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David Ortiz’s bases-loaded, infield single in the seventh lifted the Red Sox to their fourth straight victory on Tuesday, besting the Minnesota Twins 4-3 at Target Field.
Dustin Pedroia drew a one-out walk off reliever Matt Capps in the seventh, and advanced to third on an Adrian Gonzalez double to left. Kevin Youkilis walked to load the bases for Ortiz, but Twins’ pitcher Phil Dumatrait was summoned from the bullpen. Fortunately for Boston, the pitcher was unable to handle the Ortiz’s grounder to score Pedroia from third.
Darnell McDonald blasted his fourth home run of the year with a two-run shot in the fifth, tying the game at 2-2 off Twins’ starter Francisco Liriano. McDonald went 2-3 on the evening to join Gonzalez as the only Sox hitters with two hits.
Red Sox starter Erik Bedard made his second appearance since his trade deadline acquisition from the Mariners, firing 90 pitches in five innings to garner his second straight no-decision. Bedard allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits and four walks while striking out six.
The southpaw struggled in the first, surrendering all four bases-on-balls of his outing in the frame en route to a pair of Twins runs. Home plate umpire Tim McClelland appeared to squeeze Bedard on two batters, including on a 3-2 pitch with the bases load to score a run.
Minnesota started well, receiving a lead off walk in the first from Ben Revere and a single from Joe Mauer to put runners on the corners with no outs. Michael Cuddyer collected an RBI sacrifice fly for the first run of the night, scoring Revere from third for the 1-0 lead. Jason Kubel and Jim Thome reached on back-to-back walks, but Bedard fanned Danny Valencia for the second out. Bedard thought he escaped without any further damage after firing a borderline 3-2 pitch to Delmon Young, but McClelland issued a ball for the RBI walk.
The Sox were held scoreless until the fifth, but a lead off walk to Jason Varitek doomed Liriano. McDonald stepped in and drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left to tie the game.
In the sixth, Jed Lowrie and Carl Crawford both drew one-out walks to bring Varitek to the plate. The captain capitalized on the opportunity, grounding a single through the left side to score Lowrie from second.
The Twins equalized the game in the bottom half off of reliever Matt Albers, sparking a one-run rally on Valencia’s single. Albers struck out Young looking for the second out, but Tsuyoshi Nishioka doubled off the wall in right to tie the game 3-3.
Boston increased its division lead to 2.5 games on New York after the Yankees’ 6-4 loss to the Angels.
The Sox will go for the sweep on Wednesday, sending lefty Jon Lester (11-5, 3.23 ERA) to the mound, opposed by Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn (7-9, 4.58 ERA) at 8:10.