June 25, 2019

Goodbye, Diego

We said a tearful goodbye to Diego this afternoon.

He spent most of the day on the grass in the front yard, enjoying the warm sun.

Diego joined our family on April 26, 2011. This was the Petfinder photo that caught Laura's attention:

December 2011, with Tala

October 2012 (after romping in the just-mowed backyard)

Spring 2012

Summer 2012

December 2013

March 2014 ("We Love The Car")

Summer 2014

2016, Cherry Beach, Toronto

September 2018, Ontario RV trip

September 2018, RV trip in Ontario

September 2018, Ontario RV trip

November 2019, Manitoba

November 2019 (hotel room, after a long day of driving)

Spring 2019 (the law firm I work for did a story about my working-remotely arrangement for its internal newsletter, so Diego and I posed for a photo)

2019, San Josef Bay in BC

April 2019, with Kai

This afternoon, getting some love from Cookie

After driving across Canada with us last November, Diego was able to enjoy a back yard (once again). Two wonderful beaches were both a short drive away. Diego loved the beach so much - during his first visit to Toronto's Cherry Beach, he zoomed around constantly, crashing through tall grass, splashing in and out of the water.

Seeing a irrepressibly happy dog get even more happy is a wonderful sight, possibly even more wonderful than watching Dave Roberts steal second base.

Diego was last at Storey's Beach two days ago (though he stayed on the leash) in a light rain. The injury to his other knee happened later in the day.

Our pack has had a lot of sudden change in the last two months. Diego was our only dog for more than two years. Then he and Kai were a duo for 36 days before Cookie joined the family. The three of them were together for a mere 48 days.

Now: The Kai and Cookie Show.

G81: Red Sox 6, White Sox 3

White Sox - 012 000 000 - 3 10  1
Red Sox   - 102 021 00x - 6 10  1
The Red Sox won for the 10th time in their last 13 games. At the halfway point in the season, the defending champions are 44-37.

Eighty-eight wins is exactly 20 fewer victories than Boston celebrated last year in a historic season. It may not be enough to qualify for even the wild-card game.

Rafael Devers went 4-for-4 with three doubles and David Price allowed only two earned runs over six innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Christian Vázquez drove in two runs in the third inning to tie the game at 3-3 and Xander Bogaerts snapped that tie two innings later with a long two-run homer.

Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, and Brandon Workman each struck out two batters in an inning of scoreless relief.

The start of the game was delayed 24 minutes on a rainy Tuesday night.

AL East: MFY 4, Blue Jays 3. Twins 9, Rays 4. ... MFY –, TBR 6.0, BOS 8.0.

Carson Fulmer / David Price
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, LF
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
Chavis, 1B
Hernández, 2B
Núñez, DH
Steven Wright was reinstated from the restricted list. Josh Smith optioned to Pawtucket. (Nathan Eovaldi was moved to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster for Wright. It's a procedural move. His return won't be delayed because of it.)

AL East: MFY –, TBR 5.0, BOS 8.0. ... Blue Jays/MFY, 7 PM; Rays/Twins, 8 PM.

June 24, 2019

G80: Red Sox 6, White Sox 5

White Sox - 020 001 200 - 5  8  0
Red Sox   - 010 011 111 - 6 12  0
Marco Hernández beat out a ground ball single to the shortstop hole, giving the Red Sox a two-out, walk-off victory over the White Sox on Monday night. It was the Red Sox's second walk-off win in four games. This short six-game homestand began with a 10-inning win over the Blue Jays last Friday

Andrew Benintendi got the ninth-inning rally started with a double (his second of the game) down the right field line off Jace Fry. J.D. Martinez struck out and Rafael Devers grounded to first, with Benintendi moving to third on the second out.

Xander Bogaerts was intentionally walked, as was Jackie Bradley, once Fry fell behind 3-1. Hernández poked a 1-0 pitch to the left side. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson ranged to his right and made an off-balance throw. The ball took a hop near the bag and Jose Abreu couldn't scoop it. Benintendi scored the winning run. (Anderson also went 0-for-5 at the plate with four strikeouts.)

Boston scored one run in each of the final five innings. Michael Chavis walked with the bases loaded to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth.The White Sox then led 5-3, but Mookie Betts led off the seventh with his 13th home run of the year and Eduardo Núñez - who had tied the game at 2-2 with a one-out single in the fifth - tied things again at 5-5 in the eighth with a two-out single.

Bradley, who homered in the second inning, also walked three times.

AL East: The Yankees nearly blew a 10-2 lead, but held off the Blue Jays 10-8. MFY –, TBR 5.0, BOS 8.0.
Lucas Giolito / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
Chavis, 1B
Núñez, 2B
I Wish This Was Relevant: The Red Sox won the final three games of a four-game series against the White Sox on May 3-5 by a combined score of 30-5.

After hitting one triple in their first 42 games, the Red Sox have hit 12 in their last 37 games. The team's 13 triples rank fifth in the AL. The Royals lead the league with 26 three-baggers!

AL East: MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 8.0. ... Blue Jays/MFY, 7 PM; Rays off.

June 23, 2019

G79: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1

Blue Jays - 011 003 010 - 6 10  1
Red Sox   - 000 000 001 - 1  7  0
I did not watch. I am not recapping.

Manager Alex Cora:
[W]e still have to get better ...

[T]here's a lot of things we need to keep improving on ...

We expect better things ...

[W]e've been inconsistent and we need to be a lot better. ...

[We are] far from being where we're supposed to be.
AL East: Astros 9, MFY 4; Rays 8, Athletics 2. ... MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 8.0.

Marcus Stroman / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Holt, 3B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
Chavis, 1B
Hernández, 2B
David Ortiz has been moved out of the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and "remains in good condition".

Xander Bogaerts has doubled in seven consecutive games, tied for the longest such streak in AL history. The modern MLB record for consecutive games with a double is 8 (Yadier Molina in 2016 and Derrek Lee in 2007). Bogaerts leads the AL with 26 doubles.

The Red Sox have hit at least one double in all 21 games in June, MLB's longest active streak. The longest streak of 2019 belongs to the Orioles (25 games, April 2-28). ... Which shows definitively that hitting doubles in consecutive games has nothing to do with winning games. Therefore, I expect OB to mention this Red Sox factoid this afternoon with tremendous awe in his voice.

AL East: MFY –, TBR 5.5, BOS 8.0. ... Astros/MFY, 2 PM; Rays/Athletics, 4 PM.

June 22, 2019

G78: Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 7

Blue Jays - 000 100 430 - 8 10  0
Red Sox   - 051 000 001 - 7  9  2
Brian Johnson allowed one unearned run in five innings (5-4-1-0-4, 83) and Mike Shawaryn turned in a clean sixth and the Red Sox led 6-1 ... and then the roof fell in.

Shawaryn gave up a one-out single to Cavan Biggio in the seventh. Freddy Galvis and Rowdy Tellez hit back-to-back home runs. Marcus Walden came in and walked Luke Maile. Eric Sogard struck out, but Maile went to third on Vladimir Guerrero's single and scored on Walden's wild pitch. Boston led by one run, 6-5.

In the eighth, Teoscar Hernández singled off Matt Barnes with one out. A wild pitch sent him to second and he scored on Biggio's game-tying single. Galvis flied to left and Tellez walked. A second wild pitch from Barnes put runners on second and third; Barnes ended up walking Billy McKinney.

Ryan Brasier took over and he walked Sogard on four pitches that were nowhere near the zone, forcing in the go-ahead run. Brasier got ahead of Guerrero 1-2, but eventually walked him too, gift-wrapping another run for Toronto. (The bullpen allowed two hits in the eighth, but also gave out four walks and two wild pitches. That is inexcusable.)

The Red Sox went in order in both the seventh and eighth innings. Facing Ken Giles in the ninth, Rafael Devers struck out. Mookie Betts walked and stole second. Andrew Benintendi struck out. Xander Bogaerts hit a ground-rule double down the left field line, scoring Betts. (It was Bogaerts's seventh consecutive game with a double.) With the tying run at second, J.D. Martinez chased a high 2-2 fastball at 98 and struck out.

Way back in the second inning, after walks to Martinez and Vázquez, Bradley knocked in both runners with a double. JBJ scored on Chavis's single and after Betts walked, Benintendi's double to left scored Chavis and Mookie. Vázquez hit his 10th home run of the year in the third.

SNCV's dong data:
2014-18: 291 games, 10 dongs
2019:     62 games, 10 dongs
AL East: MFY 7, Astros 5. Athletics 4, Rays 2. ... MFY –, TBR 5.5, BOS 8.0.
Derek Law / Brian Johnson
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Holt, 2B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
Chavis, 1B
Núñez, 3B
Xander Bogaerts has doubled in six consecutive games. The American League record is seven, last accomplished by Mitch Moreland and José Ramírez in 2017. (Yadier Molina had an eight-game streak with the Cardinals in 2016.) Bogaerts has also reached base safely multiple times in a career-best eight games.

The Red Sox have won eight of their last nine games, with the bullpen posting a 1.70 ERA.

Steve Pearce will play rehab games with Pawtucket today and tomorrow. Heath Hembree may pitch in a rehab game on Monday.

AL East: MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 7.0. ... Astros/MFY, 7 PM; Rays/Athletics, 4 PM.

June 21, 2019

G77: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5 (10)

Blue Jays - 202 000 100 0 - 5 11  0
Red Sox   - 001 000 310 2 - 7 14  2
Blue Jays reliever Jordan Romano came into the ninth inning of Friday's game having faced only 11 major league hitters (3.2 innings since his debut on June 12). The first seven Red Sox batters were unable to put any of his pitches into play. Romano's first 39 pitches resulted in five strikeouts, one walk, one hit-batter, and a 3-2 count on Christian Vázquez.

Pitch #40 was put into play - and knocked out of the park. 'Someone Named' belted it to the opposite field, over, and well beyond, the Red Sox bullpen for a two-run, walkoff homer. It was Vázquez's second career walkoff homer, the first coming back on August 1, 2017. It was Vázquez's ninth home run of the year. In his first four seasons, he hit a total of only 10.

The Red Sox, who trailed 4-0 in the third inning and 5-1 in the seventh, rallied and tied the game in the eighth on Jackie Bradley's triple and Rafael Devers's pinch-hit single.

Things looked fairly dismal at the start for the home team, as Chris Sale needed 36 pitches to escape the first inning. Sale threw 11 pitches to his first batter, Eric Sogard, who capped the long at-bat with the first of his four singles. Sale got two outs on six pitches, but then walked Teoscar Hernández and Randal Grichuk. Freddie Galvis followed with a single to left, scoring two runs, and the runners moved up to second and third when Andrew Benintendi was charged with a throwing error because Sale failed to back up the play behind the plate.

Sale (5-7-4-2-8, 101) gave up two two-out singles in the second and a two-run dong to Grichuk in the third. He allowed two more hits in the fifth after retiring the leadoff batter. His pitch count: 36-16-21 15-13 = 101.

Boston put two runners on base in each of the first three innings against Trent Thornton (6.1-8-2-1-7, 102), but got only one of the six runners second. Benintendi singled to start the third, went to third on J.D. Martinez's single to right, and scored on Brock Holt's sac fly to center. Later on, the Red Sox left runners at second and third in the sixth when Michael Chavis grounded to shortstop and Bradley struck out.

The Blue Jays made it 5-1 against Colten Brewer in the seventh when Hernández walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and came home on Grichuk's single. Hernández went 0-for-3, but scored three of Toronto's five runs.

In the bottom of the seventh, Thornton struck out Sandy León, but Mookie Betts tripled to center. Tim Mayza came in, gave up a run-scoring single to Benintendi, and departed. Xander Bogaerts and Martinez welcomed Joe Biagini with a double to center and a single to left, thereby cutting the Blue Jays' lead down to 5-4. Biagini got a double play from Holt to abort the rally.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Ryan Brasier gave up hits to Brandon Drury and Sogard, but got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a routine fly to right. The Red Sox tied the game against David Phelps in the bottom half when Bradley tripled into the right field corner and Devers poked a single through the drawn-in infield.

Matt Barnes struck out two of his three batters in the ninth and Brandon Workman struck out his first man in the tenth. Cavan Biggio batted for Danny Jansen and walked. As Billy McKinney went down swinging, Biggio stole second. Umpire Phil "Blind Lemon" Cuzzi called Biggio out - and it took approximately three seconds to correct his blown call.

Biggio looked safe in real time, but that didn't stop NESN's Dave O'Brien from getting very excited by the out call. When the obvious became obviouser on replay, OB was all, 'Oh, of course, he's safe. Clearly.' Workman fell behind Roddy Tellez 2-0 before putting him on first. Sogard whacked the ball back up the middle. It struck Workman, he whirled around and looked down, picked the ball up, and threw Sogard out.

More nonsense from O'Brien:
B1: Benintendi walks on four pitches and O'Brien remarks that he saw "nothing even close" to swing at. But Ball 1 was barely outside, Ball 2 may have been a strike on the outside black, and Ball 4 was just below the strike zone.

B1: O'Brien reports that Holt "had a field day" against the Blue Jays last season, with 11 RBI. Sure, 11 RBI in 17 games is good, but is it really "a field day"? (And can you have a "field day" that lasts an entire year?) By the way, J.D. Martinez knocked in almost twice as many runs against Toronto as Holt did (20, which tied him for the most RBI against the Blue Jays in 2018).

So why didn't O'Brien tell us that JDM had a "field day" against Toronto? Probably because he had no clue that it happened. OB spied the Holt factoid in the press notes, gave it (maybe) .00001 of a second thought, and parroted the fact out of context. It wasn't particularly amazing or enlightening, it was merely some noise to fill the quiet between pitches. (I'd rather have the quiet, thank you.)

T10: Watching live, it was clear Bogaerts's tag was late and Biggio had stolen second base easily. OB: "And he's out!! ... [Sees the Blue jays dugout motioning to challenge the call] ... Or is he safe?" Well, that's the big question, isn't it, Dave? It's probably one or the other. (I would say that the NESN announcers fail to see and properly report what happens on the field for well over half of the plays that truly need a description.)
Also: In the bottom of the ninth, NESN's game recap listed seven strikeouts for Sale. He actually had eight. Here's some tips for how NESN's graphics people can avoid dumb mistakes: Watch the game. Ask Remy. Check mlb.com. Watch the game (it's your job).

And why does NESN usually put the DUE UP box featuring the next three batters when there are already two outs and the inning is perhaps only a handful of pitches from being over? How about giving viewers that information when the inning begins and some of those guys might actually come to the plate?

AL East: MFY 4, Astros 1. Rays 5, Athletics 3. ... MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 7.0.
Trent Thornton / Chris Sale
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Holt, 2B
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
Núñez, 3B
León, C
The Red Sox have played 34 home games, the fewest of any American League team. (The Yankees and Rays have played 39 and 38, respectively.) Boston is 3-7 in their last 10 games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox will host the Blue Jays and White Sox for three games each before heading to London for two games against the Yankees on the weekend of June 29-30. Then they have three games in Toronto and three in Detroit before the All-Star Break.

Chris Sale has a 2.09 ERA and an average of 14.6 K/9 in his last nine starts. He has allowed 0, 1, or 2 earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts.

Chris Sale has struck out 10 or more batters in each of his last four starts. No other pitcher has as many as three straight starts with 10+ strikeouts this season. Sale also leads all MLB pitchers with eight games of 10+ strikeouts, one more than Gerrit Cole and three more than Max Scherzer.

In his last 10 games at Fenway, Jackie Bradley is hitting .394/.474/.818 for a 1.292 OPS. ... Overall, he has a .997 OPS since May 20. ... He also leads all MLB players in SB% since the start of 2018 (92.0%, 23-for-25).

Rafael Devers is one of four qualified AL players with at least a .300 average, 50 runs scored, and 40 RBI. Devers ranks among AL leaders in multi-hit games (T-2nd, 29), hits (3rd, 91), runs scored (4th, 54), doubles (T-8th, 18), average (5th, .307), and RBI (T-13th, 47). ... He also leads all MLB players in batted balls with an exit velocity of 95+ MPH (121).

Devers leads all AL third basemen in runs scored (54), hits (91), average (.307), multi-hit games (29), and doubles (18 (tied)), and is #2 in RBI (47), extra-base hits (32), and stolen bases (8).

Devers is also one of only five Red Sox players with at least 100 extra-base hits through their age-22 season: Ted Williams (239), Tony Conigliaro (202), Bobby Doerr (157), Carl Yastrzemski (116), Devers (101).

AL East: MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 7.0. ... Astros/MFY, 7 PM; Rays/Athletics, 10 PM.

June 20, 2019

Not Many People Are Buying The Newest Official Story That Ortiz Was Not Assassin's Target

The claim made yesterday by Jean Alain Rodriguez, the Attorney General in the Dominican Republic, that David Ortiz was shot because the gunman confused him with Sixto David Fernández, who was sitting at the same table, is so laughable, according to WEEI's Alex Reimer, that "Sarah Sanders would've been proud of his performance".
Ortiz and Fernandez look nothing alike. It doesn't matter if both men may have been wearing white pants June 9, as police say. This would be one mystifying case of mistaken identity.
In fact, only three days ago, DR authorities called the possibility of Ortiz being mistaken for someone else "absurd". On June 16, a CNN wire service story reported:
[The alleged gunman] Ferreira Cruz told reporters he meant to shoot someone else, a claim that prosecutors say is absurd considering that Ortiz is one of the most recognizable people in the country.
Yeah ... I can't tell them apart.

Danica Coto (NBC Boston) writes that this case of mistaken identity began with a poor quality photograph taken minutes before the attack.
[O]ne of the accomplices shot a blurry photo of Fernández seated at the Dial Bar and Lounge in an upscale section of Santo Domingo. In the photo, a white freezer obscures Fernández's lower body, making it look like he was wearing white pants when, in fact, he was wearing black pants ...

Ortiz was wearing white pants on the night of the shooting and law-enforcement officials said that the gunman ... mistook him for the target and fired.

Nonetheless, many Dominicans were skeptical that their country's most famous person, a 6-foot-3-inch man weighing around 250 pounds, could be mistaken for Fernández, who appeared to be far smaller with a lighter complexion in a photo provided by authorities.

"He is big. He likes to attract attention," said Daniel Pou, an independent consultant on public security. "He wears a lot of jewelry. He's flashy all around."
If Fernández was wearing black pants that night, why did initial reports from the police say he was wearing white pants? Was he always standing in front of a white freezer when speaking to the cops?

David Abel of the Globe reports that many Dominicans are not taking the latest 'official story' seriously. At the Barcelo Santo Domingo hotel, a female employee pointed out that Ortiz has much darker skin than Fernandez, a different texture of hair, and is nowhere as brawny as the former slugger. Even from the back, she said, the two would be hard to confuse.

11 suspects are now in custody.

DR Attorney General Says Ortiz Was Not The Intended Target Of Shooting (... But, Honestly, Who The Hell Knows If That's True?)

Alex Reimer, WEEI:
Dominican authorities say David Ortiz was not the intended target of last Sunday's shooting inside of a crowded bar in Santo Domingo. ...

At a press conference Wednesday, Dominican Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said the attack was plotted against Sixto David Fernandez, who regularly attends the Dial Bar and Lounge. "The target was a friend of David Ortiz's, who was sharing the same table," Rodriguez said to reporters. "The attack was specifically against Sixto David Fernandez, who had been visiting that establishment." ...

Rodriguez also said a drug cartel member, Victor Hugo Gomez, is the mastermind behind the shooting. Dominican police say he paid the perpetrators roughly $7,800 to carry out the attack. So far, 12 co-conspirators have been arrested, with several more on the loose, including Gomez.

Officials say Gomez elicited the help of two prison inmates, Jose Eduardo Ciprián and Carlos Alvarez, to help organize the apparent assassination attempt.

The Daily Mail and other outlets have reported a drug kingpin ordered the hit on Ortiz, because he was engaged in a romantic relationship with one of the kingpin's partners. Receipts show Ortiz purchased an $85,000 Lexus for the woman in question, Maria Yeribell Martinez Garcia, one day before the shooting. She was also videotaped getting into an altercation with members of Ortiz's entourage at the hospital hours after he had been shot. ...

"David is very popular in the D.R. He's loved there, no question about that," [Red Sox security official Eddie] Dominguez explained. "I'm sure they're going to try to put the best spin possible on it, but I'm not quite sure you'll ever get the whole story from the Dominicans. I think the only way you'll get to the bottom of this is if United States law enforcement officials get involved."
Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, shared an update on the beloved slugger on Tuesday.
This morning, David's condition was upgraded to "good" by his doctors and he continues to make progress with his recovery in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston. David's journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time.

June 19, 2019

G76: Red Sox 9, Twins 4

Red Sox - 030 030 030 - 9 12  0
Twins   - 101 200 000 - 4  9  0
The Red Sox trailed by one run at two points on Wednesday night - 1-0 and 4-3 - and came back to beat the Twins by five runs.

Boston had 12 hits and 10 walks, and they went 7-for-14 with RATS. Eight players got hits, seven players walked, seven players scored, and six players knocked in runs. Brock Holt drove in three runs and Eduardo Núñez, who pinch-ran for Rafael Devers (right hamstring tightness) in the fifth, ended the day with two doubles. Xander Bogaerts doubled and walked twice and scored two runs.

The Red Sox batted around in the second inning, as the first five hitters reached base. Devers singled, Bogaerts walked, Holt singled (1-1), Michael Chavis singled (2-1), and Jackie Bradley walked. With one out, Mookie Betts singled (3-1).

Eight Boston players batted in the fifth - and the Red Sox methodically took the lead. J.D. Martinez walked, Devers singled, Bogaerts doubled (4-4), Núñez ran for Devers, Holt hit a sacrifice fly (5-4), and Chavis singled (6-4).

With one out in the eighth, Betts tripled, Andrew Benintendi doubled (7-4), Martinez singled (8-4), Núñez doubled (9-4), Bogaerts walked, Holt walked, and Chavis hit into a 4-3 double play.

Manager Alex Cora said after the game he planned on sending Eduardo Rodriguez (7-8-4-3-9, 113) out for the eighth inning, but the Red Sox had a lengthy top of the inning and he changed his mind. The bullpen obviously worked overtime (12 innings) on Tuesday night, but sending Rodriguez to the mound after 113 pitches with only a two-run lead (if the Red Sox had not scored in the T8) seems extremely risky. I was not thrilled to read that news.

AL East: MFY 12, Rays 1. ... MFY –, TBR 3.5, BOS 6.5.
Eduardo Rodriguez / Kyle Gibson
Betts, DH
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Holt, 2B
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
León, C
AL East: MFY –, TBR 2.5, BOS 6.5. ... Rays/MFY, 1 PM.

Ken Davidoff, Post (June 19):
If the Yankees win and Giancarlo Stanton strikes out twice, does it make a sound?

The answer could definitively be found Tuesday night in The Bronx: Yes, it makes a rather significant sound, a melody of boos with a "You suck!" punctuating the scene.

June 18, 2019

G75: Twins 4, Red Sox 3 (17)

Red Sox - 000 100 100 000 100 00 - 3 17  0
Twins   - 000 100 010 000 100 01 - 4 15  1
Max Kepler, who had already rescued the Twins twice, with a game-tying single in the eighth inning and a long, game-tying home run into the second deck in the thirteenth, did it again in the seventeenth, ripping a bases-loaded single (on the 488th pitch of the night) just inside the right field line, scoring Luis Arraez.

The deciding run came off Brian Johnson, Boston's ninth pitcher of the night, who had given up one-out single to Arraez and a double to the right-field wall to Eddie Rosario. After a mound visit, Mookie Betts came in just behind second base, making a five-man infield. C.J. Cron was intentionally walked. Kepler took a ball, then cemented his status as Tuesday night's hero for the home team.

Before the game began, manager Alex Cora said the vibe around the team "is different ... There's no more searching. You feel it. You come to the ballpark every day now and it feels like last year." Then, after a game lasting 5:45, the Red Sox went 1-for-13 with RATS and left 14 men on base and watched their winning streak came to an end at six games.

For a while, it was looking as though Rafael Devers might be the man of the moment. His two-out single scored Betts with the game's first run and he led off the seventh with his 12th home run of the year. But Minnesota tied the game both times: Cron singled in Rosario, who had doubled with two outs in the fourth and Kepler came through in the eighth after Brandon Workman had walked two Twins and thrown a wild pitch.

Mookie Betts began the top of the thirteenth with a drive off the screen attached to the left field foul pole. But Kepler matched that dong in the bottom half, sending Hector Velázquez's fourth pitch into next week (or at least to deep right-center).

In 17 innings, there are going to be plenty of squanders - and the Red Sox certainly had their share. In the top of the tenth, Brock Holt doubled off Tyler Duffey and went to third on Michael Chavis's groundout to third. Jackie Bradley was hit in the foot by a pitch. But Christian Vázquez popped Duffey's first pitch to shallow right and Betts drove an 1-0 pitch to the warning track in right-center. Kepler made the catch about two steps in front of the wall. Boston had runners at first and second with two outs in the twelfth, but Vázquez struck out.

The Red Sox had a man in "scoring position" in three of the last four innings. In the fourteenth, Holt and Chavis both singled and Bradley bunted them over (though the play went catcher to shortstop (Chavis was called safe) to the second baseman covering first). Vázquez choked again, popping the first pitch to second. (SN stranded seven runners, more than any other batter in the game.) Betts took two balls before he was given first base. Andrew Benintendi tapped a grounder to second. Betts tried to screen Jonathan Schoop, but the Twins infielder made the play.

Xander Bogaerts doubled with two down in the fifteenth, but Holt's eight-pitch at-bat ended with a strikeout. Vázquez's two-out single in the sixteenth was wasted when Betts popped to first.

The squander in the seventeenth was perhaps the worst of the night. Benintendi lined a single to right. When J.D. Martinez (who finished the night 0-for-8, with five strikeouts) swung and missed Zack Littell's 0-1 pitch, Benintendi stole second and went to third on a wild throw. Man on third, no one out. ... Sounds good, but the Twins got three outs from three batters on three goddamn pitches. JDM tried to check his swing on the next pitch, but was rung up. Devers tapped the first pitch down the first base line. Cron gloved it, looked Benny back to third. Devers stopped running, so Cron flipped the ball to Schoop at first. And Bogaerts sent a routine grounder to third on the first fuckin pitch.

Three great plays in the field for Boston: Vázquez picked off Mitch Garver, who had led off the sixth with a double, off third base. The Twins still managed to load the bases against Mike Shawaryn, but Shaw-dini wriggled out of trouble. Devers was the lone man on the left side of the infield and was in perfect position to make a fantastic diving, tumbling catch of Arraez's line drive to end the fourteenth.

And in the fifteenth, after Rosario doubled over Mookie's head, Chavis, at first base, caught Cron's line drive and ran towards second as Rosario and Bogaerts raced back to the bag. Bogaerts got there first and caught Chavis's throw just as he got to, and stepped on, the bag. Then Velazquez fired six changeups to Kepler. The first five were all low in the zone and the count was full when he threw the sixth one right down the pipe for called strike three. Maybe Hector should have thrown another (a fifth) inning.

David Price pitched only five innings and threw 73 pitches (5-4-1-0-2, 73). A spokesman for the team said Price did not come out of the game because of an injury. Josh Taylor looked good in the tenth and eleventh, giving up only one single and striking out four. ... The Red Sox's pitchers threw 260 pitches and the Twins' pitchers threw 228.

AL East: MFY 6, Rays 3. ... MFY –, TBR 2.5, BOS 6.5.
David Price / Pinetar Pineda
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Holt, 2B
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
AL East: MFY –, TBR 1.5, BOS 5.5. ... Rays/MFY, 7 PM.