The Red Sox sought out to build on a big series win in Tampa Bay when they visited the Minnesota Twins for the first time in 2013. Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, and John Lackey all took the hill for the Red Sox. While the Twins countered with Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, and Pedro Hernandez. The 3 game weekend set was the Sox second series on a 3 series road trip. Here's how the series went down:
Game 1: It took 10 innings to decide game one of the series but it ended up being worth it for the Red Sox. Boston starter Clay Buchholz tossed 7 innings of 4 hit baseball and only allowed 2 runs, which scored courtesy of a Pedro Florimon two run home run. Aside from that Buchholz struck out 9 and walked 3 but exited the game with a no decision. Red Sox knotted the game at 2 in the seventh inning on a Jacoby Ellsbury single which left it up to the Sox pen to hold the line. Andrew Miller, Alex Wilson, and Koji Uehara certainly answered the call, throwing a combined 3 innings of no hit, no run baseball, while striking out 5 and not surrendering any walks. The Sox were finally able to break the tie in the 10th inning when Twins reliever, Josh Roenicke allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia, then walked David Ortiz. Will Middlebrooks followed with a ground out that advanced Pedroia and Ortiz into scoring position. After intentionally walking Stephen Drew to load the bases, Jonny Gomes hit a sacrifice fly to left center field that scored Pedroia. Koji Uehara would go on to pitch a clean bottom of the 10th and the Red Sox took game 1 by a final score of 3-2. Game 2: As game 1 of the series saw a low scoring affair, game 2 came in stark contrast. The Red Sox and Twins started Ryan Dempster and Scott Diamond respectively. Diamond found a lot of success in his first outing against the Sox this season at Fenway park. But unfortunately for Diamond, he could not duplicate his previous outing. Diamond would only last 4.1 innings and give up 6 earned runs on 8 hits. Of the 6 runs he allowed, 4 came off the bat of David Ortiz. Big Papi hit a 3 run bomb in the first inning, and drove in his 4th run on a single to right field in the 3rd . However, an early lead wasn't handled carefully by Sox starter, Ryan Dempster. The Sox veteran right hander allowed RBI singles to Pedro Florimon, Justin Mourneu, and Jamie Carroll. Dempster exited the game in the middle of the fifth inning allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits while walking a season high, 6 batters. But the bullpen was there to pick Dempster up. Clayton Mortensen, Craig Breslow, and Alex Wilson combined to throw 4 shut out innings of 4 hit, 2 walk, 2 strike out baseball. David Ortiz would go on to add another home run and Daniel Nava would also tally a home run to the Sox total. Red Sox rolled to a 12-5 game 2 victory. Game 3: The third and final game of the series was a match up of right hander vs southpaw. The Sox threw John Lackey, while Minnesota opposed with lefty, Pedro Hernandez. Lackey retired the first 12 batters he faced before giving up a lead off double to Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe. But that was the only offense that Lackey would surrender. John tossed a magnificent 6 innings of baseball, striking out 5, not allowing a walk, and giving up an unearned run on an errant throw by Pedro Ciriaco. Lackey's outing could have been longer but a 3 hour rain delay beginning in the top of the 7th, forced Lackey out of the game. But once again, the Sox bullpen kept Minnesota off the board. Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa combined to throw 3 innings of 4 hit, 1 walk, shut out baseball. With the bats, the Red Sox kept the offense rolling. Will Middlebrooks kicked off the scoring with a home run in the top of the second inning. Dustin Pedroia chased home a run on an errant throw in the 3rd inning. And Mike Napoli drove in a run on single in the 5th inning. The Red Sox would tack on 2 more runs on Dustin Pedroia's 3rd home run of the season in the ninth inning as well. The Sox completed the weekend series sweep of the Minnesota Twins, winning game 3 by a final of 5-1.
The third and final leg of the Red Sox road trip will start on Monday night in Chicago against the White Sox. Check back with CLNSRadio.com for more updates and recaps.