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Breakout shows Betts back in All-Star form

Red Sox right fielder goes 3-for-6 with 19th home run
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

MINNEAPOLIS -- It can't be viewed as mere coincidence that the Red Sox got their offense back on track the same day Mookie Betts went 3-for-6, including a home run, in his best game since returning from the disabled list.

Boston's human sparkplug from the leadoff spot, Betts helped lift the Sox to a 9-2 victory over the Twins on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- It can't be viewed as mere coincidence that the Red Sox got their offense back on track the same day Mookie Betts went 3-for-6, including a home run, in his best game since returning from the disabled list.

Boston's human sparkplug from the leadoff spot, Betts helped lift the Sox to a 9-2 victory over the Twins on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

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Betts is the best all-around player on the Red Sox, and one of the best in baseball. He leads American League outfielders with 1,568,417 All-Star votes.

"All around, when Mookie is going, obviously we go," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "It's good to see him swing the bat well."

Betts hammered an opposite-field solo homer to right in the fifth inning to boost Boston's lead to 2-0.

It was the 19th homer of the season for Betts, and second in 34 at-bats since coming off the disabled list.

In an encouraging development, Thursday was the second straight multihit game for Betts.

Betts snags ball in exact right spot, shows chart

Video: BOS@MIN: Betts makes grab while in perfect position

Prior to Thursday's contest, Betts slashed .226/.351/.323 with one RBI in his first eight games back from the left abdominal strain that kept him out of action from May 27 to June 10.

The breakout could at least be partly attributed to some pregame discussion and work with the coaches.

"We went and looked at some video and kind of compared to what I was doing before my injury or whatever and it made a lot of sense," said Betts. "We kind of sat down and talked for a couple of minutes and it made a lot of sense."

After scoring two runs or less in four of the previous six games, the Sox erupted for 16 hits on getaway day in Minnesota.

"We needed some guys to swing it," said Betts. "We got some guys rolling and we hit with some guys on base, so, yeah, we did a good job today."

And most vitally, they got Betts going again.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts