- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- On a night that Curt Schilling got a hero’s welcome for his induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame and Johnny Damon received an honorable discharge from the Cleveland Indians, the Red Sox were given multiple chances to show that the good times haven’t all gathered dust.
Instead, another golden oldie -- 38-year-old Jamey Carroll, who began his career in pro ball with the Vermont Expos in 1996 -- singled home the tie-breaking run in the 10th inning to give the Minnesota Twins a 6-5 win over the Red Sox, their second straight win over a team that is exactly where it was at the end of this night a week ago in New York, a game under .500.
Darin Mastroianni’s fly ball fell between Sox outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross in right-center for a double. One out later, Carroll, the No. 9 man in the Twins’ order, lined a ball over the head of second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Ellsbury fielded the ball and threw it to the cutoff man Pedroia, who he was almost close enough to shake hands with. Mastroianni easily beat Pedroia’s relay.
The Sox took their shots in their half of the 10th against Twins reliever Jared Burton, but fell short: Kelly Shoppach flied deep to the triangle in center, and Mike Aviles lined out to the track in right for the game’s final out, the Sox losing their third straight.
Eight of the first 13 Sox batters hit safely. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau dropped an easy two-out foul popup, and Carl Crawford hit the next pitch into the Red Sox bullpen for a three-run home run, one of his three hits. The Twins later made errors on consecutive plays, and the Sox put two men on in the seventh, three in the eighth, and a runner on second with two out in the ninth.
And still, the Red Sox sweated this one out to the bitter end against the woebegone Twins, blowing a four-run lead when a rattled Felix Doubront walked his way into trouble, Morneau atoned for his error with a two-run flared single (part of a 4-for-4 night) and Danny Valencia hit a game-tying sacrifice fly. That was in the fifth inning.
It stayed 5-5 until the bottom of the ninth, when two kids who were still in high school when Schilling and Damon were spinning tales of bloody socks and Idiots, Ryan Lavarnway and Will Middlebrooks, attempted to conjure up some walkoff magic.
Alas, not on this night, Merlin. Lavarnway, making his second start since his recall from Pawtucket earlier in the week, doubled high off the Monster with two out in the ninth. Middlebrooks, after an at-bat in which he fouled off six pitches from Twins pitcher Jeff Gray, hit the ball sharply but right at third baseman Danny Valencia, who retired the rookie at first to send the game into extra innings.
This was the eighth time the Sox have played bonus panels; they’ve lost all four previous extra-inning games at home, and are 2-6 overall.