Red Sox - 010 004 012 - 8 17 2 Twins - 030 110 010 - 6 10 1David Ortiz's fourth hit of the game drove in pinch-runner Darnell McDonald with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, as Boston increased its road record to an MLB-best 34-21. (The Microwave had pinch-run and scored the winner against the Yankees on Sunday night, too.)
Tim Wakefield (7-8-5-0-4, 102) left the game with the Red Sox ahead 6-5, but did not get credit for what would have been his 200th career win. Alfredo Aceves allowed a run in the home half of the eighth, earning himself a blown save, but he also ended up as the winning pitcher because the Red Sox rallied in the ninth and Jonathan Papelbon held that lead. It's a crazy system.
Ortiz singled and scored in the second, flew out to left in the fourth, hit a monstrous two-run homer in the sixth, doubled and scored in the eighth, and singled in the ninth. It was the 14th four-hit game of his career, but only his second since the start of 2008; the other four-hit game since then also came this year: July 26.
Boston trailed 5-1 when Carl Crawford tripled to start the top of the sixth against Scott Baker (6-9-5-0-5, 93) and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's sac fly. Then Dustin Pedroia singled, Ortiz homered (#22), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a dong of his own (#11), tying the game at 5-5.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled off Glen Perkins to start the ninth. Crawford struck out and while Gonzalez was batting, Ellsbury was caught stealing 1-3-6 for the second out. Gonzalez singled and Joe Nathan replaced Perkins. Pedroia beat out an infield single to third, Ortiz lined a single to center (7-6), and Salty doubled to left (8-6).
Marco Scutaro, after going 4-for-4 last night, singled in his first three times at bat tonight.
Jonathan Papelbon set down the Twins in order in the ninth (K, K, 4-3) -- his 25th save in 26 chances -- and the Red Sox (71-43) increased their lead in the East to 1.5 games.
Tim Wakefield / Scott Baker
Wakefield takes his third shot at his 200th career victory (and Red Sox Win #186).
Jed Lowrie is back on the roster and is playing third base tonight. Randy Williams was sent back to Pawtucket. ... Fourteen of Boston's next 17 games are on the road (Minnesota, Seattle, Kansas City, Texas).
The Twins are 1-7 over their last eight games; in the losses, they have scored 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 1, and 0 runs.
The Yankees (1 GB) are off tonight, and will host the Angels tomorrow. BRef has a neat post about Mariano Rivera: in 1,023 regular season games, he has allowed more than one extra base hit only 24 times (and seven of those were in 1995, when he was a starter). Various readers expand upon that and post the related numbers of other relievers.