh, it was Trevor Hildenberger on for the Twins in the eighth. The Red Sox would go down in order yet again.
Brian Johnson would come in for the ninth, and he allowed a walk and a double that led to another run for the Twins. With the 4-1 lead, Minnesota turned to Fernando Rodney to close this out. The Red Sox went down quickly and quietly, and that was the game.
The Red Sox will finish off their road trip on Thursday as they try to avoid a sweep and salvage a winning record on this ten-game trip. They’ll be sending Rick Porcello to the mound to take on Kyle Gibson. First pitch on this getaway day is at 1:10 PM ET.