MINNEAPOLIS -- The Red Sox left Minnesota much later than they had planned on Sunday afternoon. But they left with the sweep they were looking for.
John Lackey was perfect through four innings, allowed one hit through six, and after a three-hour rain delay cut the right-hander's day short, the Red Sox bullpen fended off a late Twins rally to secure a 5-1 victory on Sunday at Target Field.
It gave the Red Sox their first five-game winning streak since April 24-28, and a 4-3 record at Target Field for the season. And because the Yankees were rained out on Sunday, Boston pulled within a half-game of the AL East lead.
Lackey rebounded from a subpar outing last week in Tampa Bay with probably his best performances of the year. He threw just 50 of his 84 pitches for strikes, but didn't walk anyone, struck out five, and got nine of his other 12 outs on the ground.
He likely would have pitched deeper into the game, and was on the mound to start the seventh inning when a steady rain turned into a downpour, sending Justin Morneau on a return trip to the Twins' dugout as umpires halted play.
The delay lasted so long, the Twins moved their scheduled post-game showing of "The Sandlot" into the middle of the game, as a handful of players remained in the dugout to watch part of the 20-year-old baseball film. And when the game resumed, the Twins loaded the bases in the eighth inning against Koji Uehara.
They weren't able to score, though, and the Red Sox extended their lead when Dustin Pedroia's fly ball bounced off the heel of a leaping Josh Willingham's glove, skidding over the left-field fence and giving Pedroia his second homer of the year.
Boston will now head to Chicago for a three-game series with the White Sox before returning home. And with a number of players coming back from injury -- Shane Victorino returned to the lineup on Sunday, while shortstop Stephen Drew and closer Andrew Bailey should be in action during the next series -- Boston seems primed to get on a roll after a 2-9 slide earlier this month.
Pedroia continued his impressive start to the season, going 2-for-5 and driving in three runs, and David Ortiz had another two-hit game. He is now hitting .488 (21-for-43) in his career at Target Field.