BOSTON — With two starters working their way back from injuries, Rubby De La Rosa has no way of knowing what his immediate future will bring.
But if he pitches like he did on Monday night, his second dominating performance in four starts since coming up, the 25-year-old right-hander will give the Boston Red Sox management something to think about.
“I don’t want to think about that,” a smiling De La Rosa said after pitching seven innings of one-hit ball in leading the offensively challenged Red Sox to a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
De La Rosa, who came to the Red Sox as part of that huge 2012 trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitched seven shutout innings in his first start, stumbled a bit through the next two but was then brilliant Monday, when he won a pitcher’s duel with right-hander Kevin Correia.
Both no-run efforts have come at home, the other two outings on the road.
“I know it’s been 14 shutout innings here at Fenway, whether he feels the energy here in this ballpark or is comfortable on our mound, that’s clearly the case,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “When a guy possesses that type of arm and that repertoire, as long as he throws strikes, he’s going to have the ability to get some of the best hitters in the game.”
De La Rosa went 3-0 on the first three batters of the game, walked two of them but then got a double play to end the first inning. The Twins helped him out with a baserunning gaffe in the third and De La Rosa retired the last 13.
“He was good,” said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. “The guy throws mid-90s and has a changeup like that, a breaking ball every once and a while, but changeups … 3-2 changeups. He was pretty good. He was tough. Our guy was tough, too, threw the ball very well.”
Correia, coming off a six-shutout-inning effort in his previous start, gave up five hits, and the only run of the game came on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly by Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.
“That guy was tough,” Correia said of De La Rosa. “We had an opportunity early but after that he was real tough. I put us in a situation where we were in the game and that’s all I can really do.”
Correia’s performance was not enough to keep him from falling to 3-8 and becoming the American League’s second eight-game loser.
Gardenhire, asked about a 1-0 game at Fenway Park, said, “That doesn’t normally happen. Normally it’s wall ball and you never know what’s going to happen here. That’s kind of one of those games where you’re kind of wondering, how’s this going to break open — somebody’s going to throw up a five-spot somewhere because that wall’s going to come into play. But it was good pitching tonight.”
Boston left-hander Andrew Miller relieved to start the eighth inning, struck out the first hitter, but right-hander Burke Badenhop had to escape a jam. Catcher Kurt Suzuki singled, and then, after third baseman Eduardo Escobar lined out hard to left, center fielder Sam Fuld doubled.
Badenhop then hit shortstop Danny Santana, whose base running cost the Twins a chance in the third inning, with an 0-2 pitch but struck out second baseman Brian Dozier to end the threat.
Closer Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in as many chances — his 38th in a row dating back to last season (including postseason).
Boston ended a two-game losing streak but has scored just five runs over its last three games combined. Monday marked the 24th time in 70 games the Red Sox scored two runs or fewer, and they are 2-22 when they don’t score at least three.
They raised their record in one-run games to just 9-15.
The Red Sox are 1-for-22 with runners in scoring position over the last three games, including 0-for-7 Monday night.