Sexy Lips had a rough first, allowing a walk, single and double before getting his first out. Another walk, a sac fly and a single gave the Twins a 3-0 lead.
After Tavarez got the last out of the first, he threw a perfect second inning on eight pitches and a perfect third inning on 15 pitches. Then Jon Lester pitched a perfect fourth inning (11 pitches) and a perfect fifth inning (nine pitches). Mike Timlin threw a perfect sixth inning (six pitches), Manny Delcarmen pitched a perfect seventh inning (serven pitches) and Eric Gagne pitched a perfect eighth inning (12 pitches).
When Jonathan Papelbon recorded the first out in the ninth inning, it was the 23rd consecutive batter the Red Sox had retired (only three of the 23 outs left the infield). Jason Kubel whacked a ground-rule double to right before Bot got the last two Twins.
Manny Ramirez singled home Julio Lugo in the fifth and Jason Varitek homered in the sixth to bring Boston to with in 3-2.
The Red Sox rallied in the ninth against Joe Nathan. Brandon Moss walked and went to third on Jacoby Ellsbury's single to right (but Ellsbury was caught off first base and thrown out). Julio Lugo walked and stole second and Alex Cora was walked intentionally. Bobby Kielty and Doug Mirabelli both struck out to end the regular season.
The Yankees beat the Orioles 10-4, so Boston finished two games ahead of New York in the AL East.
Matt Garza (3.92, 113 ERA+) / Julian Tavarez (5.33, 90 ERA+)
Sexy Lips makes his first start since August 31. He's pitched only 5.2 innings in four September appearances.