BOSTON (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez homered, Kevin Youkilis scored four runs and Daisuke Matsuzaka settled down to pitch six innings after a rough first, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 9-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
It was Boston’s second straight win over the Twins after a three-game losing streak. The teams close out a four-game series on Monday night.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Gonzalez, J.D. Drew and Jed Lowrie each drove in two runs for the Red Sox.
Danny Valencia had a solo homer and two-run single for the Twins, who have lost nine of their last 10 games in Fenway Park. Minnesota committed three errors, one leading to a pair of unearned runs.
Matsuzaka (3-3), gave up three runs in the first and threw 34 pitches. After that, he held the Twins to two hits over the next five innings. He allowed four earned runs, struck out four and walked two.
The 30-year old right-hander was pushed back a day after making his first career relief appearance and taking the loss in a game against Los Angeles that ended early Thursday morning.
Matt Albers worked two innings of one-run relief and Daniel Bard got the final three outs.
Trailing 3-1 in the third, Boston scored four runs off Carl Pavano (2-4). Carl Crawford tripled off the left-field wall and scored on Jason Varitek’s bouncer to first. Gonzalez and Drew each had RBI singles and the other run came in on Youkilis’ fielder’s choice grounder.
Valencia’s homer off the left-field foul pole above the Green Monster sliced it to 5-4 in the fourth. The withstood a replay review.
But in the fifth, the Red Sox increased it to 7-4 when Gonzalez hit a drive off the light tower above the Monster seats and Youkilis raced home from third as second baseman Alexi Casilla threw the relay wild past first base on what could have been an inning-ending double-play grounder.
Lowrie’s two-run double off reliever Jose Mijares made it 9-4 in the seventh.
The Twins, who entered the day scoring the fewest runs in the majors, took a 3-0 lead on the first on an RBI single by Jason Kubel and a two-out, two-run single by Valencia.
Pavano gave up seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. He’s 0-4 in five starts away from Target Field, giving up 27 runs in 19 innings in the losses.
Minnesota scored three runs or fewer in nine of its last 10 games and 21 times this season.
The Red Sox cut it to 3-1 in the second when Youkilis doubled, advanced on a grounder and scored on Drew’s ground out.
NOTES: It’s Ellsbury’s longest hitting streak since a career-best 22 in May of 2009. … The Red Sox placed SS Marco Scutaro on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle and recalled prospect Jose Inglesias from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game. They had to call up Inglesias, who played in the ninth, because Pawtucket’s Yamaico Navarro, who spent time as a reserve last season, was placed on the DL Saturday with a strained right oblique. “We all think he’s got a bright future here, but we don’t think he’ll be our starting shortstop right now,” manager Terry Francona said. “It’s good to have him up here to get him used to it.” … Red Sox 1B Gonzalez made a diving stop to his right on a grounder, ending the fifth. … Minnesota LHP Francisco Liriano, pushed back a day after the flu and a sore throat, is scheduled to open the Twins’ five-game homestand Tuesday against Detroit, his first start since a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. … It was Boston’s 650th straight sellout.
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