Closing Time: Red Sox hold off Twins to earn sweep
|04.25.12 at 11:43 pm ET|
The Red Sox came away with their first series sweep of the season, winning their third straight game against the Twins at Target Field, 7-6, Wednesday night.
The Sox weathered some anxious moments, watching a six-run lead cut to one thanks to Minnesota’s five-run fifth inning. But Matt Albers would get the final two outs in the sixth, with Vicente Padilla (seventh), Franklin Morales (eighth) and Alfredo Aceves (ninth) all pitching scoreless frames in nailing down the Red Sox’ seventh win of the season.
The final moments weren’t without some anxiety for the Sox, however, with Aceves allowing the Twins to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Denard Span to pick up the save.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Sox’ victory:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
• Albers came up big in the sixth inning, getting Sean Burroughs to ground into an inning-ending, 6-3 double play. Albers had come on with one out and the bases loaded for the Twins, immediately giving up an RBI single to Trevor Plouffe. But with the bases still loaded, Albers came back to get out the inning, allowing the Red Sox cling to a one-run lead.
• Mike Aviles continued to impress, launching his fourth home run of the season in the second inning against Twins starter Liam Hendriks. The no-doubter to left field drove in three and gave the Red Sox an early 4-0 lead.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued to find his way offensively, this time coming up with a two-run single in the third inning. The catcher has hit in four straight games to raise his batting average to .244.
• Dustin Pedroia notched his second three-hit game of the season, extending his hit streak to five games.
WHAT WENT WRONG
• Cody Ross was forced to leave in the fifth inning after experiencing left knee soreness. Ross, who had notched a hit, RBI and run in three at-bats, was replaced in left field by Darnell McDonald.
• Justin Thomas had a rough night, not only not retiring either of the two batters he faced in the sixth, but also hitting Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee in the head with a 93 mph fastball. After being attended to by the trainers, Parmelee left the game under his own power.
• For just the fourth time in 17 games, David Ortiz went hitless. The DH did draw a walk and scored a run.
• Clay Buchholz still hasn’t found his groove, this time needing 107 pitches to get through just 5 1/3 innings. The Sox starter finished having allowed five runs on 10 hits, striking out two and walking three. It was just the third time in his career the hurler has allowed 10 or more hits. Buchholz, whose ERA stands at 8.87, has given up at least five runs in each of his four outings this season.
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