BOSTON -- After numerous chances throughout the game, the Red Sox finally came through with a few clutch hits in the late innings to come away with a 6-5 extra innings win over the Minnesota Twins Monday night at Fenway Park. It was the first win of the year for the Sox when trailing after six innings.
The Red Sox trailed 3-0 and 3-1, but worked their way back to ultimately come away with the win. Stephen Drew tied the game at four with a solo home run in the seventh inning and then Dustin Pedroia launched a solo home run into the Monster seats to give the Sox a 5-4 lead. This all came before Joel Hanrahan allowed a solo home run to Brian Dozier in the ninth, which knotted the score at five. The Red Sox eventually got the last laugh on a walk-off double off the Monster from Drew in the 11th inning.
"He's been swinging the bat much better of late," manager John Farrell said of Drew. "He came through with the key hit to walk it off. The home run gets us another run closer earlier in the ballgame. The one thing that we've talked to Stephen about is, over the last ten days or so it's sort of like the end of spring training for him with the number of at bats he's compiled. His timing is getting better and better and it was a solid night at the plate for him."
David Ortiz extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a double in the eighth, while Shane Victorino had a good night as well going 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Drew finished with four hits and three RBIs. The Sox did have plenty of chances to score earlier in the game as they finished 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Making his first start since the accusations in Toronto that he was doctoring the baseball, Buchholz got off to a rough start. He allowed five straight batters to reach in the first inning and two runs to cross the plate before getting out of a bases loaded jam. Between the end of the first and the top of the fourth he retired nine straight hitters before allowing back-to-back doubles and the third Minnesota run. He then allowed another run in the fifth, before a 1-2-3 sixth for his last inning. He finished the night allowing four runs on seven hits in the six innings of work, recording nine strikeouts while throwing a season-high 116 pitches.
Alex Wilson, Andrew Miller, Craig Breslow combined to pitch two scoreless innings of relief before Hanrahan allowed the run in the ninth. Hanrahan left the game after the next hitter with what was described after the game as right forearm tightness with an MRI coming Tuesday. This comes after Andrew Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day with bicep soreness. Clayton Mortensen got the last out in the ninth inning and pitched the tenth and eleventh innings to earn the win.
The teams will be back at Fenway tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) as Ryan Dempster will take to the mound for the Sox and be opposed by Scott Diamond.
What they'll be saying: It was one of the wilder games of the season, with the Red Sox coming from behind throughout the game to finally tie it and take the lead, before giving up the lead again and then end it with a walk-off hit. It shows the fight the team has and the ability to grind out wins ... Mortensen was outstanding for the Sox, pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing the team to not have to go to relievers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa, who Farrell wanted to stay away from after all their work over the weekend as well as Dempster who made his way out to the bullpen for a possible relief appearance ... Buchholz didn't have his best overall stuff, but still pitched well. After a rough first he settled in and made it through the sixth inning. After what unfolded in the later innings it's a good thing he did. Even though he suffered a no-decision the Red Sox are still 7-0 in games he's started this season.