Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Instead of 'dragging,' Red Sox bounce back

E-Rod fans 9 over 7 efficient frames; Holt notches 3 RBIs
@IanMBrowne
June 20, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- Find a way. Any way. That was the mission of the Red Sox as they came to work on getaway Wednesday night at Target Field, trying to wash away the fatigue caused by a 17-inning loss, not to mention an unforgiving recent schedule. Call it a satisfyingly successful

MINNEAPOLIS -- Find a way. Any way.

That was the mission of the Red Sox as they came to work on getaway Wednesday night at Target Field, trying to wash away the fatigue caused by a 17-inning loss, not to mention an unforgiving recent schedule.

Call it a satisfyingly successful mission for the defending World Series champion Sox, who notched a 9-4 victory in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Twins -- the team that entered the day with the best winning percentage in MLB.

Box score

It was a sure sign of progress from a Boston team that had gone 4-9 while losing all five series in a recent stretch against contenders Houston, New York (Yankees), Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

"It's been a topic of everybody," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "It's a team, they've got forty-whatever wins, and the best record in the American League. We came here and yesterday we played a great game, we bounced back today, we won the first one. They have a good team, but we do, too. We're playing a lot better lately."

On a night the bullpen was beyond spent, Eduardo Rodriguez gave his team seven innings and 111 pitches, and finished with three straight zeros after allowing four runs in the first four innings. The lefty struck out nine to earn the win.

For Rodriguez, it marked the first time he's gone seven innings or more in back-to-back starts since his first two outings as a Major Leaguer in 2015.

"It means a lot to save the bullpen and go out there and get seven innings," Rodriguez said. "For me, it's something I've been trying to do a long time. I've had the opportunity to do it the last two starts, help the bullpen, and I feel really good with that."

And give credit to the offense, which washed away the taste of going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday by going 7-for-14 in that same category in this one. The Sox put together three-run rallies in the second, fifth and eighth innings.

"I was joking with them, very professional [approach]," said Cora. "It was a good win, very quiet, just do the right thing, play the game the right way, and all of a sudden, we look up and we had the lead. We had chances to put them away early. We didn't. But then in the eighth inning, with the triple [by Mookie Betts], [Andrew Benintendi] going the other way, we scored and we kept going. It was a good win."

To bounce back from Tuesday's deflating loss and to take two out of three at Target Field to complete a 5-1 road trip created a happy flight back to Boston for the Red Sox, who will enjoy their first day off since June 3 on Thursday.

"Yeah, it was good, especially after last night's game. We could have come in and kind of been dragging today," said second baseman Brock Holt, who notched three RBIs. "But to come out tonight and take two of three from a good team over there, it's a good road trip for us. We're excited about the off-day tomorrow, get some guys some breaks and get back out there."

During a stretch of 17 games in 16 days, Cora's squad went 11-6. This, after winning seven of their last eight -- the only loss coming Tuesday.

The Sox (41-35) aren't all the way back yet, but they look like a team that is starting to regain its footing. With 86 games to go, Boston trails the Yankees by 6 1/2 games in the American League East.

"It's a huge win," said third baseman Rafael Devers, who exited the game in the fifth inning with a right hamstring injury that isn't considered serious. "Especially winning that series, because they're a really good team over there and they're in first place and we're a good team as well, so we know what we can do. And we're just trying to continue to play good baseball and try to continue to climb up."

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