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After giving away a gut-wrenching loss on Saturday, Alfredo Aceves will sleep easier tonight after saving the Sox from a more brutal defeat. Going for a stunning series sweep, the Minnesota Twins managed to scrap across three late runs before the closer enabled the Sox to escape with a 6-4 win.
Salvaging the final game of the four-game series, the Sox were led by Franklin Morales, who allowed a single run over six innings of work. He struck out four, walked three, and allowed three hits while throwing 106 pitches.
The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a RBI groundout by Carl Crawford and an RBI base hit by Adrian Gonzalez. Celebrating his 31st birthday, Crawford had three hits, two runs scored, and his third stolen base of the season.
Gonzalez added a two-run home run to left off of Twins starter Nick Blackburn in the fifth inning. Gonzalez now has 11 home runs on the year after plenty of criticism for a lack of power from the slugger. Blackburn went five innings and allowed the four runs to earn the loss, while Morales picked up the victory.
Boston added critical insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings, including an RBI base hit by Cody Ross. The Twins homered twice in the ninth inning against reliever Vicente Padilla, but Aceves managed to record the final two outs to end the team’s four-game losing streak.
The Sox ended up losing three of four to the Twins in a very disappointing series. The team schedule is very difficult over the last two months of the season, and four games against the Twins were a golden opportunity to begin to turn things around.
Instead they open a three-game series against the first place Rangers Monday night with a 54-55 record, 10.0 games out of the first place Yankees and 4.5 games back of a wild card spot.