The Minnesota Twins (15-12) defeated the Boston Red Sox (14-12) on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series this weekend thanks to a walk-off home run from Joe Mauer. The Twins were led by Miguel Sano, who went 2-3 with a triple and a RBI, as well as Eddie Rosario, who went 2-4 with a triple and a run scored.
Boston threatens early, Hughes shuts them down
Phil Hughes took the mound for the twins, and got off to a decent start in the first inning, as he got the first two outs without an issue, but gave up a two-out double to Mookie Betts. Thankfully for Hughes, he was able to get Hanley Ramirez to ground out for the third out of the inning.
The Twins got the scoring started in their half of the first, as Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez got Brian Dozier to strikeout for the first out of the inning, but then hit Mauer. He scored when Sano hit a triple to right field to make it a 1-0 Twins lead.
Sano scored a few minutes later when Robbie Grossman singled to left field to make it a 2-0 Twins lead. Escobar was able to get Max Kepler to ground into a fielder’s choice before inducing Eduardo Escobar to line out to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for the final out of the inning.
Boston gets on the board in the third
The Red Sox got on the board in the top of the third when Andrew Benitendi hit a one-out home run to straightaway center field to cut the Twins lead to just one run. Hughes rebounded to retire the final two batters to escape with just one run allowed. He then proceeded to hold Boston scoreless for the rest of his time in the game, as he departed with two outs in the seventh inning having given up just six hits and the one run while recording four strikeouts.
He was replaced by Taylor Rogers, who got Benitendi to fly out to right field to end the inning. The Twins got another run in the bottom of the seventh when Rosario led off with a triple and scored when Mauer singled to right field to give the Twins an insurance run.
Red Sox rally in the ninth, tie the game
Neither team scored in the eighth inning, which brought Boston up in the ninth needing two runs to keep the game going. The first batter was Mitch Moreland, who singled to right field. After he was replaced at first base by Deven Marrero, Josh Rutledge stepped up to the plate and hit an infield single to put two runners on for Jackie Bradley Jr., who grounded out to Dozier for the first out of the inning, though it did advance the runners to second and third.
That brought up Chris Young, who pinch-hit for Christian Vazquez, who scorched a single to left field to clear the bases and tie the game at three. Pitcher Brandon Kintzler was able to get Dustin Pedroia to fly out to center field and got Andrew Benintendi to ground out to end the inning and send it to the bottom of the ninth inning.
Mauer ends it
After the Red Sox got the first two outs of the inning, Mauer stepped up to the plate and hit a solo home run to left-center field to end the game and send the Twins fans home happy. It was the first walk-off of the season for the Twins.
- Byron Buxton did not play in the game after suffering a head injury on Thursday against Oakland. While he did not appear, manager Paul Molitor said before the game that he would be available to pinch-run if absolutely necessary. It is still unclear if Buxton will be in the lineup on Saturday afternoon.
- Dozier was removed due to an ankle injury in the bottom of the ninth, and his status is considered day-to-day, though Molitor didn’t speculate after the game if he would play on Saturday.
- The two teams will play game two of the series on Saturday afternoon when the Twins send RHP Nick Tepesch (0-0, 0.00) to the mound, while Boston responds with Rick Porcello (1-4, 4.46 ERA).
Win – Brandon Kintzler (1-0)
Loss – Matt Barnes (3-1)
Save – None
Player of the Game – Joe Mauer (2-4, walk-off home run in 9th inning.)