Twins defeat Red Sox again, 5-3
BOSTON (AP) -- Oswaldo Arcia hit a two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins capitalized on a costly throwing error by Boston starter John Lackey to beat the struggling Red Sox 5-3 Thursday night.
Lackey’s wild throw to second base on a potential inning-ending double play gave the Twins another chance in the sixth and they responded with four unearned runs, including two on Arcia’s homer, to take a 5-2 lead.
Minnesota wrapped up the four-game series with its third consecutive win while the Red Sox lost for the sixth time in seven games, falling out of first place for the first time this season.
Kevin Correia (4-2) pitched 51Ž3 innings, his second shortest outing in seven starts this season. But relievers Brian Duensing, Jared Burton and Glen Perkins held the Red Sox scoreless the rest of the way. Perkins pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
Lackey (1-3) pitched well until his error, then came back to pitch a perfect seventh before Koji Uehara took over in the eighth. Lackey allowed six hits and one walk and struck out eight. The Red Sox finished with 11 strikeouts, the 21st time in 35 games they’ve had at least 10.
Boston threatened with one out in the eighth when Daniel Nava walked and Will Middlebrooks reached first when shortstop Eduardo Escobar bobbled his grounder. It was the Twins’ first error in 12 games. But Burton struck out Stephen Drew and Mike Carp.
Trailing 2-1, the Twins went ahead to stay in the sixth.
The inning began with a single by Joe Mauer. He took second on a one-out walk to Justin Morneau before Lackey flubbed a chance to get out of trouble. Trevor Plouffe grounded the ball back to the mound, but Lackey threw wildly past second baseman Dustin Pedroia into center field. Mauer scored on the play, tying the game.
Ryan Doumit’s sacrifice fly gave Minnesota the lead before Arcia hit the next pitch into the right field seats for his third homer of the season.
The Red Sox had scored the first run of the game in the third on a double by Shane Victorino and an RBI single by Pedroia. They made it 2-0 in the fourth when Nava singled, took second on a groundout and scored on Drew’s single.
The Twins scored a run in the fifth when Arcia tripled and scored on a double by Aaron Hicks.
After falling behind 5-2, Boston scored in the sixth on a leadoff double by Mike Napoli and a run-scoring single by Nava. Middlebrooks then grounded into a forceout. Duensing replaced Correia and retired the next two batters.
That was one of many wasted opportunities for Boston, which left exactly one runner on base in each of the first seven innings, two in the eighth and one in the ninth.
NOTES: Twins SS Pedro Florimon was listed as day to day after leaving the game in the bottom of the seventh with a tight right hamstring. ... The Red Sox transferred closer Joel Hanrahan from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. He is scheduled to see orthopedist James Andrews on Friday, an examination that could determine if he needs surgery after suffering a strained right forearm. ... Boston opens a three-game series at home with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night with Jon Lester (4-0) pitching for the Red Sox against Ramon Ortiz (0-0). ... Minnesota starts a nine-game homestand Friday with Mike Pelfrey (3-3) pitching for the Twins against Jason Hammel (5-1) of the Orioles.
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