BOSTON (AP) — Drew Pomeranz wasn’t expecting one rain delay, let alone two. But he got through both just fine.
Pomeranz pitched five solid innings, Chris Young hit a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox moved into first place in the AL East with a 9-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
“It was kind of crazy. I didn’t even realize it was supposed to rain at all tonight,” Pomeranz said.
Pomeranz (7-4) had to sit through nearly an hour delay before the game started, then a 76-minute delay between the second and third as a thunderstorm slowly passed over Fenway Park. Despite the interruption, the left-hander held the Twins to an unearned run and four hits, struck out seven and walked none.
Christian Vazquez homered for the first time in more than a year, helping the Red Sox win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks. Dustin Pedroia had three hits and scored twice.
Bench coach Gary DiSarcina managed the Red Sox with John Farrell serving a one-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of adrenaline. I can see and appreciate the trials and the tribulations and the struggles John goes through daily and nightly,” DiSarcina said. “I don’t think I’m going to appreciate it until the season’s over and I’m looking back at having a day like this.”
The Red Sox capitalized on three errors by the Twins and moved a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees, who lost 4-3 to the White Sox on Tuesday.
“Long night,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I’ve seen some really good games here and I’ve seen some ugly ones, and that would fall in the latter category for sure.”
Hector Santiago (4-7) returned for the Twins after a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. He allowed two runs and one hit in two innings.
“I feel really good right now. Obviously it’s only two innings,” Santiago said. “I feel like I had some really good velocity, really good acceleration on the off-speed (pitches).”
The only hit Santiago allowed was Vazquez’s two-run homer in the second. The Red Sox led 6-1 when Young blew it open with a drive off one of the signs above the Green Monster in left.
“We just didn’t do a lot of damage control after we got back out and start playing again,” Molitor said.
Minnesota didn’t score until the fifth when Jorge Polanco drew a one-out walk and Eddie Rosario and Byron Buxton followed with consecutive singles off Pomeranz, who was fading and faced six batters in the inning.
Eduardo Escobar added a solo homer for Minnesota in the eighth.
Boston hadn’t won consecutive games since beating Philadelphia three in a row from June 12-14.
Vazquez hit his first home run since May 1, 2016. It was his third career homer and all three have come with one man on base.
Vazquez also stole a base after walking in the fourth and caught the entire game. Vazquez threw out Rosario when he attempted to steal third after leading off the third with a double off the wall in left.
“He’s been great behind the plate all year. He’s been hitting the ball all year,” Pomeranz said. “It was good to see him get that home run tonight.”
Farrell was suspended for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an animated argument over the weekend.
Twins: Santiago was making his first start since June 6 at Seattle. The Twins placed him on the 10-day DL the next day. To make room on the roster for his return, recently acquired RHP Dillon Gee was sent down to Triple-A Rochester.
Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez sat out his second straight game with a bruised left knee from a pitch that hit him Sunday.
Twins: Rookie LHP Adalberto Mejia (2-3, 4.93 ERA) pitches in Fenway Park on Wednesday night for the first time.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-9, 5.00 ERA), the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner, looks to win consecutive starts for the first time this season.
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