June 22, 2018
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Minnesota Twins outslug slumping Red Sox 15-8

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — The tarp was covering the Fenway Park field as rain fell when the Minnesota Twins were scheduled to take batting practice Wednesday.

After what then happened in the game, the Twins may want batting practice called off on a permanent basis.

“Absolutely. That’s for sure; that’s what we said today,” laughing batting coach Tom Brunansky said after his team compiled 20 hits in a 15-8 victory over the slumping Boston Red Sox.

The Twins, hitting just .239 entering the game, scored 11 runs in the first two innings and then cruised to the second win in as many nights, evening their record at 15-15.

“It just started raining right before (BP),” said manager Ron Gardenhire. “If it’s raining tomorrow we’re going to ask for the same thing — we’re going to ask for a little BP rain.

“It was a crazy night. The ball started flying early; both pitchers … neither one of the starters got a chance to breathe. We got a great pick-us-up by Pressly.”

Pressly is former Red Sox farmhand Ryan Pressly, picked up as a Rule 5 selection by the Twins. He worked four effective innings in relief of Pedro Hernandez for his first major league win.

“It’s kind of surreal right now,” Pressly said. “I don’t know what to think. It’s kind of a good feeling to do it against your old organization; but a win is a win so I’m happy to get the first one out of the way.”

Said Gardenhire: “He gave us some huge, huge innings and got us to the other (relievers). That’s the farthest we’ve stretched out Pressly and he went about his business pretty good, so that was a big pick-us-up tonight.”

Offensively, Oswaldo Arcia and Ryan Doumit stroked four hits apiece, Doumit getting his fourth hit on a scoring change after the game following a weird double play in the seventh inning. Pedro Florimon and Doumit homered and the Twins beat up on rookie Allen Webster (0-1) and Felix Doubront.

The Twins scored their most runs in a game at Fenway Park since scoring 17 in 1965.

The Red Sox lost for the fifth time in the last six games. The loss dropped Boston, which has been in or tied for first place in the AL East every day this season, into a tie with the winning Orioles, both teams at 21-13. The Yankees are 19-13, a game out.

“A tough night from the mound tonight,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “A number of pitches found their way to the middle of the plate. Once again, they swung aggressively, they hit a number of fastballs that didn’t get to the intended location.”

Floriman had a solo homer and two-run double in a seven-run second inning, and Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe also drove in three runs.

Doumit, who homered for the second straight night, hit a seventh inning drive to left-center that should have been a double, but confusion on the base paths led to the Twins running into a double play.

After the game, the umpires said Doumit was called out for passing Plouffe between first and second, thus making it a hit. He had a double and homer in Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory.

Ryan Gomes drove in five runs for the Red Sox, four with a first-inning grand slam that tied the game 4-4; and Boston scored again in the inning.

“Jonny gives us a huge lift after we give up the four in the first,” said Farrell. “We take the lead and unfortunately (there was) the inability to maintain it. In that seven-run second inning, things got away from us and at that point they continued to tack on.”

Webster was called up to start in place of struggling Doubront, who was moved to the bullpen for this start. Doubront would be in the game in the second inning.

NOTES: Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to seven games. … David Ortiz went 0-for-5, ending his season-opening 15-game hitting streak. He had hit in his last 27 games, dating back to last July. Ortiz denied PED use is a reason for his torrid start. “They test me all the time,” he told the Boston Globe in a lengthy interview. “They make you pee and they test your blood, too. This year I would say I’ve probably been tested five times, peeing. Blood, just once. That was in spring training. They don’t warn you. They just show up.” He said hard work is the key to his success. … Wednesday marked the 40th anniversary of the first use of the DH, with former Yankee Ron Blumberg, the first DH to bat, and Sox counterpart Orlando Cepeda honored before the game. … Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (ribs) and catcher David Ross (thigh, knee), who collided and then hit a barrier as Middlebrooks caught a foul pop Tuesday night, were both out, although Ross was available if needed. Middlebrooks wanted to play but was held out after a CT-scan showed no rib fractures; the club is still awaiting MRI results. Farrell said after the game Middlebrooks should play Thursday night. … Minnesota’s Kevin Correia faces John Lackey in Thursday night’s series finale. … Wednesday was also the anniversary of Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett’s first big league game. On May 8, 1984, he became the ninth player ever with four hits in his first game.

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