Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 2, Twins 1

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18

BOSTON -- That’s one way to alter a narrative.

On the brink of suffering a one-hit, extra-inning loss to the Minnesota Twins, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning to give the Sox a 2-1 win and a three-game sweep of Minnesota.

Twins outfielder Chris Parmelee, who had hit a walk-off home run off Andrew Miller in Minnesota on May 13, homered with two outs in the 10th off Sox closer Koji Uehara, who had not allowed a run in his previous 21 innings and had retired 17 straight batters.

But the Sox, held to Daniel Nava's fifth-inning double by Kyle Gibson and two relievers, struck back in the bottom of the inning against Twins reliever Casey Fien. Ortiz, who had raised eyebrows after his previous at-bat when he angrily made repeated thumbs-down gestures at the press box after official scorer Bob Ellis ruled he had reached safely on an error on first baseman Joe Mauer instead of awarding him a hit, drove a ball deep into the right-field grandstand to tie the score.

Ortiz came into the game batting .246, his lowest average this deep into a season since ending the 2009 season batting .238.

Napoli, the next batter, fell behind 0-2 before driving a ball onto the tarp in center field, firing his helmet into a cluster of jubilant teammates awaiting him at home plate. The home run was Napoli’s seventh of the season and first since June 8. It was also the third walk-off home run of his career, first since July 21 against the Yankees, which was also Boston’s last walk-off homer.

The victory went to Uehara. Sox starter John Lackey threw nine scoreless innings of three-hit ball, walking one and striking out nine.

The Twins scored a total of two runs in three games in Boston. The Sox scored five in the series. It was the fifth straight one-run game in which the Sox have been involved; they have won three of them.

Sox pitchers allowed just 13 runs in the seven-game homestand. Their series victory over the Twins was their first since losing three straight on the road and splitting four games against the Indians last weekend.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com



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