Crawford gives Red Sox walk-off win in 11th, 2-1

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Crawford gives Red Sox walk-off win in 11th, 2-1

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Carl Crawford looked like a minor leaguer during his first month in a Red Sox uniform, but he seems to have found his swing in May. His double off the Green Monster in the 11th inning scored pinch runner Jose Iglesias from first base and gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Twins on Monday night.

Josh Beckett turned in another outstanding performance for the Red Sox, going seven scoreless innings. He allowed six hits and a walk with five strikeouts, lowering
his ERA to 1.99.

The Sox took three out of four from the Twins, going 6-5 on the 11-game homestand. They improved their record to 17-18. The last time they were a game under .500 was May 3, at 14-15, before losing the next three games.

Only Luke Hughes past first base while Beckett was on the mound, doing so twice. In the third inning he singled and took second on a walk to Denard Span, Becketts only free pass of the game. In the fifth Hughes singled and stole second, his first steal of the season.

Despite his dominance, Beckett was unable to earn a win, as Alfred Aceves and Jonathan Papelbon combined to allow the Twins to tie the game at 1-1 in the eighth inning.

The Sox scored their first run in the fifth. Jason Varitek led off with a double to left, taking third on Jacoby Ellsburys groundout to second. After Dustin Pedroia grounded out, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left, scoring Varitek. It was Gonzalezs team-high 25th RBI of the season.

Alfredo Aceves came in for the eighth, giving up a one-out single to Span then balking him to second. After Aceves got Matt Tolbert to foul out to Kevin Youkilis at third, manager Terry Francona brought in Jonathan Papelbon to face left-handed hitting Jason Kubel, who entered the game hitting .351 (40-for-114) with three home runs.

Before the at-bat, Kubel had been just 2-for-10 (.200) with two outs and runners in scoring position. But, he got the better of Papelbon. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Kubel singled to center, scoring Span, tying the game. It was Papelbons first blown save of the season.

The Red Sox had a chance in the ninth when Varitek reached base for the third time in the game, on second baseman Hughes two-out error. Darnell McDonald pinch-ran for Varitek, but was caught stealing, ending the inning.

In the 11th, with Jim Hoey on the mound for the Twins, J.D. Drew opened the inning flying out to center, before Jed Lowrie walked. With Iglesias pinch-running, Crawford doubled off the Wall in left-center, scoring Iglesias.

It was Iglesias first major league run scored. Crawfords hit extended his hitting streak to nine games.

Hideki Okajima (1-0, 4.32 ERA) earned the win, going two innings, giving up two
hits and two walks with three strikeouts, throwing a season-high 43 pitches.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

BOSTON -- Twins rookie lefty Adalberto Mejia is feeling more comfortable each time he takes the mound.

Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and Minnesota rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

"He did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Mejia. "He had to kind of battle. It's kind of becoming a little bit of his MO to burn through pitches, but similarly to his last start, he kept walking off the field with zeros."

Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.

Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in his 11th career start. On Friday night at Cleveland, he held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.

"I feel calmer every time I'm out there," he said through a translator. "I think that's why I did better."

Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.

"It's not like they're beating the cover off the ball," Porcello said. "It's just a couple things here and there that I've got to clean up. I'm not making excuses for myself. I definitely hold myself accountable for the loss tonight."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.

The Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners, and at least one in every inning. Farrell thought his team may have been pressing a bit.

"I thought there were times we might have expanded the strike zone a little bit, trying to make something happen," he said.

With Minnesota leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kepler lined his homer off the back of Boston's bullpen.

In the first, the Twins scored a pair of two-out runs when Sano hit his RBI double down the third-base line and scored on Kepler's broken-bat single.

Xander Bogaerts drove in Boston's run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins resumed throwing Tuesday after a setback last week following offseason shoulder surgery. Molitor said the club is still formulating a plan for him. He's been sidelined all season and pitched in just two games last year.

Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee Sunday. "He'll go through a full workday today," Farrell said. "He's feeling improved."

MATCHES OWN RECORD

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia played his 98th consecutive error-less game, matching the best mark in club history he set for a second baseman from 2009-10.

LOOKS FAMILIAR

This season has started like 2015 for Porcello, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Two years ago when he struggled badly, the righty lost nine of his initial 13 decisions and finished 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

ROSTER MOVE

Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes was activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Craig Breslow was put on with rib cage soreness.

Hughes had been on the DL since complaining of a "dead feeling" in his pitching shoulder on May 21. He allowed one run in three innings during three rehabilitation appearances in Triple-A.

Molitor plans to use him out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.23 ERA) looks to continue his success in Fenway Park in the series finale Thursday. He's allowed only one run over 15 innings in two career starts.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2, 4.76) has won his last five decisions against Minnesota, posting a 1.84 ERA.