BOSTON -- Undeterred by squandering an early lead, the Twins came storming back for an impressive 11-9 victory over the Red Sox on a gusty Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Down 8-5 after six innings, the Twins came up with a five-spot in the seventh. Eduardo Núñez's two-out, two-run single up the middle snapped an 8-8 tie.
"It's one of those games where you're trading punches so you're just trying to find a way to sustain," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We're really happy for the guys for their energy and the offense staying with it. It was just one of those crazy nights in Boston. You see those types of games here and I don't know how they do it for 81 games."
After Boston's David Ortiz slimmed the deficit to a run, Miguel Sanó provided an insurance solo shot over the Green Monster in the top of the eighth. The Twins took an early 4-1 edge against David Price, but Boston moved in front with a five-spot in the bottom of the second.
The wind seemed to wreak havoc for both teams.
"Yeah, it was crazy out there," said Red Sox right fielder Michael Martinez. "Up in the sky, I don't know what was going on. There was like some sort of a twister up there. And it was really crazy. I've never seen anything like that before."
Ricky Nolasco was pounded for six hits and six runs over two innings, but Minnesota's bullpen picked him up and bought the offense time to get back into the game.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the American League East. The Twins have won 12 of their past 18 games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Five-run seventh propels Minnesota: With two outs in the seventh, Max Kepler sparked a big inning for the Twins with an RBI triple just out of the reach of Martinez in right field. Kennys Vargas then blooped one to left and Brock Holt tried to make a sliding catch, but couldn't come up with it. It extended the inning and allowed Eddie Rosario (4-for-4, three runs, RBI) to bring home Vargas on a single on a call that was overturned at the plate, as Vargas was initially ruled out. Nunez later came up with a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the Twins their first lead since the second.
"There were some crazy plays and some good at-bats," Molitor said. "Nunez comes to mind with that single he hit back up the middle." More >
Price falters again: Price (4.51 ERA) continues to lack consistency in his first season with the Red Sox. For the second straight start, he gave up 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings. This time, Price was touched up for five runs, a tick up from the three he allowed in his previous start at Yankee Stadium. The lefty departed with a 7-5 lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold it.
"It's been terrible. No fun. It's awful," Price said when asked about his season. More >
Sano's interesting night: Third baseman Sano was charged with an error when he dropped a pop fly in Friday's game, and had trouble with another pop fly from Ortiz in the fourth. He thought it was hit to shallow left field, and was confused by the windy conditions at Fenway, and never attempted to get to it, while shortstop Nunez raced over to try to make the play to no avail. Sano promptly turned a nice double play, showcasing his strong arm on the throw to first, and later caught a popup while leaning into the dugout to end the fifth. He was also charged with a throwing error in the sixth, when he tried to throw out Jackie Bradley Jr. at first base on a slow roller to third. But he went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and a walk.
"When I saw the ball, I thought it was in left field," Sano said of the popup. "Nunez, too. It was a miscommunication. With no wind, that ball is supposed to be in left field. There was a lot of wind the first few innings."
Ramirez flashes more power: After hitting just four home runs in his first 230 at-bats, Boston's Hanley Ramirez has hit eight in his past 107. Ramirez's three-run shot second gave the Red Sox a 6-4 lead. Earlier this week against the Giants, Ramirez had a three-homer game.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ortiz's double in the seventh gave him 320 at Fenway, moving the slugger past Ted Williams for second in the history of the ballpark. Carl Yastrzemski holds the record with 382. It was Ortiz's 35th double of the season, which tied Sam Rice (1930) for most in MLB history for a player 40 or older.
The four-hour, 11-minute game was the longest nine-inning game in Twins history by one minute, surpassing their previous long from Aug. 14, 2014, against the Tigers.
SUZUKI LEAVES WITH INJURY
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki left the game in the second after being hit in the facemask by a foul tip from Dustin Pedroia. Suzuki left to get stitches on his chin, but didn't suffer a concussion, the Twins announced. More >
Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy was also injured early in the game when gusty winds led to one of the NESN monitors hitting him in the head. Steve Lyons replaced Remy in the second. A Red Sox doctor examined Remy and gave him a clean bill of health. The Red Sox expect Remy to return for Sunday's game. More >
In the seventh with the Red Sox leading, 8-7, and Vargas on second, Rosario singled on a ground ball to center fielder Bradley. He hurled a throw home, on the opposite side of a sliding Vargas. Catcher Sandy Leon tagged him for what would've been the final out of the inning. After an official replay review, the call was overturned to safe and the Twins tied the ballgame.
Twins: Left-hander Tommy Milone (3-2, 4.71 ERA) is set to start in the series finale on Sunday at 12:35 p.m. CT. Milone has pitched well recently, posting a 2.33 ERA over his past three starts.
Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello will try to run his Fenway record to 10-0 when he makes his 11th home start of the season for the finale of this four-game series against the Twins, which starts at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday.
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