Boston at Minnesota

Venue: Target Field
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The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of matching their longest road winning streak over the Minnesota Twins in 12 years.

The last-place Twins are probably glad Joe Mauer will be around to help keep that from happening.

Mauer will be back with the Twins on Saturday night as the Red Sox go for a fifth straight win at Minnesota.

Boston (25-17) has won six of seven at Target Field, including four straight while hitting .338 with six homers and 27 runs. It last won five in a row as the visitor against the Twins from 2000-01 at the Metrodome.

Despite their gaudy offensive numbers of late in Minneapolis, the Red Sox had nine singles among their 10 hits Friday while Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run in a 3-2, 10-inning win to open this three-game set.

Mauer was scratched from Friday's game after he woke up with back pain. Manager Ron Gardenhire says Mauer came to Target Field on Saturday feeling much better, and he was put back in the lineup as the designated hitter. The plan is for him to catch the series finale on Sunday.

Mauer is on a 14-game hitting streak, during which he has a .446 average with 11 doubles and 11 walks. He's 8 for 18 with five doubles over four meetings with the Red Sox this season.

Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball looking to build on his own success versus Boston. He tossed seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 road win in his only meeting against the Red Sox on May 7, and that came at the expense of Ryan Dempster, who will oppose him again.

"He makes it real easy," catcher Ryan Doumit said. "He's one of the most prepared pitchers I've ever been around. He has a game plan every time out and sticks to it. Nights like those are fun."

Doumit certainly didn't enjoy Diamond's latest performance, as the left-hander surrendered six runs and nine hits with a career-high three homers in 5 2-3 innings of Sunday's 6-0 loss to Baltimore. He allowed two over his first five starts.

Dempster (2-4, 3.75) is looking to get untracked against the Twins after allowing four runs - two earned - with eight strikeouts in seven innings versus Diamond. He defeated them twice last year behind a 1.29 ERA.

Dempster followed his latest meeting with Minnesota with his worst performance of the season in Sunday's 12-4 loss to Toronto. He was tagged for season highs of six runs, seven hits and three homers in five innings, but he insists he's physically fine.

"I've been feeling really good this year," Dempster told the team's official website. "It's nice as you get older to continue to feel good. That's an important thing, but at the same time, you can feel as good as you want or as bad as you want, you've got to execute pitches.

"Hopefully, I can continue to do that on a consistent basis."

Dempster has had tremendous success against Mauer, who is 1 for 10 with six strikeouts against him.

Dustin Pedroia is a .405 hitter at Minnesota, going 7 for 19 over the past four visits. He went 0 for 3 versus Diamond earlier this month, but is batting .459 in nine games since.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Weather
weather image  Thunderstorms. Overcast. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
82°F59°F14mph/SE52%48%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Boston3rd AL East2321.5233 ½ 5-5 W 2
Minnesota1st AL Central2418.571-6-4 W 3
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Scott Diamond
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Drew21000.500
Ellsbury31000.333
Ortiz31000.333
De La Torre000000
Dempster000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Ryan Dempster
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Florimon110101.000
Worley21001.500
Morneau94102.444
Carroll186012.333
Ramirez31000.333
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Boston -130 Minnesota 120
Injuries
Boston
PlayerInjury
R. CastilloLeg
B. DalbecWrist
R. EliasRibs
J. GroomeBack
M. HernandezShoulder
B. HoltIllness
J. PenningtonElbow
D. PriceElbow
J. RomanskiSuspension
P. SandovalKnee
C. SmithElbow
B. SwihartFinger
T. ThornburgShoulder
K. WashingtonUndisclosed
S. WrightKnee
Minnesota
PlayerInjury
L. ArraezLeg
J. ChargoisElbow
L. DarnellUndisclosed
P. HughesShoulder
D. HurlbutUndisclosed
T. JayBiceps
Z. JonesShoulder
A. KirilloffElbow
T. MayElbow
R. O'RourkeElbow
G. PerkinsShoulder
J. ReedSide
K. StewartUndisclosed
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
May 22BALMIN 14-7Gibson Wilson 
May 23BALMIN 2-0Santana Bundy 
May 24BAL12:35 PM EDT  
Jul 6MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 7MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 8MIN 2:10 PM EDT  
Jul 9MIN 2:10 PM EDT