BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval mishandled a throw on a bunt in the ninth inning, and the Minnesota Twins broke away from Boston 8-4 Thursday for a four-game split.
Torii Hunter hit his 200th home run in a Twins uniform and added two singles. Hunter’s career 339th homer was a three-run shot.
Kurt Suzuki singled three times, helping Minnesota to its ninth win in 12 games.
Blake Swihart hit his first major league homer and Dustin Pedroia also had a solo homer for Boston, which has lost eight of 11.
The Twins trailed 4-0 going into the fifth. It was 4-all in the ninth when Minnesota put runners on first and second with no outs against Koji Uehara (2-3).
Joe Mauer bunted and catcher Swihart threw to third — low, but catchable— and the ball went Sandoval’s glove, allowing Brian Dozier to score the go-ahead run.
Trevor Plouffe followed with an RBI single, Eduardo Escobar doubled home a run and Shane Robinson had a sacrifice fly off Craig Breslow.
Aaron Thompson (1-1) worked one scoreless inning for the victory.
Boston built its early lead on the homers by Swihart and Pedroia, and two unearned runs.
The Twins rallied in the fifth when Hunter homered off a billboard above the Green Monster seats.
In the sixth, Sandoval threw away a two-out grounder for a two-base error and Suzuki singled home the tying run.
Swihart hit his home run completely out of Fenway Park, clearing the Monster seats to make it 3-0 in the third. Pedroia led off the next inning with a drive to left.
Twins starter Tommy Milone, recalled from Triple-A before the game, gave up four runs — two earned — and nine hits in five innings.
Red Sox starter Steven Wright gave up six hits in six innings.
Twins: Put RHP Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list because of an injured right ankle he sustained in his previous start. He had a side session on Thursday before the club decided it was best to put him on the DL. “It became apparent rather quickly when he started trying to load off his right side and get some torque created when he needed to push off the rubber,” manager Paul Molitor said. “You could see him start to grimace a little bit. The session didn’t last very long.”
Red Sox: RHP Justin Masterson, on the 15-day DL with shoulder tendinitis, was scheduled to make his second rehab start Thursday, working for Double-A Portland.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-3, 2.61 ERA) is scheduled to go against Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (3-6, 6.50) when the Twins open a six-game homestand.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley (4-5, 4.97 ERA) is slated to face Oakland LHP Scott Kazmir (2-3, 2.93) when the clubs start a three-game series on Friday at Fenway. Miley was tagged for six runs in four innings, taking the loss last Saturday at Texas.
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