Red Sox - 000 010 030 0 - 4 7 2 Twins - 110 002 000 3 - 7 7 2John Farrell picked Matt Barnes to pitch the bottom of the 10th inning because the manager was presumably saving his closer, Craig Kimbrel, for a Very Important Save Situation. When that scenario next arises, Kimbrel should be quite well-rested, since the earliest it can happen is fucking Tuesday night.
Barnes allowed a walk, a single, and Max Kepler's three-run home run to dead center field - and the Red Sox lost a game in frustrating fashion while a much better reliever pitcher sat on his ass in the bullpen.
This slavish devotion to the idea that a closer MUST be used when the team has a lead on the road is pure stupidity. And I thought it was contrary to the philosophy of the organization, which is to use your best available relief pitcher when the game is on the line in the late or extra innings.
Chris Young cut Minnesota's early lead in half with a solo home run (#6) in the fifth.
Boston tied the game in the eighth when two runs scored on a throwing error and another run came across on David Ortiz's double play grounder. The Red Sox stranded the potential go-ahead run at third base when Jackie Bradley struck out.
Young opened the ninth with a single, but pinch-hitter Travis Shaw bunted into a double play and Sandy Leon flied out to left.
Junichi Tazawa (in because Kimbrel was being "saved") retired the first two Twins in the bottom of the ninth, but Eduardo Nunez fouled off six pitches while working an 11-pitch walk. He stole second on the first pitch to Robbie Grossman - who eventually fouled out to third.
Xander Bogaerts (he went 10-for-15 in the series) singled with two outs in the 10th inning - and stole second base - but Ortiz struck out.
Then Farrell brought in Barnes - and the game went straight down the shitter.
Porcello: 7-5-4-2-5, 112; only one of the four runs was earned.
The Red Sox are off tomorrow - their third day off in the past eight days - before beginning a homestand against the Orioles (3 games), Mariners (3), and White Sox (4). Toronto beat Baltimore 10-9, so the Red Sox and Orioles are tied for first, at 36-26.
Betts, RFGame Notes:
Xander Bogaerts leads MLB with 92 hits this season, while his .358 AVG ranks #2 behind Washington's Daniel Murphy (.374).
In 47 games since 4/20, Bogaerts has posted a .399/.446/.581 batting line (81-for-203, 16 doubles, 7 home runs).
Bogaerts is the first Red Sox ever to record at least four hits and a home run in consecutive games.
He is also one of only three shortstops ever to record 4+ hits and 3+ RBI in consecutive games, joining CLE's Lou Boudreau in 1948 and TEX's Alex Rodriguez in 2003.
Bogaerts is only the second Red Sox SS in 100 years to record 4+ hits in consecutive games (also Johnny Pesky, 5/4-6/46).
No Red Sox in the last 100 years has had three consecutive 4+ hit games at any position.
Sandy Leon is the first player in Red Sox history to record a hit in each of his first five plate appearances of a season.