Kepler's 10th-inning homer gives Twins 7-4 win over Red Sox
MINNEAPOLIS >> Max Kepler's first major league homer was a three-run shot in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday that gave the Minnesota Twins a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Joe Mauer drew a leadoff walk in the 10th from Matt Barnes (2-3) and was sacrificed to second by Trevor Plouffe. Brian Dozier singled off the glove of shortstop Xander Bogaerts, sending Mauer to third.
Boston brought in outfielder Mookie Betts and played in with a five-man infield, but Kepler made that all moot when the rookie from Germany sent a long drive to center field to give Minnesota its fifth walk-off win of the season.
Michael Tonkin (2-2) allowed a single to Bogaerts in the top of the inning but struck out David Ortiz with Bogaerts at second.
Twins starter Pat Dean held down the American League's top offense, and the Twins took advantage of shaky Boston defense to win for the third time in nine games.
Dean allowed one run on three hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings against Boston, which had scored 23 runs on 31 hits in the series and entered play with an AL-high 5.98 runs per game.
Miscues on defense aided big innings for both teams. Bogaerts, who had four hits in each of the first two games of the three-game series, made two errors.
Minnesota led 4-1 in the eighth before the Red Sox tied the score. Twins third baseman Eduardo Nunez sent a throw into right field on a double-play attempt with the bases loaded and no outs.
Dean provided a big boost in his fifth career start. He didn't allow a runner past first base until the fifth when Chris Young homered to left field.
Boston starter Rick Porcello allowed four runs — one earned — and five hits in seven innings.
The Twins were awarded right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Minnesota transferred pitcher Phil Hughes to the 60-day disabled list with a broken leg. A corresponding move on the 25-man roster will be made before Monday's game.
Ramirez, 27, has a 5.79 ERA in 10 games this season for Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs. He's pitched in 79 career major league games with a 2.42 ERA.
Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said outfielder Brock Holt could return during the team's 10-game homestand, as Holt has made "steady progress" in his recovery from a concussion. Farrell said Holt is taking medication to control headaches. . C Ryan Hanigan, on the disabled list since June 5 with a neck strain, is going through treatment and Farrell said he's hopeful Hanigan will begin some baseball activities when the team returns to Boston. Farrell said Hanigan has dealt with the issue in the past, as well.
Twins: OF Danny Santana could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Monday, according to manager Paul Molitor. Santana has been out since May 30 with a left hamstring strain. Molitor said Santana has been running and hitting without any issues. . OF Miguel Sano (left hamstring strain) has progressed to hitting off a tee and jogging on the field.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (7-3, 4.63 ERA) opens Boston's home series Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, who send RHP Chris Tillman (8-1, 3.01) to the mound. Price has lost his last two starts despite giving up just four earned runs in 15 innings.
Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-4, 5.17) will start for Minnesota when it opens a three-game series at the Angels on Monday. Los Angeles will counter with RHP Jered Weaver (5-5, 5.56). Nolasco allowed a season-high 11 hits in a no-decision against Miami in his last start, giving up five runs in 5 2/3 innings.
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