BOSTON -- It was a roller-coaster of emotions for the Twins on Friday, as they became sellers, trading both infielder Eduardo Escobar and right-hander Thomas Pressly, and then suffered another tough blow in a heartbreaking loss to the Red Sox.
Eddie Rosario smacked a go-ahead two-run double off closer Craig Kimbrel with the Twins down to their last out, only to see Fernando Rodney give up a solo homer to Rafael Devers in the ninth and Matt Belisle serve up a walk-off blast to Mookie Betts in the 10th in a 4-3 loss at Fenway Park. It was the 10th walk-off loss suffered by the Twins, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped and are eight games back of the first-place Indians.
"It's not easy losing a guy that's a great teammate and great player right before the game starts," said right-hander Lance Lynn. "It's a little different, but unfortunately you see that this is a business, and it was just how things go. You try to block all those things out and go out and do whatever you can that day."
• Escobar traded to D-backs for three prospects
In what could be his last start with the Twins with Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, Lynn was sharp in a no-decision. Lynn, an impending free agent and trade candidate, went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. He said he couldn't afford to think about any trade talk while out on the mound.
"I was worried about not getting lit up," Lynn said. "They have one of the best lineups in the game, so you can't be worried about yourself. You worry about making sure you're doing everything that you can to control what you can control, and that is throwing a pitch and executing and trying to do everything you can to help win that night."
• Twins' 2nd deal sends Pressly to Astros
Lynn has a 5.10 ERA in 20 starts this season, but he has been better recently with a 4.12 ERA over his last 15 outings, and had a 3.38 ERA in six seasons with the Cardinals, which could make him an attractive piece for a contender looking for starting pitching depth. He pitched his way out of a few jams, including in the third and fourth innings, but was hurt by a two-run homer from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. It came on a 2-1 fastball that caught too much of the zone.
"I truly made one mistake and got the old Monster front-row seats," Lynn said. "This is that ballpark you have to be careful with lefties going that way."
Lynn allowed two hits in the sixth but was able to get Sandy Leon to fly out to left to end the inning, finishing his start at 103 pitches. Notably, Lynn posted his lowest walk total since June 26 after tying a season high with six free passes last time out.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale, meanwhile, threw six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts but was also stuck with a no-decision. Minnesota's best scoring chance came in the fourth, when the bases were loaded with two outs after two walks and a hit batter from Sale, but Jake Cave struck out on a 97-mph fastball above the zone on a full count to end the threat.
The Twins made things interesting in the seventh against reliever Ryan Brasier with Max Kepler doubling to open the frame and Cave reaching on a two-base error from second baseman Eduardo Nunez to score Kepler. Jorge Polanco then reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners with one out for Rosario.
In a strange play, Rosario hit into a 3-6-3 double play with first baseman Steve Pearce sending a high throw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts at second base, but he was able to corral it and make the throw to first with Pearce slipping but making the grab to end the inning.
Rosario later made up for it with his two-run double with two outs in the ninth after Kimbrel walked Robbie Grossman and Polanco, but it wasn't enough.
ROSARIO PLAYS THIRD
With the trade of Escobar shortly before first pitch, the Twins played with a short bench, and after Joe Mauer served as a pinch-hitter for Ehire Adrianza in the eighth, Mauer stayed in the game at first base with Logan Morrison moving from first to left in the ninth. It meant Rosario had to play third base for the first time as a professional. Rosario, who had experience at second base as a Minor Leaguer but had never played in the infield in the Majors, made a routine play and throw on a grounder from Bogaerts for the second out, but made a great play in the ninth on a grounder down the line from Leon.
"How bout that?" Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm glad he got the one-hopper at first, to help him settle in there. And then he just showed athleticism. He's out there every now and then, and when he takes grounders, he doesn't want them right at him, he wants to make hard plays. And tonight, he had to make a hard play."
HE SAID IT
"We're never out of a game. I know Rosie got the big hit, but two great at-bats by Grossman and Polanco to draw walks against the best closer in the game. That just goes to show you the effort we put in each and every day that we didn't quit. That's our repertoire the past couple of years. We showed that tonight. Obviously, Mookie with the walk-off homer, but I liked the fight in the guys. Just a sucky all-around day." -- Second baseman James Dozier
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (4-6, 4.37 ERA) will start for the Twins in the third game of the series at Fenway Park on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Odorizzi is coming off a strong start against the Royals, allowing one earned run over six innings in a no-decision last Sunday. Odorizzi is 1-3 with a 5.93 ERA in nine career starts in Boston. The Red Sox counter with former American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (12-4, 3.93 ERA).