Red Sox beat Twins in extra innings, 3-2

Red Sox beat Twins in extra innings, 3-2
May 17, 2013, 11:15 pm
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MINNEAPOLIS – The Red Sox needed 10 innings, but extended their win streak to three games Friday night, beating the Twins, 3-2, at Target Field. It is their longest winning streak since five in a row from April 24-28.
 
Clay Buchholz cruised through the first two innings, Friday night at Target Field. He needed just 28 pitches (18 strikes) to retire the first six batters he faced, the last five on strikeouts.
 
The Sox offense gave the right-hander a slim one-run lead in the first when Daniel Nava singled with one out off Twins starter Vance Worley, taking second on a throwing error by second baseman Brian Dozier. With two outs, David Ortiz’ single to right scored Nava.
 
But neither starter was involved in the decision. Buchholz went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts and a home run. He threw 110 pitches, 72 strikes, as his ERA went from 1.69 to 1.78. Worley went six innings, giving up one unearned run on six hits with three walks and a strikeout. He lowered his ERA from 7.15 to 6.20.
 
Trevor Plouffe opened the third with a double off Buchholz. After Buchholz got Aaron Hicks to ground out to Dustin Pedroia, he gave up a first-pitch, two-run home run to Twins No. 9 batter Pedro Florimon on a curveball into the seats near the right field foul pole. It was just the first home run Buchholz had allowed since his first start of the season, April 3 in Yankee Stadium. It was also just Florimon’s second home run of the season, both against the Sox.
 
Buchholz worked into and out of a couple of jams after that. With two outs in the fourth, he issued back-to-back walks to Ryan Doumit and Oswaldo Arcia. After a visit from pitching coach Juan Nieves, Buchholz struck out Plouffe, ending the threat.
 
He had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth on two singles and a walk, before getting out of the inning, striking out Josh Willingham and getting Justin Morneau to fly out.
 
The Sox’ offense also squandered several chances. They had runners on in each of the second through sixth innings, but could not score.  Dustin Pedroia grounded into inning ending double plays in the third and the fifth.
 
But Worley left the game after the sixth. Brian Duensing replaced him, giving up a lead-off walk to Jonny Gomes. After Mike Carp struck out, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury hit consecutive singles, scoring Gomes to tie the game. After Nava struck out, Duensing was replaced by Casey Fien, who got Pedroia to pop out to end the inning.
 
The Sox missed another opportunity in the eighth. With Jared Burton pitching, Mike Carp was called out on strikes with Stephen Drew on second and Gomes on first.
 
In the 10th, facing Josh Roenicke, the Sox loaded the bases with one out, after Pedroia led off with a single and David Ortiz walked. Will Middlebrooks bunted the runners over with the first sacrifice bunt of his career. After Drew was intentionally walked, Gomes' sacrifice fly scored Pedroia with the go-ahead run.
 
Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the season. Alex Wilson threw two pitches in the ninth, to get Plouffe to fly out, ending the inning. Wilson earned the win, his first of the season.
 
Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless 10th, with two strikeouts, to earn the save, his first of the season.
 
AT A GLANCE
 
STAR OF THE GAME: Clay Buchholz
Although he was not involved in the decision, Buchholz went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and three walks, with nine strikeouts. He retired the first six batters he faced, the final five in that stretch on strikeouts. He gave up two runs in the third, giving up his first home run since his first start of the season on April 3. He struggled over the next two innings with runners on base in each inning, but kept the Twins off the scoreboard, retiring the final eight batters he faced.
 
HONORABLE MENTION: Will Middlebrooks
Although Middlebrooks went 0-for-4, he executed the first successful sacrifice bunt of his career, and first since 2008, his first professional season, with Low-A Lowell. The bunt moved runners to second and third with one out in the 10th, setting up an intentional walk to Stephen Drew, and a sacrifice fly by Jonny Gomes, scoring the go-ahead run.
 
THE GOAT: Josh Roenicke
Roenicke entered in relief for the Twins in the 10th. But he allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base, Dusting Pedroia on a single and David Ortiz on a walk, before Middlebrooks’ sacrifice bunt.
 
THE TURNING POINT:
With one out and two runners on in the fifth, Buchholz struck out Josh Willingham, looking. It was the first out in a string of retiring the final eight batters Buchholz faced, and a string of 17 consecutive Twins batters retired by Sox pitchers through the end of the game.
 
BY THE NUBMERS: 17
Sox pitchers retired the final 17 Twins batters of the game.
 
QUOTE OF NOTE:
“You never think two pitches is going to get you a win, but you’ll take it when you can get it.” --Alex Wilson, on his first major league win, after throwing just two pitches to get the final out of the ninth.