BOSTON Filling in for the ailing Josh Beckett and making his first start since July 13, Franklin Morales accomplished what no other starting pitcher was able to do in the four-game series against the Twins: He won.
The Red Sox beat the Twins, 6-4, at Fenway Park Sunday afternoon, ending their four-game losing streak.
It was also the first win by a starting pitcher since Clay Buchholz beat the Tigers on July 30.
Morales went six innings, giving up one run on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches, 63 for strikes, lowering his overall ERA from 3.32 to 3.14.
In six starts this season, Morales is 3-1, while the Sox are 4-2 in those games. Spanning 32 13 innings, he has allowed 11 earned runs for a 3.06 ERA, giving up 25 hits and 11 walks with 35 strikeouts.
The Sox offense came together for 14 hits, led by Adrian Gonzalez, who went 2-for-3 with three RBI, a run scored, a home run and an intentional walk. It was his second intentional walk in the last three games after receiving just one intentional pass this season.
Gonzalezs two-run home run into the Monster seats in the fifth inning scored Carl Crawford who singled. It was Gonzalezs 11th home run of the season.
On his 31st birthday, Crawford went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Twins put a scare into the Sox in the ninth with Vicente Padilla on the mound. Josh Willingham led off with a home run, his 28th of the season, to straightway center. After a walk to Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit crushed his 11th home run into the bleachers behind the visitors bullpen in right, cutting the Sox lead to two runs.
But Alfredo Aceves came in, retiring the next three batters, to preserve the win, earning his 23rd save.
The Sox opened the scoring with two runs in the third. Mike Aviles led off with a single to center, taking third on Jacoby Ellsbury's double to left. Aviles scored on Crawfords groundout to shortstop. Consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez scored Ellsbury, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The Twins got a run in fifth when Alexi Casilla walked to lead off, stole second, went to third on Jamey Carrolls ground out, and scored on Ben Reveres sacrifice fly.
The Sox added a run in the seventh when Crawford led off with a single, taking second on Pedroias groundout. After an intentional walk to Gonzalez, Cody Ross single to center scored Crawford, giving the Sox a 5-1 lead.
The Sox got another run in the third when Ryan Kalish doubled with one out off reliever Luis Perdomo, stole second and scored on Ellsburys sacrifice fly.
Nick Blackburn took the loss for the Twins, falling to 4-7 with a 7.42 ERA. He went five innings, giving up four runs on nine hits, with no walks, four strikeouts, and a home run.