Twins - 001 000 002 - 3 5 0 Red Sox - 101 120 10x - 6 13 1Xander Bogaerts said that last night's win might be the one game that turns this dismal-to-date season around. He backed up those words Wednesday afternoon with a three-hit performance that also included 2 RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored. His infield partner, Dustin Pedroia, went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
Eduardo Rodriguez (7-2-1-2-7, 103) was just as superb as he was in his major league debut last week - and the entire game flowed as easily as his pitching motion. Although he gave up a solo home run to Brian Dozier in the third (he struck out three in that frame, also), he showed his mettle by working out of his first jam as a big leaguer in the sixth.
The score was 3-1 when Danny Santana singled and took second on a wild pitch. Dozier walked. Then Rodriguez battled Shane Robinson through a 12-pitch at-bat, as Robinson fouled off Rodriguez's first eight pitches. Robinson eventually flied to left and Rodriguez got Trevor Plouffe and Torii Hunter to ground into fielder's choices and Santana was stranded at third. I thought Rodriguez might be done after that inning (and 93 pitches), but he reemerged for the seventh, retiring the side on 10 pitches and three fly balls.
On the offensive end, it seemed like Phil Hughes (4.1-11-5-1-4, 77) pitched out of the stretch for his entire time on the mound. Boston struck early when Pedroia singled to open the first and scored on the first of two doubles by David Ortiz. Pedroia was aboard in the third when Hanley Ramirez drove him in, snapping a 1-1 tie. Pedroia then drove in a run, bringing in Bogaerts who had begun the fourth with a single.
In the fifth, Ramirez and Brock Holt both singled, before pulling off a double steal. Bogaerts was so pleased to be informed of this that he grounded a single into center field, scoring both runners, and increasing the Red Sox's lead to a more formidable 5-1. That ended Hughes's day.
Mike Napoli crushed a home run in the seventh to complete the scoring.
(I think Hunter was allowed to go to first on a three-ball walk in the ninth inning. Both NESN and Gameday (as well as my own scorecard) had Alexi Ogando throwing a ball on a 2-2 count. Hunter dropped his arm guard and bat - and no one stopped him as he trotted to first.)
Phil Hughes / Eduardo Rodriguez
Pedroia, 2BGame 1 of a day-night doubleheader.
Xander Bogaerts called last night's 1-0 win "probably the biggest win of the year. ... I really believe that this win tonight will definitely turn the whole season around for us."
Outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who had been designated for assignment by the Orioles, was picked up by the Red Sox. He hit .214/.277/.359 this year for Baltimore.