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.
Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.
Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday.
Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.
The full lineups:
Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C
Yovanni Gallardo RHP
Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B
Eduardo Rodriguez LHP
BOSTON — Red Sox left-hander David Price is set to make his season debut in a holiday matinee Monday on the road in Chicago against the White Sox.
Price, 31, starting the second season of a $217 million, seven-year contract, has been recovering from a strained pitching elbow since spring training.
“Excited, just to be back here,” he said Thursday. “There’s not a better feeling. You can’t replicate it anywhere else.”
Price allowed nine runs — six earned — and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings in a pair of less-than-impressive injury rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He struck out eight and walked two.
“A lot of pitches, in a short amount of time. I think that is more of a test to being healthy as opposed to going out there and throwing five or six [innings] in 90 pitches,” he said. “To do what I did in both of my rehab outings, I don’t think you can do that if you’re not healthy.”
The Red Sox (24-21) have won four in a row heading into their weekend series against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
“He’s eager to get back to us and physically he feels great,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “His return to us will give us a definite boost but that’s not to de-emphasize he needs to go out and perform.”
Farrell hopes Price’s return has a trickle-down impact.
“It’s not based solely on the name on the back of his jersey,” Farrell said. “Hopefully it allows us to even out some of the performances within the rotation.”
© 2017 by The Associated Press.