By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
MINNEAPOLIS -- Late-inning heroics had almost become commonplace for the Red Sox, so when David Ortiz launched a game-tying homer to left-center in the top of the eighth Wednesday night, it seemed certain that another dramatic win was in the offing.
But this time, it was the other side pulling out a victory in their final at-bat.
Jim Thome and Danny Valancia cracked consecutive run-scoring doubles and Tsuyoshi Nishioka added an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to give the Minnesota Twins a 5-2 win, snapping the Red Sox four-game winning streak.
Alfredo Aceves, who relieved Jon Lester with one out in the eighth, faced four hitters and gave up three hits and an intentional walk.
Lester was saddled with his second straight loss. He walked five and two of those hitters would come around to score.
Thome's first-inning RBI single had given the Twins a 1-0 lead. Joe Mauer doubled home Ben Revere in the sixth to boost Minnesota's lead to 2-0.
The Sox cut the margin in half in the seventh on a walk to Mike Aviles, an error by Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert and a single by Marco Scutaro, who picked up his eighth hit in his last three games.
Ortiz's homer -- his third in the last six games -- tied it for the Sox before the Twins rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Sean McAdam can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.