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The Boston Red Sox were one strike away from ending their three game skid until Joe Mauer hit a three-run home run to give the Minnesota Twins the 6-4 win. The loss is the Red Sox third straight against the second to last place team in the American League, and fourth straight loss of the 10-game homestand.
Red Sox closer Alfredo Aceves (2-7) thought his 2-2 pitch to Mauer caught the outside corner, but just missed. Mauer belted the very next pitch into the first row of the Monster seats in left center field. Aceves gave up a sac fly to Justin Morneau to tie the game 2-2- in the top of the 8th after relieving Andrew Miller who loaded the bases without recording an out against three left handed batters.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz (ND) pitched seven strong innings allowing just one unearned run, but also had two errors on pickoffs to first. Buchholz, who left with a 2-1 lead, continued his great pitching of late with a 1.20 ERA in his last four starts.
Mike Aviles hit his career-high 11th homer of the year in the second to give the Red Sox early 2-0 lead. Pedro Ciriaco hit a pinch-hit home run for his first major league dinger to give the Red Sox the lead again in the bottom of the eighth.
Jacoby Ellsbury (groin) and Will Middlebrooks (rest) did not start, but came into the game in the ninth inning. Ellsbury entered the game as a defensive replacement after Ciriaco pinch-hit for starter Ryan Kalish. Middlebrooks pinch hit for Nick Punto with two out in the ninth but popped out to end the game.
Add this loss to the list of tough losses for the Red Sox this season. Franklin Morales (2-2) will get his sixth start of the season for the Sox against Twins right hander Nick Blackburn (4-6) at 1:35 PM as the Red Sox try to salvage one game of this four game series.
Tags: Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Franklin Morales, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Mike Aviles, Minnesota Twins, Nick Blackburn, Nick Punto, pedro ciriaco, Ryan Kalish, Will Middlebrooks