Twins blank Red Sox, 5-0

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Twins blank Red Sox, 5-0

BOSTON -- This one can't be blamed on Jon Lester.
In his best start in a month, Lester allowed three runs over eight innings, but his teammates produced just two hits as the Red Sox were shut out by the Minnesota Twins, 5-0.
It was the fifth time this season that the Sox have been held scoreless.
Worse, they were beaten by 29-year-old journeyman Sam Deduno, who was making just his fifth career start in the majors. The Sox didn't collect a hit off him until Adrian Gonzalez doubled to left with one out in the fourth. The only other hit off Deduno was also by Gonzalez -- a two-out single in the sixth.
Deduno walked four in six innings, but the Sox couldn't capitalize on his wildness, going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
The Twins, who entered the night with third-worst record in the league, used two two-out hits off Lester to score twice in the third. A two-out double by Ryan Doumit in the sixth accounted for the third run off Lester.
Brian Dozier added a two-run homer off Alfredo Aceves in the ninth to pad the lead.
The loss was the second straight for the Red Sox and dropped them back to the .500 mark (53-53). They dropped to 15-25 in games started by Lester and Josh Beckett.

STAR OF THE GAME: Sam DedunoMaking just the fifth start of his major league career, Deduno limited the Sox to just two hits -- both by Adrian Gonzalez -- through six innings, becoming the first Twins pitcher since Scott Erickson in 1992 to throw at least six innings with two hits or fewer.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brian DozierThe Minnesota shortstop collected three hits, scored twice and knocked in two runs. His two-run homer in the ninth off reliever Alfredo Aceves sealed the victory for Minnesota.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Red Sox offenseGive Deduno credit, but some blame must go to the Red Sox for being shut out. The Sox were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and didn't take advantage of the four walks Deduno issued.

TURNING POINT: In the sixth inning, the Sox got a two-out single from Gonzalez followed by a walk, but couldn't capitalize. They didn't get a baserunner over the final three innings.
BY THE NUMBERS: Adrian Gonzalez has walked in three straight games after going without a walk in the previous 29 games.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I threw the hell out of the ball tonight. I don't think I've thrown in better all year.'' Jon Lester.

McAdam: Will this be Clay Buchholz's last start?

McAdam: Will this be Clay Buchholz's last start?

With Wright and Rodriguez set to return, Sean McAdam joins SNC to discuss whether Tuesday’s game against the Rays will be the last start for Clay Buchholz.

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz hopes he's made a case to stay in rotation

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz hopes he's made a case to stay in rotation

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 win over Tampa Bay Rays.

 

QUOTES:

"I didn't know I could really do that.'' - Mookie Betts, who marveled at his throw from the right field corner which nailed Kevin Kiermaier -- attempting to stretch a double into a triple -- at third in the eighth inning.

"He's playing a huge role for us right now. He's stepped in, he's built his arm strength and given us almost 13 very strong innings the last two outings.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"I don't know that we ever lost faith in the talent of Clay. He was in a rut for quite some time. . . But the jolt that he's given us from the spot starts he's made, he's kept us rolling.'' - Farrell on Buchholz.

"You'd have to ask John about that. I have no idea. I've tried to make the most of (the opportunity) and if a decision has to be made, make it a hard one.'' - Buchholz, when asked if he's made a case to stay in the rotation.

 

NOTES:

* The Red Sox improved to a season-best 17 games over .500

* The win was just the fourth for the Red Sox this season when scoring two or one runs.

* The win was the first for Clay Buchholz as a starter since May 9.

* David Ortiz moved into sixth place on the Red Sox' all-time hit list, passing Bobby Doerr with 2.043 hits.

* Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 10 games and has reached base in 16 straight.

* Andrew Benintendi recorded his eighth multi-hit game, the first Red Sox player to do so in his first 20 games since Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007

* Mookie Betts recorded his 10th outdield assist, placing him third among major league right fielders.

* Craig Kimbrel has a 1.08 ERA in save situations this year and 6.06 in non-save situations.

* Kimbrel has recorded a save in each of his last five appearances.

 

STARS:

1) Clay Buchholz

To say that this was Buchholz's best start of the season is to damn with faint praise, since there haven't been many good ones. But this was very good: 6 1/3 innings, one run on five hits with a season-high nine strikeouts.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts has only been a pro outfielder for a little more than two years, but that didn't look to be the case when he fired a strike from the right field corner to cut down a baserunner at third with one out in the eighth inning.

3) Craig Kimbrel

Kimbrel was dominant in the ninth, protecting a one-run lead with two strikeouts and a soft lineout to left.