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Boston at Minnesota

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Boston (4-4) «1100100306100
Minnesota (6-3)002000010390

Hermida backs another strong Lackey start in Red Sox win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The rain came down, the crowd cheered, and the Red Sox and Twins kept playing.

"Out-door base-ball," some fans chanted Wednesday in the second game at Target Field.

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

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John Lackey didn't seem to mind getting wet, either.

Lackey turned in a second strong start and Jeremy Hermida gave Boston room with a three-run double in the eighth inning, leading the Red Sox past Minnesota 6-3.

For the first time in 29 years, rain fell on the Twins at home.

"It held up pretty good. We didn't slip or anything," Twins center fielder Denard Span.

The crowd of 38,164, more than 1,000 below capacity, rediscovered baseball's unique relationship with the weather. Temperature at first pitch was 73 degrees, but raindrops fell intermittently from the third through the eight innings.

Some fans scurried for the concourses and others hastily put up their umbrellas, but the first shower led to another celebration of Minnesota's move out of the Metrodome to an open-air facility.

Lackey (1-0) lasted 6 2/3 innings for his first Red Sox victory, lifted early by Marco Scutaro's two singles and Dustin Pedroia's RBI double and solo home run. Scutaro batted leadoff again for the injured Jacoby Ellsbury, and Hermida filled in as the left fielder.

"Honestly, there was probably one inning there where it was kind of pretty slick," Lackey said. "Once they fixed it, it was great the last two innings that I was out there."

Twins starter Kevin Slowey (1-1) inched through five, giving up three runs and taking the loss after several discussions on the mound with Joe Mauer about pitch selection.

"He wanted to do something, and I wanted to do something else," Mauer said. "We're both in it to try to get outs. So go out there and talk about it and come up with a plan."

After a sharp start last week in a win over the Los Angeles Angels, Slowey never found his footing -- even literally in the fifth following Pedroia's two-out shot.

Slowey gave up a single and a walk after the homer, prompting pitching coach Rick Anderson to the mound. He asked the umpires to check the mound, and the grounds crew guys hustled out for their first critical in-game task.

While they sprinkled fresh dirt on the front of the mound and behind the plate, Slowey spent a few minutes cleaning the mud out of his cleats. He got the last out of the inning, but his day was done with 98 pitches, five hits and four walks.

"I wish we had been able to smooth that out a little earlier, but a lot of that is on me really," Slowey said. "It's up to me to talk to Joe about what I want to do. He has to worry about all the pitchers on the staff."

Lackey walked Span on four pitches in the third and gave up consecutive RBI singles to Orlando Hudson and Mauer, but retired Morneau on a long fly to center and settled in after that despite the mucky mound.

The sun came out when Mauer came to the plate in the seventh, ending Lackey's afternoon, but he was intentionally walked to load the bases after a passed ball with two outs. Justin Morneau hit a weak popup near the mound to end that threat before Hermida's big hit broke the game open.

Michael Cuddyer homered and Delmon Young doubled to start the eighth, but Daniel Bard finished the inning without more damage and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his third save. He got Cuddyer on a long fly to end the game with two on.

Beginning an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the Red Sox, Lackey has logged 12 2/3 innings over two starts with only 10 hits and two runs allowed.

"He's no pushover. You don't give ($82.5) million to a pushover," Hudson said.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona joked that he envisioned Lackey yelling at Angels manager Mike Scioscia about taking him out of the game, but Lackey didn't mind letting Hideki Okajima face Mauer instead.

"I'm just the new guy here, just kind of trying to get things done. I already faced Mauer three times. Giving him a new look is probably a good call," Lackey said. "I'll give him a few starts before I start yelling."

Notes

  • The four walks by Slowey tied a career high.
  • DH David Ortiz doubled but struck out twice more, giving him 13 in 26 at-bats. Francona still has faith: "Guys need time to settle in. If I don't let 'em settle in, it's just going to prolong what we're going through."
  • Span has only five hits but nine walks through nine games. "I can't hit, but I can definitely see the ball," he said.
  • Hermida has six RBI and a hit in all five games he's played in. "To go out there and see some consistent pitches for a few days never hurts your timing," he said.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Dustin Pedroia might be small in size but it doesn't stop him from hitting his fourth homer of the season.  (AP)
Dustin Pedroia might be small in size but it doesn't stop him from hitting his fourth homer of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Minnesota

M. Cuddyer
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Boston Red Sox
Marco Scutaro, SS5121011 .320
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5122021 .364
Victor Martinez, C5020001 .229
Kevin Youkilis, 1B3110211 .321
David Ortiz, DH4010125 .154
Adrian Beltre, 3B5110004 .345
J.D. Drew, RF2200220 .167
Mike Cameron, CF3000124 .217
Jeremy Hermida, LF4013002 .357
Totals366106610  
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (3, Slowey), David Ortiz (3, Burnett), Adrian Beltre (2, Crain), Jeremy Hermida (3, Crain)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (4, Slowey)
RBI - Marco Scutaro (2), Dustin Pedroia 2 (10), Jeremy Hermida 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Marco Scutaro (2), Dustin Pedroia (2), Jeremy Hermida 3 (5)
CS - David Ortiz (1, 2nd base by Slowey/Mauer)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Lackey-Scutaro-Youkilis, Youkilis-Scutaro
PB - Victor Martinez (1)
Boston Red Sox
John Lackey (W,1-0) 6.2722420 1.42
Hideki Okajima (H,3) 0.1000100 2.70
Daniel Bard 1211001 3.00
Jonathan Papelbon (S,3) 1000200 4.15
IBB - Mauer by Hideki Okajima
WP - Jonathan Papelbon (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 107-64, Hideki Okajima 6-1, Daniel Bard 12-8, Jonathan Papelbon 20-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 5-11, Daniel Bard 1-2
Batters Faced - John Lackey 29, Hideki Okajima 2, Daniel Bard 5, Jonathan Papelbon 5
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF1100400 .156
Orlando Hudson, 2B5011014 .225
Joe Mauer, C4011101 .400
Justin Morneau, 1B4010105 .303
Michael Cuddyer, RF5121003 .316
Jason Kubel, DH3000102 .250
Delmon Young, LF4130001 .346
J.J. Hardy, SS4000014 .250
Nick Punto, 3B3010003 .182
   a- Jim Thome, PH1000001 .214
    Brendan Harris, 3B0000000 .111
Totals3439372  
a-popped out for Punto in the 8th
Batting
2B - Delmon Young 2 (2, Lackey, Bard)
HR - Michael Cuddyer (1, Bard)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (1), Joe Mauer (7), Michael Cuddyer (3)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Hudson (1), Joe Mauer (3)
Team LOB - 11
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Slowey (L,1-1) 5533451 3.48
Pat Neshek 2000120 0.00
Jesse Crain 0.2333110 6.75
Alex Burnett 1.1200020 0.00
IBB - Drew by Jesse Crain
WP - Kevin Slowey (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Slowey 97-58, Pat Neshek 36-25, Jesse Crain 22-12, Alex Burnett 25-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Slowey 4-5, Pat Neshek 3-1, Alex Burnett 1-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Slowey 23, Pat Neshek 7, Jesse Crain 6, Alex Burnett 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38164
Game Time - 3:24
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Mark Wegner, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Kerwin Danley, Third Base - Jeff Nelson