BOSTON -- Two lengthy rain delays did nothing to dampen the Boston bats, as the Red Sox rode a steady stream of hits and a strong pitching performance by Thomas Pomeranz en route to a 9-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.Christian Vazquez and Chris Young
BOSTON -- Two lengthy rain delays did nothing to dampen the Boston bats, as the Red Sox rode a steady stream of hits and a strong pitching performance by Thomas Pomeranz en route to a 9-2 victory over the Twins on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
Christian Vazquez and Chris Young both smashed towering homers over the Green Monster. Dustin Pedroia scored twice and smacked three hits. Xander Bogaerts added two hits and two runs.
• Fenway sparks: Sox, Mother Nature amaze
Bench coach Gary DiSarcina was the manager for the night, as John Farrell served a one-game suspension for an argument that took place with umpire Bill Miller on Saturday.
• Farrell gets 1-game suspension for ejection
"Your day kind of changes in preparation and obviously talking to [pitching coach] Carl [Willis] about the pitching and talking to John about the pitching before he left," said DiSarcina. "It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of adrenaline. Growing up around here, I don't think I'm going to appreciate having a day like this until I'm looking back after the season is over."
Meanwhile, Pomeranz was sharp throughout despite the weather disruptions, holding the Twins to four hits and one unearned run over five innings. The lefty walked none and struck out seven while turning in his third consecutive strong start.
• Sharp Pomeranz stays loose during long delay
Following a 76-minute rain delay, Willis stood next to the mound and watched Pomeranz warm up to determine if the lefty should stay in the game to start the third inning. Pomeranz passed the test and prevented the bullpen from being taxed. The lefty was able to pitch another three innings before giving way to the 'pen.
"It was kind of crazy," said Pomeranz. "I didn't even realize it was supposed to rain at all tonight. We found out about like two minutes before I was about to go out for a normal game start time. Just kind of waited around. I didn't know there was a second cell coming either, I guess. We didn't know how long we were going to wait. I tried to stay loose down there after the second inning, kind of in the cage just running back and forth."
Conversely, the Twins chose to pull lefty Hector Santiago, who was making his first start off the disabled list, after the delay, leaving their bullpen to work six innings in the loss. Overall, it was a sloppy performance for Minnesota that included three errors and five unearned runs.
• Weather prematurely ends Santiago's return
"We haven't had a lot of games where our defense has let us down to a degree that it had a big influence on the outcome," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Tonight was a little bit different. [Byron Buxton] obviously got a wet ball and winged one, and we didn't catch it a couple times. We gave extra outs and those guys capitalized."
The victory put the Red Sox in sole possession of first place in the American League East by one game, as the Yankees lost in Chicago to the White Sox. The Twins remain a half-game behind the Indians in the AL Central.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Vazquez ends power outage: Vazquez had gone 265 at-bats without a home run before unloading for his two-run rocket into the Monster Seats in left-center against Santiago in the bottom of the second. The last time Vazquez went deep in the Majors was on May 1, 2016, against Dellin Betances of the Yankees. According to Statcast™, the drive had a projected distance of 409 feet.
"The home run battle was a seven-consecutive-fastball at-bat," Molitor said about the Santiago-Vazquez duel. "That was a big blow for sure."
Rosario's risky steal attempt backfires: On the first pitch after the second rain delay, Eddie Rosario started the third inning by clubbing a double off the Green Monster. He then tried to steal third, and was easily cut down by Vazquez, short-circuiting his team's momentum. The Twins were only trailing, 2-0, at the time, but the Red Sox would go on to score in each of the next four innings.
"Yeah, I mean that guy, he basically swings at everything and runs on every pitch," said Pomeranz. "It's kind of his MO, I think. We have Vazqy back there who doesn't let guys get by very easily."
"Long night. I've seen some really good games here and I've seen some ugly ones. That would fall in the latter category." -- Molitor, on his team's performance
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Red Sox stole three bases, marking the fourth time this season they've stolen at least that many in a game. The Red Sox have won the last 11 games in which they've stolen at least two bases.
Twins: Left-hander Adalberto Mejia makes his 11th start of the season when the Twins meet the Red Sox at 6:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday. In his last start, Mejia allowed five walks, but held the Indians scoreless on two hits over five innings to pick up his second win of the year. The lefty is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA on the road in 2017.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello will try to build on the momentum he created in his last start, when he held the Angels to three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings. Porcello walked one and struck out eight in that one. In 28 career starts against the Twins, Porcello is 10-9 with a 3.83 ERA.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.
Evan Chronis is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Twins on Tuesday.