June 20, 2018
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Twins’ Diamond shuts down Red Sox for 6-1 victory

Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports | BDN
Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports | BDN
Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Doumit (9) celebrates with left fielder Josh Willingham (16), shortstop Jamey Carroll (8) and second baseman Brian Dozier (2) after defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 Tuesday night at Fenway Park in Boston.
By Matthew Carroll, The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — Scott Diamond’s first start against Boston was certainly one to remember.

Diamond pitched seven shutout innings, Ryan Doumit hit his first home run of the season and the Minnesota Twins beat the Red Sox 6-1 on Tuesday night.

Diamond (3-2) was dazzling in his first start at Fenway Park, allowing just three hits — all singles — before retiring the final 15 batters he faced. The lefthander struck out two without a walk and never allowed a runner to advance past first base as Minnesota won for just the third time in its last eight games.

The Red Sox, who have lost four of their last five games, singled to begin each of the first three innings, but they didn’t reach base again until Jarrod Saltalamacchia opened the ninth with a home run off Josh Roenicke.

After doubling and scoring the first run in the fifth inning, Doumit belted his first home run since Sept. 29 with one out in the seventh, depositing a 2-2 fastball from Ryan Dempster into the first row of seats atop the Green Monster for a 2-0 lead.

Three errors in the eighth allowed Minnesota to blow the game open.

Third baseman Pedro Ciriaco, who replaced an injured Will Middlebrooks in the seventh, made back-to-back blunders on grounders by Brian Dozier and Jamey Carroll. Minnesota didn’t wait long to capitalize, as Joe Mauer plated Dozier with a double down the left-field line and consecutive singles by Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe stretched the lead to 5-0.

A throwing error by Saltalamacchia led to another run. He was a defensive replacement for catcher David Ross, who left the game in the fifth inning after colliding with Middlebrooks on a foul pop-up.

Diamond outdueled Dempster, who was more than impressive himself. Dempster (2-3) allowed four runs — two earned — on five hits over seven-plus innings, striking out eight and walking one.

Dempster breezed through the first four innings, allowing two singles while striking out four of the first nine batters he faced.

The fifth inning wasn’t as smooth, though.

Doumit doubled to right to begin the inning, moved to third on a balk by Dempster and scored on Wilkin Ramirez’s sharp single up the middle.

David Ortiz singled to lead off the second, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 27 games dating to July 2. Big Papi’s power surge matches the longest stretch in Red Sox history, tying Manny Ramirez’s 27-game run in 2006.

NOTES: Ross left the game in the top of the fifth with a left quadriceps contusion. Middlebrooks eventually left with right side pain. … Minnesota has gone 10 straight games without committing an error, its longest streak of the season and longest since an 11-game stretch from July 20-31, 2010. … Patty Campbell, the mother of Krystle Campbell, who was killed in the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last month, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Morneau’s second-inning single moved him past Torii Hunter and into eighth place on the Twins’ career hit list, with 1,218.

Orioles 4, Royals 3: Matt Wieters drove in three runs, and his eighth-inning double lifted the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the series opener Tuesday night.

The Orioles blew a 3-0 lead before moving back in front in the eighth. Adam Jones led off with a walk against Tim Collins (1-1), who exited after striking out Chris Davis. Jones took second when Luke Hochevar’s pickoff throw sailed past first base, and he scored on Wieters’ double.

Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his league-leading 12th save.

Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen gave up nine hits (all singles) and no walks while striking out two over 6 1/3 innings. He got some help from the Baltimore defense, which turned three double plays.

Tommy Hunter (2-1) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

The Royals’ Ervin Santana struggled early with his pitch count but wound up allowing just three runs on seven hits in six innings. He finished with four strikeouts and a walk.

The Royals have been followed by bad weather this season and they faced another rain delay in the seventh, trailing 3-1.

The 48-minute delay ended the night for Chen, who was trying to become just the third Orioles starter to get through seven innings this season.

When play resumed, Brian Matusz entered for the Orioles and allowed a game-tying, two-run homer to Alex Gordon. It was the first time since moving to the bullpen in August that Matusz allowed an inherited runner to score.

The Orioles quickly ended Santana’s 13-inning scoreless streak with an RBI single by Jones in the first. Wieters then increased the lead to 3-0 with a two-run double to center field.

It took Santana 33 pitches to get through the opening inning. He also allowed more than two runs in a game for the first time since April 3 against the Chicago White Sox.

After cruising through the first two innings, Chen allowed a two-out, RBI single to Alcides Escobar in the third that cut the Orioles’ lead to 3-1.

NOTES: The Royals’ Bruce Chen, Jeremy Guthrie and Miguel Tejada each had successful tenures with the Orioles. Chen won 13 games for the Baltimore in 2005, while Guthrie was Baltimore’s Opening Day starter three times. Tejada had a club-record 150 RBI in 2004. … Kansas City entered the night leading the major leagues in two-out offense, batting .291 with 52 RBIs. … Orioles SS J.J. Hardy received a cortisone injection for a sore right elbow last weekend, but he hasn’t missed any games. … 3B Manny Machado committed just the Orioles’ second error in 11 games with an errant throw in the fifth.


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