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Red Sox 7, Twins 6: Martín Pérez racks up the Ks

Things got dicey at the end, but Boston held on.

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox got a second straight win on Sunday, sort of. They split their split-squad games on Saturday, so I’m counting the win as the second game there even though that one technically finished a little before the loss. Sue me! Anyway, yeah, Boston won 7-6 on Sunday. Some notes!

Swing and miss stuff from Martín Pérez

My biggest issue with Martín Pérez as a pitcher has been that he just doesn’t miss enough bats. It’s possible to make that kind of profile work, but it generally takes very good control and/or a lot of good luck. Pérez doesn’t really shine with the former, and the latter can’t really be controlled too much, even if you allow weak contact like he did last year. The way to counteract it is to simply miss more bats, which is about as easy done as Happy Gilmore saying he should just get a hole in one on every hole. Well, Pérez did exactly that on Sunday, at least. The lefty was going up against a bunch of his old teammates (though not everyone in the Twins’ lineup was there on the big league roster last year) and made many of them look silly. There were a few bouts of command issues here and there, but generally speaking it was a very good day. The lefty ended up going four scoreless innings, allowing just four singles and a walk while striking out seven. If nothing else, it’s a really nice way for Pérez to bounce back after a rough one his last time out.

Your daily battle update

Pérez is, of course, locked in as a starter, but the Red Sox did have a couple guys on the mound who fit in as that fifth starter/long reliever mold in Matt Hall and Chris Mazza. Neither was particularly sharp. Hall only threw an inning but got roughed up, allowing a double, two singles and a walk en route to two runs for the Twins. Mazza, meanwhile, had a solid eighth inning in which he did allow a double but nothing else. The ninth was a different story, though, with the righty allowing three singles and a walk while recording only two outs. He was eventually pulled before the inning was over.

Beyond those two, we saw a couple of guys how may be fighting for one bullpen spot. Heath Hembree certainly came into camp with a good hold on a spot, but he hadn’t really done much before this game to firm up that grip. Sunday wasn’t a great showing either. The righty was out there for one inning and allowed one run thanks to two doubles that were hit hard off the wall in left field. Ryan Brasier, meanwhile, was solid in his inning of work, tossing a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout.

Moving on to the infield, it was another missed game for Tzu-Wei Lin. Marco Hernández and Jonathan Araúz both came in off the bench, though. The former went 0-1 while the latter went 1-2 with a single. Behind the plate, Jonathan Lucroy came in as a sub and had a big two-run double in a 1-2 showing while also making a couple of really nice blocks in the ninth to hold the lead.

Other Notes

  • There were a lot of runs scored in this game, but most of the damage was done by the subs. I mentioned Lucroy above, and John Andreoli, Jantzen Witte and Chad De La Guerra came up big, too. The first two had a couple of singles each while the latter had a two-run triple.
  • It was a tough day for Rafael Devers. He struck out in both of his plate appearances with some ugly swings against Kenta Maeda’s splitter. He also made an error on a play where he made a really nice diving stop but his throw to third was off the mark, allowing the runners to advance an extra base.
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  • Also getting hits in this game who have not been mentioned were: Kevin Pillar and Nick Longhi, who had doubles, as well as Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, and Mitch Moreland, who all had singles.
  • Also pitching in this game who has not been mentioned was Durbin Feltman, who came on for Mazza. He gave up an RBI single before ending the game with a fly out. He also got bailed out by Lucroy on a couple of dangerous pitches in the dirt.


Boston plays their first night game of 2020 on Monday as they head up to take on the Braves. That one will get started at 6:05 PM ET, and NESN will have the broadcast.