Correia unable to contain Ortiz, Red Sox offense
Righty gives up five earned runs on nine hits over just four frames
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's not like Twins pitchers don't know the scouting report on David Ortiz.
The Twins held their usual meeting with their pitchers before their series against the Red Sox, discussing ways to pitch to Ortiz and telling their pitchers to not let him beat them.
But Ortiz did just that on Wednesday night, tormenting the Twins with two homers for a second straight night to lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over his former team at Target Field.
Ortiz, who was 4-for-5 with two homers and four RBIs in Minnesota's 8-6 win on Tuesday, added three more hits, including two homers, and three runs scored to pace the offense for the Red Sox. Ortiz, who was released by the Twins after the 2002 season, is now a career .528 (28-for-53) hitter with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 13 career games at Target Field.
"Ortiz is killing us," said a frustrated Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "If you actually make some pitches on him and get him out, it's an amazing thing. If you don't throw it down the middle, it's amazing a guy can be out. Right now, we're just misfiring and not making pitches to him or anybody else, and they're whacking it pretty good."
Right-hander Kevin Correia struggled from the start for the Twins, giving up two runs in the first inning keyed by a one-out double from Ortiz after Shane Victorino singled. Mike Napoli scored Victorino with an RBI groundout before Grady Sizemore scored Ortiz with a two-out double.
The Red Sox scored two more times in the third with Ortiz connecting on his first solo homer of the night on an 0-1 slider from Correia. Napoli followed with a double before scoring on a two-out single from Sizemore.
"The first ball he hit was a double that came on a changeup that was at least six inches away and not many guys are going to hit that pitch for a double," Correia said about Ortiz. "But he's an incredibly hot hitter and a future Hall of Famer. And the next pitch I tried to cut him in and it just didn't get there. It was low and ended up in probably the worst spot."
Boston added another run in the fourth, when Xander Bogaerts doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a single from Will Middlebrooks. It was the final inning for Correia, who went just four frames, giving up five runs on nine hits to see his ERA rise to 6.80 on the season.
"It's kinda strange," said Correia, who will remain in the rotation despite his struggles. "I don't know why things are going the way they are right now. I feel comfortable on the mound and I'm throwing all my pitches fairly where I want them. Obviously, I'm making some mistakes and they're getting hit, but it's not like I'm searching for anything."
After Correia departed, Ortiz smacked his second homer of the game, a solo shot, in the fifth off left-hander Caleb Thielbar on a 3-1 fastball. It was the first time he had back-to-back two-homer performances since 2003.
"I try to do this every day; they just don't let me," Ortiz said of his impressive showing. "You have to play the game the same way against everybody. I come to the field with the same attitude every day. You're not going to hit like that every day."
The Red Sox scored again in the sixth on an RBI single from Dustin Pedroia off right-hander Anthony Swarzak. But Swarzak was able to retire Ortiz for the first time on the night by striking him out to end the inning to strand two runners.
"We know how we're supposed to pitch him," Gardenhire said. "When we get the ball where we want to, he can get out. He came in here hitting, what, .280? So people can get him out. But we're just not throwing the ball where we want it."
It was more than enough offense for Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront, who gave up just one run on seven hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings.
The Twins scored their lone run against Doubront in the third on a sacrifice fly from Joe Mauer with the bases loaded. But the Twins were unable to cash in after the sac fly, because Trevor Plouffe flied out to center field before Chris Parmelee struck out to end the inning.
The Twins scored in the eighth against reliever Burke Badenhop on a two-out RBI single from Eduardo Nunez, but the Red Sox plated two more runs in the ninth on a double from A.J. Pierzynski off reliever Michael Tonkin, who struggled for a second straight night.
In the bottom of the ninth, Plouffe hit a two-run homer with two outs off Edward Mujica, but it was too little, too late for the Twins, who couldn't overcome the subpar showings from Correia and Tonkin.
"It was a tough night pitching-wise," Gardenhire said. "We couldn't get the ball where we wanted to. We saw it with Kevin. When he's going good, he throws it on both sides of the plate, but he just kept misfiring. And Tonkin same thing. He can't get it where he wants to and this team will make you pay."