|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
It did not look good for the pitchers in this one as the Boston Red Sox staff walked eight batters, including six by Ryan Dempster, and the Minnesota Twins allowed three homers in the 12-5 Red Sox win. It is the fourth straight win for the Red Sox on the road.
Dempster had to battle all evening long against the Twins and his control even though he had a 3-0 lead after a three-run home run from David Ortiz in the top of the first inning gave him some cushion.
Demspter got out of two bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings and stranded numerous base runners, avoiding the big inning until he allowed three runs in the fifth.
One inning later, Ortiz added a RBI single to right that scored Jonny Gomes to make it a 4-1 lead for the Sox.
The Red Sox would answer right back in the top of the fifth with three runs on a RBI double from Dustin Pedroia, a sacrifice fly from Daniel Nava that scored Pedroia, and a Ryan Lavarnway RBI single that scored Mike Napoli from second before Will Middlebrooks got thrown out at third that put the Red Sox up 7-2.
Dempster could not get through the fifth to qualify for the win, though, and threw 127 pitches in 4.2 innings before Clayton Mortenson was called in for relief. Dempster finished with eight hits, six walks and five earned runs with only two strikeouts. His ERA increased to 4.27 on the season.
Mortenson came in and gave up a single to Mauer, but got Morneau to fly out to center to end the fifth inning. Craig Breslow got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
Scott Diamond, the Twins’ starter, did not fare much better, lasting only 4.1 innings while allowing six earned runs on eight hits and three walks.
Lavarnway tacked on another run in the top of the ninth with a bases-loaded sac fly to make it 12-5.
The Red Sox look to make it five in a row when John Lackey takes the hill against Pedro Hernandez at 2:10 p.m.
Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with a walk and now has a hit in three of his past four games.
Ortiz keeps raking with two three-hit games the past two nights, including two homers and six RBI on Saturday night. He’s now hitting .362/.408/.681 on the season, with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in just 24 games.