Minnesota at Boston

W: F. Morales (3-2) L: N. Blackburn (4-7)
S: A. Aceves (23)
HR: MIN - J. Willingham (28),R. Doumit (11)   BOS - A. Gonzalez (11)

Red Sox avoid four-game sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports

BOSTON -- For one day, everything was fine again with the Boston Red Sox.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer, Franklin Morales turned in another solid substitute start and the Red Sox averted a four-game sweep with a 6-4 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

"Hopefully it's the start of a long run," said Gonzalez, who finished with three RBI.

Carl Crawford added three singles, an RBI and a leaping catch for the Red Sox on his 31st birthday.

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The victory snapped Boston's four-game losing streak and salvaged a rough weekend against the AL's second-worst team.

Coming off back-to-back late-inning losses -- one in extra innings and the other when they blew a two-run ninth-inning lead Saturday, the Red Sox rebounded behind a strong showing by Morales (3-2).

Grumbling about manager Bobby Valentine's decisions and the lack of victories can take a break for at least a day. The underperforming Red Sox moved to within a game of .500 again (54-55).

The 26-year-old left-hander, taking Josh Beckett's turn in the rotation after the righty left his previous start with a back spasm, gave up one run on three hits in six innings.

Now, Valentine just needs to find a spot for him in the rotation.

"I think it's an easy decision. We just have to figure out all the parts," Valentine said. "He wants to start and I want him to start. We can't always count on a guy getting injured to get him out there."

Gonzalez also understands how well Morales has pitched in a spot role.

"Yeah, it's really impressive," he said. "Every time he's out there he does a good job.

Josh Willingham hit a solo home run, his 28th, and Ryan Doumit a two-shot for the Twins.

Ben Revere extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games with a single, drove in a run and made a splendid over the shoulder catch for Minnesota.

On Saturday, Joe Mauer's three-run homer with two outs in the ninth capped a comeback victory for the Twins.

"We've had a pretty good feeling. One big hit, a couple of walks, take some pitches and try to make them throw some pitches," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You get a couple of guys on, you never know what's going to happen. We've had some success battling, we've been in a lot of close ballgames lately. We're not going to quit. I can guarantee you that."

Alfredo Aceves, the losing pitcher Saturday, got the final three outs for his 23rd save.

The Red Sox hadn't been swept in a four-game series at home by Minnesota since 1991.

Morales has given up two runs or fewer in five of his six starts this season.

Revere's hitting streak is the longest by a Twins' player since Torii Hunter had a 23-gamer in 2007.

Leading 2-1 with two outs in the fifth, Gonzalez hit a drive into seats above the Green Monster off starter Nick Blackburn (4-7) after Crawford singled.

Cody Ross' RBI single made it 5-1 in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Blackburn's road woes continued, giving up four runs on nine hits in five innings to fall to 17-35 in career road starts.

Revere robbed Jarrod Saltalamacchia, running full speed to the center-field wall to make the grab on the track and then turning to throw to second to complete a double play.

Willingham and Doumit homered off reliever Vicente Padilla in the ninth.

Blackburn had a feeling the Twins were going to do it again.

"I thought we had a decent chance there in the ninth," he said. "It's exciting to see."

Boston had jumped in front 2-0 with a pair of runs in the third. Crawford had an run-scoring grounder after Mike Aviles singled and Ellsbury doubled. Gonzalez followed with an RBI single.

Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the fifth on Revere's sacrifice fly. Alexi Casilla walked, stole second and advanced on Jeremy Carroll's ground out.

Crawford, who wore his uniform pants high with his bright red socks showing nearly to his knees, robbed Doumit with his second-inning catch at the wall.

The two clubs have played seven four-game sets in Fenway Park since the last time the Twins swept a four-game series.


  • During the game the Red Sox acquired Twins 3B Danny Valencia for Class A outfielder Jeremias Pineda. The 27-year old Valencia hit .198 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 34 games with Minnesota this season. He was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Pineda is hitting .421 in 36 Gulf Coast League games.
  • OF Willingham was back in the starting lineup after resting Saturday with a right-hander going for Boston.
  • Valentine said "everything is on track" for Beckett to start Wednesday against Texas.
  • Boston CF and leadoff hitter Ellsbury returned to the starting lineup after resting what Valentine called a minor leg injury Saturday.
  • Red Sox righty Aaron Cook (2-5) will face Japanese star and Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish (11-7) at Fenway on Monday night.
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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Adrian Gonzalez homers and knocks in three runs as the Red Sox beat the Twins and snap a four-game losing streak. (US Presswire)
Adrian Gonzalez homers and knocks in three runs as the Red Sox beat the Twins and snap a four-game losing streak. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game

A. Gonzalez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1

R. Doumit
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Ben Revere, CF3011012 .323
Darin Mastroianni, RF4010022 .271
Joe Mauer, C4000013 .317
Josh Willingham, LF3111100 .263
Justin Morneau, 1B3100102 .270
Ryan Doumit, DH4122000 .288
Brian Dozier, SS4000011 .236
Alexi Casilla, 2B3100110 .222
Jamey Carroll, 3B3010111 .247
2B - Jamey Carroll (14, Melancon)
HR - Josh Willingham (28, Padilla), Ryan Doumit (11, Padilla)
SF - Ben Revere (3)
RBI - Ben Revere (22), Josh Willingham (81), Ryan Doumit 2 (52)
SB - Ben Revere (27, 2nd base off Morales/Saltalamacchia), Alexi Casilla (14, 2nd base off Morales/Saltalamacchia)
PK - Darin Mastroianni (2, Morales)
Team LOB - 5
Outfield Assists - Ben Revere 1
DP - Revere-Casilla
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (L,4-7) 5944041 7.42
Jeff Manship 2411100 9.95
Luis Perdomo 1111110 5.40
IBB - Gonzalez by Jeff Manship
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 90-64, Jeff Manship 33-22, Luis Perdomo 21-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 3-7, Jeff Manship 3-2
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 23, Jeff Manship 10, Luis Perdomo 5
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4111012 .259
Carl Crawford, LF5231001 .279
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010002 .262
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3123101 .304
Cody Ross, DH4021002 .268
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4000014 .230
Will Middlebrooks, 3B4020010 .292
Ryan Kalish, RF4110022 .208
Mike Aviles, SS3120100 .258
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (8, Blackburn), Ryan Kalish (3, Perdomo)
HR - Adrian Gonzalez (11, Blackburn)
SF - Jacoby Ellsbury (1)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (7), Carl Crawford (10), Adrian Gonzalez 3 (66), Cody Ross (53)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Gonzalez 2 (24)
SB - Carl Crawford (3, 2nd base off Blackburn/Mauer), Will Middlebrooks (4, 2nd base off Blackburn/Mauer), Ryan Kalish (2, 3rd base off Perdomo/Mauer)
PK - Cody Ross (1, Blackburn)
Team LOB - 8
Boston Red Sox
Franklin Morales (W,3-2) 6311340 3.14
Mark Melancon (H,2) 1.2100020 7.46
Craig Breslow 0.1000000 2.51
Vicente Padilla0233102 4.62
Alfredo Aceves (S,23) 1000010 4.29
Pitches-Strikes - Franklin Morales 106-63, Mark Melancon 25-16, Craig Breslow 5-4, Vicente Padilla 14-6, Alfredo Aceves 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Franklin Morales 8-5, Mark Melancon 2-1, Craig Breslow 1-0, Alfredo Aceves 1-1
Batters Faced - Franklin Morales 23, Mark Melancon 6, Craig Breslow 1, Vicente Padilla 3, Alfredo Aceves 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37019
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - David Rackley