Strong pitching helps Red Sox edge Twins, 2-1

Strong pitching helps Red Sox edge Twins, 2-1
June 17, 2014, 10:00 pm
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BOSTON - The Red Sox still aren't hitting. Thankfully for them, they're pitching as well as anyone of late.

For the seventh time in the last nine games, the Red Sox failed to score more than two runs. But Jon Lester limited the Minnesota Twins to a single run over 6 1/3 innings and four relievers took care of things the rest of the way, giving the Sox a 2-1 win.

Lester's quality start -- his 10th this season -- was the sixth straight for the Red Sox.

It was Boston's second straight and fourth in the last six games on this homestand.

Brock Holt, who made his major league debut in center field, scored both Red Sox runs. He singled in the first, took second on a groundout and scored on Dustin Pedroia's double to left-center. In the third, Holt hit a Wall double, stole third and rode home on Xander Bogaerts' sacrifice fly.

Lester needed 32 pitches to get through the first inning, but was far more efficient after that. He issued a two-out walk to Josh Willingham in the first, then retired the next 11 in a row.

The Twins used a leadoff double from Danny Santana and a one-out double from Joe Mauer in the sixth to cut the 2-0 lead in half. But with Mauer in scoring position, Lester got Willingham to pop to first and Kenrys Morales on an inning-ending groundout to short.

Junichi Tazawa struck out the side in the eighth and with Koji Uehara unavailable with three straight appearances and four in the last five games, Edward Mujica got the save opportunity and nailed down the final three outs.



Holt scored both Red Sox runs, had two hits including a double off the wall made a spectacular diving catch in left when Jonny Gomes lost a ball in the twilight.


Lester needed almost 50 pitches to get the first six outs, but became more efficient and lasted into the seventh inning, allowing just one run.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Kendrys Morales

Morales ended three innings for the Twins while going 0-for-4 and personally stranding three baserunners.

TURNING POINT: In the sixth inning, with a run in, the potential tying run in scoring position and the lead cut in half, Lester retired Josh Willingham and Morales to get out of trouble.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox have won the first two games of the series despite having just one run-scoring hit.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "It just kind of erased that lonely feeling that I had for four seconds.'' Jonny Gomes, who lost a ball in the twilight in the third inning, only to have new center fielder Brock Holt come along and made a terrific tumbling catch to save him.