Alex Verdugo ended the game with a highlight-reel catch as the Boston Red Sox extended their winning streak to eight games with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Xander Bogaerts had two doubles and Christian Arroyo added two hits, including what proved to be the winning run for Boston. Verdugo also had two hits.
Nathan Eovaldi (2-1) picked up the win, allowing two runs on five hits over five innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three. Matt Barnes, despite giving up a leadoff walk and a stolen base to Jake Cave, picked up his second save in two days, thanks to the diving catch by Verdugo on a Luis Arraez sinking line drive to end the game.
Jorge Polanco drove in two runs for Minnesota which lost its fourth straight game. The four-game home losing streak matches the longest under manager Rocco Baldelli.
Kenta Maeda (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Boston parlayed four singles and a throwing error into a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Ex-Twin Marwin Gonzalez led off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Hunter Renfroe. Franchy Cordero followed with another single to put runners at first and second. Kevin Plawecki then bunted and Maeda threw wildly trying to get a force at third allowing Renfroe to score. Arroyo then singled in Cordero to make it 3-0.
The Twins cut it to 3-2 in the third on Polanco’s one-out single over the mound that drove in Ryan Jeffers and JT Riddle who began the inning with back-to-back singles and advanced on a wild pitch.
The Red Sox had a chance to break the game open in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out on a double by Bogaerts, a single by Rafael Devers and a walk to Renfroe. But Twins reliever Brandon Waddell got out of the jam by getting Kike Hernandez and Plawecki to pop out.
Minnesota played without shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who was placed on the COVID injured list after testing positive. Simmons, who had minor symptoms, will be sidelined at least 10 days.
–Field Level Media