After waiting through a three hour rain delay that began in the middle of the seventh inning, the Red Sox were finally able to complete a three-game weekend sweep of the Twins with a 5-1 win yesterday in Minnesota. The Red Sox have now swept four series’ this season, compared to just three all of last year.
Starter John Lackey (2-4) earned the win, throwing six scoreless inning of one hit ball in arguably his best outing of the season. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. The one Minnesota run scored on a throwing error from shortstop Pedro Ciriaco in the fifth. Lackey’s ERA now falls to 3.31 on the year.
The Red Sox got their runs on a solo home run from Will Middlebrooks in the third, a RBI fielder's choice from Dustin Pedroia in the fourth, a Mike Napoli RBI single in the fifth, and capped off by a two-run homer from Pedroia in the ninth.
In all, the Red Sox finished with 11 hits as every starter recorded a hit except Ciriaco. The team could have put more runs on the board, if not for struggling once again with runners in scoring position as they finished 3-for-13 in the game.
As has been the case of late the team got a solid relief from their bullpen as Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa combined to pitch three innings of scoreless relief in the win.
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The Red Sox will close out their nine-game road trip with a three-game set in Chicago against the White Sox beginning tonight (8:10, NESN). In Game 1, Jon Lester will be opposed by right-hander Dylan Axelrod, while Felix Doubront is scheduled to go against Jose Quintana tomorrow and in the finale Clay Buchholz will take his unblemished 6-0 record against Chris Sale.
Chicago comes into the series in last place in the AL Central and losers of two straight. On the other hand the Sox are riding a five-game win streak and sit in second place behind the Yankees in the AL East.
What they'll be saying: This upcoming series against Chicago should provide the Red Sox with a good opportunity to increase their winning streak and go into their next homestand with the first place Cleveland Indians and the return of Terry Francona with some momentum.