Both John Lackey and Kevin Correia looked sharp early tonight. The Twins, in particular, were unable to get the early lock on Lackey that I had been hoping for. The Red Sox, meanwhile, manufactured a couple of runs in the third and fourth off of hard-hit singles. Boston took a 2-0 lead into the fifth.
In the fifth, Oswaldo Arcia tripled off the center field wall when Jacoby Ellsbury couldn't quite jump high enough to make the catch. Aaron Hicks followed him with a double down the right field line that he clearly thought was a home run. But it was the sixth inning when the game was ultimately decided.
A fly out from Josh Willingham was sandwiched by a Joe Mauer single and a Justin Morneau walk, leaving runners on first and second with one out. Trevor Plouffe shot a hard grounder to Lackey who, like he did a couple of other times tonight, made a nice snag. He turned to throw to second base in what should have been a 1-6-3 double play...and threw the ball into center field. Mauer scored. Morneau moved up to third. Tie game, and one run was chalked up to Lackey's error.
Ryan Doumit did his job, sending a fastball into right field. Morneau tagged up, Shane Victorino made a strong throw to the plate, and on a call that most of the Fenway Faithful clearly thought was wrong Morneau was called safe when David Ross's tag hit nothing but air. Two runs, chalked up to Lackey's error.
Arica, the birthday boy, then jumped on the first pitch he saw and homered into the right field seats for a two-run shot. 5-2, Twins. While the Arcia run was earned, both runs could be chalked up to Lackey's error since he should have been able to end the frame on a double play that didn't happen.
The Red Sox would plate another run off of Correia in the sixth, but they wouldn't score again. Morneau made a few really nice plays at first base. Jared Burton and Glen Perkins both looked impressive in relief. And oddly gratifying was that David Ortiz was 0-for-5 tonight. For the second night in a row. All five of his outs ended an inning.
Our Twins move to 16-15 by taking three out of four from one of the best teams in baseball! Here are some fun facts about the series.
- Oswaldo Arcia was 7-for-13 in the series with a homer, three runs batted in, and four runs scored. He's now hitting .313/.353/.547. That's Rookie of the Year territory. Just sayin'.
- Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-for-16 in the series with three walks. See, Twins fans? We're not the only team with an awful leadoff hitter!
- Our former leadoff hitter, Aaron Hicks, was 3-for-13 with a walk and three runs batted in. If Hicks has an early propensity for anything, it's taking a walk and driving in a run.
- David Ortiz was 2-for-18 this week. Yeah, he's off of his hot streak now. You're welcome, baseball. And you know that he's always geared up to crush the Twins, which makes me appreciate his sheer futility that much more. His numbers for the season are still redonkulous.
- Joe Mauer was 8-for-18 with three walks and seven runs scored. Boom. Baby Joe.