MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mike Pelfrey was sharp for seven innings, Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the first inning, and the Minnesota Twins held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on Tuesday night.
After rain delayed the game’s first pitch for 1 hour, 21 minutes, Minnesota jumped on Clay Buchholz (2-6) for three doubles and two runs in the first.
That was enough support for Pelfrey (4-1), who retired the last seven batters he faced and lowered his ERA to 2.77. Pelfrey allowed five hits and struck out four.
Glen Perkins got Hanley Ramirez to fly out to right field with the bases loaded to end the eighth. The All-Star left-hander stayed in and worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save in as many chances.
Mike Napoli’s single in the second scored David Ortiz for Boston’s lone run. The Red Sox have scored 14 runs in their last eight road games.
After Pelfrey struck out Ramirez in the fourth, Ramirez whacked the bench in the dugout with his bat. In the sixth, half of Ramirez’s bat went flying into the stands after it broke on a soft liner to shortstop.
Buchholz settled down after the first and lasted 7 1-3 innings to notch Boston’s 10th quality start in 13 games.
The Twins have won 18 of their last 24 games and 11 of 13 at home. Their 17 wins in May are the most in the American League and most for the month of May since they won 16 in 2011.
Twins: In his second rehab outing at Triple-A Rochester as he recovers from a shoulder injury, reliever Casey Fien needed just 10 pitches to get through a scoreless inning.
Both teams will be back on the field at noon on Wednesday to wrap up the three-game series. Twins RHP Phil Hughes (3-4, 4.50) will be trying for his third straight quality start. RHP Rick Porcello (4-3, 5.07) goes for Boston and is 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his last eight starts at Minnesota.