Correia sharp, but Twins blanked by Red Sox
Righty gives up one run over six; offense can't cash in on chances
BOSTON -- It was a game of missed opportunities for the Twins.
Kevin Correia gave the club a chance to win with six strong innings, but Minnesota was shut out for just the third time this season in a 1-0 loss to the Red Sox on Monday night at Fenway Park.
The Twins managed just three hits, with only one coming with runners in scoring position, and even that play ended up as a negative, as Danny Santana made a baserunning mistake that ended up costing the club. Brian Dozier also had the chance to be the hero with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, but struck out swinging to end the scoring threat.
"No one ever likes those 1-0 losses," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You start to wonder about what you could've done different. But they pitched well and pitched out of a couple jams. So did we, but they unfortunately got one early."
Correia gave up just one run on five hits and a walk, but was saddled with a hard-luck loss. He's been pitching better of late, as he's posted a 3.50 ERA over his last six starts, though he fell to 3-8 with a 5.29 ERA on the year.
He's kept his spot in the rotation with his recent results, and believes he's turning the corner after struggling early in the year.
"My stuff has just gotten better over the last few outings," Correia said. "I think it's a product of struggling a little bit because you know you have to go out there and be sharper. I think in the long run it's going to help me going on that bad streak. I think I'm throwing the ball better now than at any point last season."
Correia was able to work his way out of a few jams, but gave up his lone run in the fifth after allowing singles to Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew to open the frame. Drew was thrown out trying to advance to second on his single to left field, with Nava advancing to third on the play and scoring on a sacrifice fly to left from A.J. Pierzynski.
He wasn't given any help offensively by the Twins, who managed just one hit against De La Rosa in his seven innings. De La Rosa did walk three, including two batters in the first, but was able to work his way out that jam by getting Josh Willingham to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Twins threatened again in the third, when Sam Fuld walked with one out before Santana dropped a single into center field to advance Fuld to third base. But Santana tried to make it to second, which caused Fuld to get thrown out in a rundown between third and home for the second out. Santana reached third on the play, but was stranded there when Dozier grounded out to second to end the inning.
"We played very good defense all the way around," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We're looking at a first-and-third situation and it turns out for us to get an out and then Rubby did the rest."
Right-hander Burke Badenhop came in with one out in the eighth for the Red Sox and worked himself into a jam by giving up a one-out single to Kurt Suzuki and a two-out double to Fuld. Badenhop then hit Santana to load the bases, but was able to get out of the inning unscathed by striking out Dozier.
Dozier believed the second called strike was high and tried to battle back after quickly falling behind, but struck out on a slider from Badenhop, who stretched his streak to 30 innings without allowing an earned run.
"I thought it was a ball," Dozier said. "I got down 0-2 quick and you can't do that. But even looking back at the pitch tracker, he made good pitches. He left one hanging breaking ball, but it was up and in and not over the plate. And then he doubled up on the slider on the black."
Dozier was noticeably frustrated after the strikeout, and said it was tough not being able to provide any run support for Correia.
"Kevin did an awesome job," Dozier said. "We had a lot of opportunities to score throughout the game. Their guy walked a few and we had some guys in scoring position, but we just couldn't get a hit. That's what's frustrating."