After nearly sweeping the Tigers in Detroit, the Boston Red Sox came into Minnesota with high hopes to continue a successful road trip against the Twins. Four games and three losses later, the Sox are back at square one and reeling to try and salvage a winning trip now with only two games remaining in Baltimore.
After a Jonathan Papelbon blown save on Friday, a 9th inning rally falling short on Sunday and a 12-hit effort gone to waste on Monday, the Red Sox leave the Twin city shaking their heads, knowing that they could have again easily swept the four game series, but this time walk away with three more games in the loss column.
Last nights defeat came at the hands of 34-year old pitcher Livan Hernandez, who looks to be not only 30 lbs overweight, but hasn’t seen a fastball touch the mid 90’s since the mid 90’s. The Sox clobbered him for 10 hits over 6 innings, but could only muster 3 runs, all of which came on Manny Ramirez’s 498 career homerun in the first inning.
“It’s tough, but you have to give the Twins credit,” Ramirez said. “They have a great bullpen that pitched great, and you have to tip your hat to them.”
Clay Buchholtz saw control problems early on in this one and didn’t make it out of the 5th inning, surrendering 8 hits, 5 walks and all 7 runs in only 4 1/3 innings. Up to this point in the season Buchholtz is 2-3 on the year and been the most inconsistent starter in the rotation, showing spots of brilliance and at other times looking like the rookie he is.
“I don’t know what anybody can tell me,” Buchholz said. “It’s sort of in my hands right now. I was leaving pitches up, and they got hit. That’s what happens.”
Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young all chipped in with two hits a piece in the winning effort for the Twins.
“Everybody’s starting to swing the bats, and it’ll be fun around here when we start to see everyone get going,” said Craig Monroe, who belted a two-run double in a game changing three-run 5h inning.
The Twins improve to 20-17 on the year, which currently is tops in the AL Central by 1.5 games over the Cleveland Indians. After the series, the Red Sox record falls to 24-17, still good enough for best in the AL East where they lead the Tampa Bay Rays by half a game.
Josh Beckett returns to the mound for the Red Sox tonight to try and get them back in the win column. Beckett has logged two wins in a row, and looks to make it three going up against Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie who is 1-3 on the season with a 4.32 ERA has had some success in the past vs. Boston logging 20 2/3 career innings against the Sox with a 2.61 ERA. His most notable performance against Boston came last season on Mother’s Day at Fenway Park when he held the Sox to only 3 hits and 1 unearned run over 8 1/3 innings before he was pulled from the game, only to watch his bullpen blow a 5-0 lead in what is now referred to as “the Mother’s Day Miracle”.
Wednesday’s match up will feature Jon Lester pitching against Daniel Cabrera. Lester is coming off of a no decision while Cabrera hurled a complete game 3-hitter in his last outing for the win.
Following the Baltimore series the Sox will return to Fenway for a 7-game homestand against the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. Tickets are still available for both series!