Red Sox handle rain delay to sweep series from Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- At least John Lackey and the Boston Red Sox had something to keep themselves entertained during a long rain delay on Sunday.
Lackey allowed one hit over six innings before a three-hour delay, Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks homered and the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 for their fifth straight victory.
Fans at Target Field saw more than the Twins' fifth straight loss.
The longest delay ever at the ballpark lasted long enough for the 1993 movie "The Sandlot" to be shown in its entirety on the videoboard. Several cast and crew members were at the stadium to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary.
When asked what he did during the delay, Lackey laughed and said he did what everyone else left at the stadium did while it poured.
"Watched ‘The Sandlot.' I hadn't seen that in a while," he said before getting back to talking about his performance. "I wanted to go at least another inning. I was definitely frustrated a little bit not to keep going. But winning the game is all that really matters."
The game resumed about 80 minutes after the movie ended and many fans moved into the first eight rows behind the dugouts.
Lackey (2-4) gave up one unearned run and struck out five before dark skies and heavy rain sent fans running for cover as he was warming up to start the seventh.
Lackey ended his three-game losing streak. He didn't allow a runner until Trevor Plouffe led off the fifth with a double. Plouffe later scored on shortstop Pedro Ciriaco's throwing error.
"Crisp. He was powerful," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Overall just a solid performance for him."
Earlier this month, Lackey's throwing error against the Twins resulted in four unearned runs and a frustrating loss in the midst of a stretch where the Red Sox went 2-9.
After Andrew Miller pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Koji Uehara loaded the bases in the eighth, but struck out Joe Mauer to end the threat.
"We didn't really come up with key hits when we needed to or when we wanted to," Twins outfielder Chris Parmelee said. "It's tough to win a ballgame when you don't have any clutch hits."
Junichi Tazawa pitched the ninth and capped a weekend where the Red Sox bullpen didn't allow a run.
Mauer's 15-game hitting streak was snapped. The All-Star catcher struck out three times and has now fanned in 16 straight games.
"It's baseball, man," Plouffe said. "These games, they happen throughout the season and it's something you've got to deal with."
Pedroia drove in three runs, scored twice and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His two-run homer in the ninth bounced off the wrist of a leaping Josh Willingham and over the left-field wall.
"Lucky," Pedroia said. "But we'll take the break. They're usually robbing ‘em."
Middlebrooks' two-out homer in the second off Pedro Hernandez (2-1) traveled 402 feet and flew over the flower pots on top of the scoreboard wall in right-center field.
Movie or no movie, Farrell chuckled when asked about his team's focus coming out of the long delay.
"That's built in," he said. "Even with a three-hour rain delay, they're rarin' to go. Keeping this group focused, I'm not going to say is not an issue, but the game is clearly a priority to them."
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