MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Mauer’s first career walk-off home run landed in the bullpen in left-center field and backed a strong start from Phil Hughes in the Twins’ fifth win in six games. Hughes gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings while struck out four in his deepest outing of the season for the Twins.
Chris Young’s pinch-hit, two-run single in the top of the ninth tied the game at 3-3 for the Red Sox, who were fresh off of an exhausting four-game series against the Orioles that included beanballs, ejections and a fan hurling racial epithets at O’s outfielder Adam Jones. Andrew Benintendi hit his fourth homer of the year for Boston.
Whether they were drained by the drama in Boston or just baffled by Hughes’ breaking ball, the Red Sox hitters continually came up empty in the first eight innings. But Young ripped a single off of closer Brandon Kintzler (1-0) to give the Sox new life.
Mauer, who had an RBI-single in the seventh inning, picked up Kintzler with his second home run of the season, this one coming off Matt Barnes (3-1).
Miguel Sano had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI for the Twins.
Eduardo Rodriguez gave up three runs on seven hits and struck out six in six innings for the Red Sox.
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Red Sox: Manager John Farrell said 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the disabled list since April 25 with a sprained right knee, “is starting to turn for the better.” Sandoval will start running on a treadmill soon. … OF Brock Holt will resume his rehab assignment for Double-A Portland on Saturday after having to back off after symptoms from vertigo returned.
Twins: CF Byron Buxton did not play on Friday after twice running into the wall while chasing down fly balls on Thursday. Manager Paul Molitor said Buxton was still experiencing headaches, but did not show symptoms of a concussion. The team planned to continue testing him through the weekend. … Utility man Danny Santana was designated for release or assignment, clearing room for INF Elhire Adrianza to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. The Twins also selected the contract of RHP Drew Rucinski from Triple-A Rochester.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale will not be suspended for his role in the tense series against the Orioles last week. The Red Sox confirmed that the left-hander will be on the mound on Sunday for a juicy showdown against Twins ace Ervin Santana.
Sale threw behind Manny Machado on Tuesday, one of a series of confrontations between pitchers and hitters from both teams. Commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance Friday night and had to get personally involved to try and quell the feud.
The Twins slugger had his appeal hearing on Friday for a one-game suspension for his shoving match with Tigers C James McCann. The hearing lasted about 90 minutes and Sano told reporters that he hopes to have an answer one way or another by early next week.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (1-4, 4.46) will start Saturday looking for his sixth quality start in seven outings.
Twins: RHP Nick Tepesch makes his season debut. Tepesch will get a start or two at the back end of the rotation before Molitor makes a decision on his spot with the club.
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