David Ortiz homered twice and drove in six runs as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 12-5.
Nick Cafardo writes that Dustin Pedroia is having a superlative season.
The notebook has Mike Napoli looking to make more contact. There are updates on Andrew Bailey and Franklin Morales, too.
Dan Shaughnessy has some picked-up pieces
In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick looks at the winners and losers with the season 25 percent in the books.
MINNEAPOLIS — Red Sox manager John Farrell does not go to the mound to counsel his pitchers. That is the job of pitching coach Juan Nieves.
When Farrell goes to the mound, it's to take the pitcher out of the game.
So when Farrell walked out on the field in the fifth inning on Saturday night, Ryan Dempster looked like a goner. The righthander had thrown 122 pitches to that point and was clinging to a 7-4 lead. The Twins had a runner on base and two outs.
But Farrell did not raise his right arm to call in Clayton Mortensen from the bullpen. He let Dempster convince him to stay in the game.
"He kind of talked his way into it," Farrell said. "In hindsight probably should have [made] the move at the time. But, still, it’s a veteran guy who’s fine physically in terms of his arm. Trying to get him the last out in the fifth to get give him a chance to get a win.”
Dempster got ahead of Jamey Carroll 0-and-2 but could not finish him. Carroll dumped a 2-and-2 pitch into right field and Farrell came to the mound again.
Dempster gave up five runs on eight hits and six walks.
“I wasn’t very good tonight,” he said. “Throwing strikes, that was a big problem. I just didn’t have anything going tonight. But at the end of the day we won the game and that’s all that matters.”
Dempster, 36, threw 127 pitches. That's the most for a Red Sox pitcher this season and tied for the fourth-most in the majors this season. Dempster had not thrown that many since the 2011 season. Before that you have to go back to 2001.
"You want to give a guy every opportunity to record a win," Farrell said "It's a delicate balance but at some point that decision had to be made."
Dempster threw 128 pitches on Sept. 13, 2011. On regular rest in his next two starts he allowed four earned runs over 13 innings. One difference: Those 127 pitches came over seven innings, not 4 2/3.
"I'll be fine," Dempster said. "I know my body and I know what I need to do."
Assuming the Red Sox do not shift their rotation, Dempster will pitch against Cleveland on Thursday at Fenway Park.
Dempster said he appreciated Farrell giving him a chance to get the win. So did Clay Buchholz.
"It didn't work out. But I know all the starters liked that [Farrell] did that. You want the manager to trust you and he trusted Demp there," Buchholz said. "The guy had earned that chance with his experience."
Had the Red Sox lost the game, Farrell would have been justifiably roasted for chasing a player's individual statistic at the expense of the team. Leaving Dempster in was obviously a mistake.
But within the clubhouse, loyalty to a veteran player commands respect. Farrell is building a base of support that will serve him well down the road. Compare that to last season and the disdain the Red Sox had for Bobby Valentine.
"The fact he was given that opportunity will make Demp feel better about the whole situation," Buchholz said. "It's huge. It's been good what has happened with this team. Everybody on this gets along and supports each other. That's the coaches and the players.
"It didn't work out for John this time. But I bet that pays off down the road in other ways."
MINNEAPOLIS — It has been said that living well is the best revenge. For David Ortiz, that has meant reminding the Minnesota Twins what a big mistake they made.
The Twins released David Ortiz after the 2002 season. He was a .266 hitter over six seasons and entering free agency. The organization thought they could do better at the time. The Red Sox signed Ortiz and you're probably familiar with what transpired.
Ortiz has delighted in making the Twins regret their decision ever since, no more so than on Saturday night.
Ortiz drove in six runs with three hits, two of them thunderclap home runs to right field as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 12-5, before a crowd of 36,967.
Ortiz is 66 of 199 (.332) against the Twins since they let him go with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs over 53 games. He is 19 of 38 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 10 games at Target Field.
“I try to do well against everyone sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It worked tonight,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz admitted he once had extra motivation against the Twins.
“But not any more,” he said. “I just try and go about my business. Guys see me trying to hit the moon every time I hit anyway. So it’s nothing new.”
Ortiz is 6 for 8 with two walks and seven RBIs in the first two games of the current series. The Sox have won four straight.
Ortiz is hitting .362 on the season with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 24 games since coming off the disabled list.
Game over: Red Sox 12, Twins 5: Alex Wilson finished things off for the Red Sox. The story was David Ortiz with two homers and 6 RBIs. Daniel Nava drove in three. Another fine all around game by Dustin Pedroia, who reached base four times and made a spectacular defensive play turning a pop up into a double-play.
The Red Sox remained a game behind the Yankees, overcoming a poor outing by starter Ryan Dempster who couldn't get out of the fifth and walking six and throwing 127 pitches. The game was played before 36,967 at Target Field in 3:53.
Top 9th: Red Sox 12, Twins 5 - The ReD Sox loaded the bases with two walks by Ortiz and Napoli and a single from Daniel Nava (3 RBI an 2 hits). After Will Middlebrooks struck out, Ryan Lavarnway's sac fly made it an even dozen for the Sox.
Bottom 8th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - The Twins are retired in order by Alex Wilson. We've just been informed by the official scorer that Craig Breslow will be the pitcher of record.
Top 8th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - The top of the Sox order are retired in order.
Bottom 7th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - Jamey Carroll managed a single against Craig Breslow, but the Twins couldn't advance him.
Top 7th: Red Sox 11, Twins 5 - David Ortiz, again. Big Papi belted a two-run blast with Dustin Pedroia aboard. Ortiz has driven in 6 runs tonight ewith a three-run homer, RBI single and a two-run homer. Daniel Nava also got into the act with a two run blast.
Bottom 6th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - The pitching is brutal. But Dustin Pedroia keeps you watching (check out my On Baseball column in the Globe tomorrow on Pedroia). He made a over the shoulder catch on a pop to short right by Aaron Hicks and then threw out the runner (Doumit) at the plate who tried to tag and score.
Top 6th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - Red Sox went down in order.
Rehab update from Pawtucket - Andrew Bailey pitched an inning for Triple A Pawtucket. He allowed a run on two hits — one a home run — and struck out two. He threw 14 of 17 pitches for strikes. Bailey, who is on the disabled list with a biceps strain, hit 96 miles-per-hour with his fastball and is expected to be activated on Monday.
Franklin Morales started that game and was hit hard, giving up five runs in four innings. He gave up two home runs. It was the fourth rehab start for Morales, who has been out all season recovering from a spring training back injury. The Sox are preparing the lefthander to work as a starter in case one is needed.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 7, Twins 5 - John Farrell stuck with Ryan Dempster for a long time (127 pitches) on a night when it was obvious he didn't have it. Ryan Doumit doubled and eventually came in on a ground ball out by Plouffe. After another walk, Pedro Florimon drove in a run witha single to right. Jamey Carroll then blooped a single to right tp score the fifth Twins run. Clayton Mortensen then came on.
Top 5th: Red Sox 7, Twins 2 - The Red Sox piled on three more runs. A Dustin Pedroia double knocked in Jonny Gomes (double). Later in the inning, Daniel Nava's sacrifice fly scored the second run and Ryan Lavarnway's hard single to center scored the seventh Red Sox run.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 4, Twins 2 - Justin Morneau drove in Joe Mauer (double) with a single.
Top 4th: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - Red Sox go down in order.
Justin Morneau drove in Joe Mauer (double) with a single.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - Dempster got into some more trouble allowing a double to Josh Willingham, who went to third on a wild pitch. Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe walked to load the bases. With two outs, Aaron Hicks flew out to right.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 4, Twins 1 - David Ortiz is hot again. He scorched an RBI single to right driving in Jonny Gomes (walk). A key play was Dustin Pedroia beating out an infield hit to get the runner into scoring position.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 3, Twins 1 - Dempster almost escaped this inning without any damage, but not quite. After Dempster walked Doumit and Arcia, Trevor Plouffe advanced the runners to scoring position with a grounder to third. Lefthanded hitter Aaron Hicks then sent a grounder down the third base line which Middlebrooks fielded and threw to the plate where Doumit got caught in a rundown. He was nailed on a play scored 5-2-6-1 with Dempster making the tag. No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon singled to center scoring the first Twins run. With the bases loaded, Dempster struck out Joe Mauer on a nasty splitter.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - Will Middlebrooks continued his good spell with a leadoff single, but he was erased on Ryan Lavarnway's double-play grounder.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - The best thing the Twins did that inning against Ryan Dempster was having Justin Morneau beat the shift and singled to left field.
Top 1st: Red Sox 3, Twins 0 - David Ortiz hit a three-run homer to right with two aboard (Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia). Ortiz is now 17-for-35 with four homers and 13 RBI at Target Field.
MINNEAPOLIS — Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew are out of the Red Sox lineup with sore backs.
Victorino was injured in the eighth inning against the Rays on Thursday when he crashed into a wall making a catch in right field. He came out of the game before the ninth inning and did not play on Friday.
Victorino took batting practice in the cage and on the field and said he hopes to play on Sunday.
“Shane feels better than he did last night. But still there’s probably a little too much risk running him out there today when another day might just get him over the hump somewhat,” manager John Farrell said.
Once Victorino is ready to go, he could be starting a game in center field.
Farrell wants to get all of his regulars a day off in this stretch of 20 games in 20 days. Jacoby Ellsbury has started every game and through Friday had played in every inning.
Victorino has not played center field this season, even in spring training, but has been a center fielder for much of his career.
Drew was injured in the eighth inning on Friday night when he doubled and contorted his body when he slid into the base. He stayed in the game.
Drew’s pain is in the middle of his back and affects his throwing more than his hitting. Farrell said his absence was more of a precaution.
• Jonny Gomes is starting for the fourth time in last five games and will probably be getting more time with the Sox facing lefthanders on Sunday (Pedro Hernandez), Tuesday (Carlos Quintana) and Wednesday (Chris Sale).
Farrell said his intent was to start the righthanded hitting Gomes against all of those lefthanders.
Through Friday, Gomes was hitting .183 with a .333 on-base percentage thanks to 16 walks.
“He’s had good at-bats against righthanders,” Farrell said. “The base hit against James Wright down in Tampa [on Wednesday]. He’s taken some walks; he’s laid off some breaking balls that have been to the edge or off the plate.”
Farrell feels that more regular at-bats will help Gomes become more productive.
“We could sure use what he’s capable of and getting him involved in the mix,” Farrell said.
• Jarrod Saltalamacchia heard the Powerball lottery jackpot was over $600 million and he purchased some tickets via one of the clubhouse attendants. Saltalamacchia joked that he would keep playing if he won but his daughters would sit in the dugout with him to watch the games.
• David Ortiz has played in 1,401 games for the Sox, moving past Dom DiMaggio for 10th place in team history. Jason Varitek is ninth with 1,546 games.
• More Papi: Ortiz is a career .323/.421/.610 hitter in 52 games against the Twins since they released him in 2002 and he joined the Red Sox. Ortiz did not hit well at the old Metrodome as a member of the Sox (.214/.353/.314 in 19 games). But he enjoys Target Field (.471/.550/.824 in nine games).
• Perhaps you’ve noticed the Red Sox are on the field for the national anthem this season. Farrell made it a team rule. In recent years, under both Terry Francona and Bobby Valentine, there were rarely more than two or three players on the field. Farrell also cleaned up how the team dresses on the road, mandating at least blazers. Many of the players now wear suits, a change from past seasons.
Good afternoon Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (25-17)
Pitching: RHP Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.75).
Pitching: LHP Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08).
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI.
Red Sox vs. Diamond: Victorino 0-6, Gomes 0-4, Ellsbury 1-3, Napoli 0-3, Ortiz 1-3, Pedroia 0-3, Drew 1-2, Middlebrooks 0-2, Salty 0-1.
Twins vs. Dempster: Doumit 7-29, Carroll 6-18, Willingham 1-14, Mauer 1-10, Morneau 4-9, Plouffe 1-9, Dozier 0-6, Escobar 0-3, Parmelee 0-3, Ramirez 1-3, Florimon 1-1.
Stat of the Day: Pedroia is 61 of 174 (.351) against the Twins in his career. For players with a minimum of 150 plate appearances since 1961, only Mark Teixeira (.375) and Will Clark (.355) have higher batting averages against the Twins.
Notes: The Sox have won three straight and the Twins have lost three straight. ... Dempster and Diamond is a rematch from May 7 at Fenway, a game won 6-1 by the Twins. Dempster went seven innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Diamond went seven shutout innings, allowing three hits. He struck out two without a walk. ... The Sox are 26-18 against the Twins since the start of the 2007 season. ... Pedroia has hit in nine straight at 17 of 37. ... Ellsbury and Pedroia are the only Sox to play in every game this season. Ellsbury is the only player to play in every inning. ... The Sox are 15-3 in games started by Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester and 10-14 in games started by others. They are 3-5 in games Dempster has started.
Song of the Day: "Too Close Together" by Peter Wolf.
The Red Sox beat the Twins in extra innings as Jonny Gomes executed in a big spot.
Nick Cafardo writes that the Sox are getting good at winning close games.
The notebook has Stephen Drew playing strong defense at shortstop.
MINNEAPOLIS — Andrew Miller pitched the top of the eight inning for the Red Sox on Friday night and was in the dugout looking to grab a piece of gum.
"I heard this whistling noise behind me," he said. "Then it happened."
What happened was that teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia had fouled a ball into the Red Sox dugout. It struck a padded wall and ricocheted off Miller's forehead.
"I was like, 'What just happened?' But I was OK," Miller said.
Miller stayed in the game and got two outs in the ninth before coming out of the game. He came away without a scratch.
Miller is 6-foot-8. This was one time his height worked against him.
"I couldn't duck," he said.
MINNEAPOLIS — On Thursday night, Will Middlebrooks doubled in three runs to help the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Bays.
On Friday night, about 24 hours later, he came to the plate with runners on first and second against the Minnesota Twins and no outs. This time Middlebrooks was asked to bunt.
How unusual is that? Middlebrooks had bunted once in his professional career and that was in 2008, his first year with the Sox when he played for Rookie League Lowell.
Middlebrooks does not remember that bunt. He thought his last sacrifice came when he was in high school. But he assured third base coach Brian Butterfield that he could do it.
"It's the ideal situation to bunt," Middlebrooks said. "My number was called and I was just trying to get the job done."
Middlebrooks took a pitch and then tapped the ball down the first base line. The Twins had one play and it was to first. Minnesota then intentionally walked Stephen Drew to load the bases for Jonny Gomes and he delivered a sacrifice fly.
That was enough for a 3-2 victory.
Middlebrooks enjoyed the idea of helping his team in two such disparate ways on successive nights.
"I love them both. We won," he said.
A few other notes, quotes and observations from this game:
• Clay Buchholz, Andrew Miller, Alex Wilson and Koji Uehara retired the final 17 Twins in order, eight by strikeout. Wilson, a rookie, got his first career win by retiring the final batter of the ninth inning.
"Funny how it comes that way," he said. "I threw two pitches."
Wilson had the ball after the game. "I'll be keeping this one," he said.
Said John Farrell: "Every guy who came to the mound tonight really pitched well."
• Dustin Pedroia had a weird night. He was 0 for 4 his first four times up, leaving six men on base. He ended three innings and twice grounded into double plays. It was only the second time in his career that he grounded into two double plays. The last time was April 12, 2009 against the Angels.
But Pedroia singled to start the 10th inning and eventually scored the winning run. He also had a terrific night at second base, making several diving stops including a backhanded gem in the seventh inning to take a hit away from Pedro Florimon.
"Pretty sick," he said.
• Under Ron Gardenhire, the Twins have been a fundamentally sound team. But they really botched up the sacrifice fly. Rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks was lined up to make the play and he might have had a chance to throw Pedroia out. But left fielder Oswaldo Arcia came over and tried to make the catch for a second before backing off. His presence caused Hicks to double-pump his throw.
• Buchholz allowed two runs over seven innings. He's how good he has been: that raised his ERA from 1.69 to 1.78 after nine starts. He has struck out 69 in 65.2 innings.
• Red Sox pitchers fanned 14. They have had 23 games with at least 10 strikeouts this season. They had 35 all last year.
• Jacoby Ellsbury was 6 of 49 with one RBI over 12 games before that RBI single in the seventh inning.
• Gomes said the Red Sox don't want to be the "heart-attack kids" and win games like they have the last two nights all the time.
"But it's a good character check for us," he said. "It's huge. It says a lot about the different ways we can win."
Drew knew it would come down to him once Middlebrooks got that bunt down.
"I wanted to stay off the ground as much as possible. Get a pitch to elevate and it happened," he said. "Something you can drive. That situation right there, worst-case scenario is a groundball. Every once in a while it's good to have a little uppercut."
Fun game to watch. Thanks for reading and we'll catch you tomorrow.
Game over: Red Sox 3, Twins 2 (10 innings): The Red Sox held on for the win as Koji Uehara strikes out two batters in the ninth to preserve the win. Alex Wilson threw two pitches and won the game. Clay Buchholz gave up two runs in hits even innings. David Ortiz went 3-for-3 and Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly won the game in the 10th.
Top 10th: Red Sox 3, Twins 2 - Jonny Gomes' sacrifice fly to center scored Dustin Pedroia with the go-ahead run after the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out. Pedroia singled to right, Ortiz walked, Middlebrooks sacrificed bunted the runners over. Stephen Drew was walked intentionally. Gomes got enough wood on the ball to get the run in as Hicks double-clutched before throwing to the plate after he fought off left fielder Oswaldo Arcia for the ball. Mike Carp grounded out to first base to end the inning.
Bottom 9th: Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - Andrew Miller got the first two batters with a ground ball out and a strikeout and pitched 1.2 innings with three strikeouts. But with Trevor Plouffe due up, John Farrell went to Alex Wilson. Ploufffe flew out deep to center.
Top 9th: Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - The Red Sox struck out twice (Salty and Nava) against closer Glenn Perkins and enter the bottom of the ninth in a tie.
Bottom 8th: Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - Effective inning for Andrew Miller who strikes out two in setting the Twins down in order.
Top 8th: Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - Stephen Drew doubled to the right center gap with two outs and then grabbed his back after a slide. Her remained in the game but wouldn't be shocked to see a back tightness issue. After Jonny Gomes walked, Carp took a called third strike on a borderline 3-2 pitch.
Bottom 7th:Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - Nothing doing for Twins.
Top 7th: Twins 2, Red Sox 2 - Sox tie it with a rally after Vance Worley was replaced after six innings. with Brian Duensing on the mound, Gomes walked, Salty singled and Ellsbury, who had been 0-for-3, singled off the shortstop's glove to drive in the tying run. Ellsbury also stole his 13th base. Sox had a chance to add, but Daniel Nava struck out swinging and Pedroia popped out to second base.
Bottom 6th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - Buchholz retires the side.
Top 6th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - The Red Sox knocked into their third double-play - this one by Will Middlebrooks after David Ortiz singled up the middle for his third hit. Stephen Drew flew out to center for the final out.
Bottom 5th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - The Twins had a great chance to extend their lead, loading the bases with one out against Buchholz. Aaron Hicks singled, Brian Dozier walked and Chris Parmelee singled with one out to load them up, but Buchholz buckled down to strike out Josh Willingham and got Justin Morneau to fly out to left field.
Top 5th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - The Red Sox had a pair of hits in the inning from Salty and Nava, but for the second time Pedroia knocked into a double play to end the threat.
Bottom 4th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - With two outs, Clay Buchholz allowed a pair of walks before striking out Plouffe.
Top 4th: Twins 2, Red Sox 1 - David Ortiz singled and Stephen Drew walked with one out, but they couldn't get this game even.
Bottom 3rd: Twins 2, Red Sox 1-- After five straight strikeouts, Clay Buchholz lost it a little. Trevor Plouffe doubled to right center to break the string and rode home on Pedro Florimon's two run homer which he pulled to right field.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - After a one-out walk by Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia knocked into a 4-6-3 double play. Boy did Pedroia run hard down the line. Almost beat it.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - Buchholz struck out the side and five straight batters. Absolutely dominating.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - Mike Carp, playing first base for the resting Mike Napoli, drew a walk with two outs, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - Clay Buchholz looks like he has great stuff - two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first
Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Twins 0 - David Ortiz loves to beat up his old team. He singled to right scoring Daniel Nava who singled and advanced to second on an error by second baseman Brian Dozier, who threw his grounder into the stands.
MINNEAPOLIS — Mike Napoli had started every game for the Red Sox this season. But he's out of the lineup tonight.
The Sox are in the middle of a stretch that will see them play 20 games in as many days, and manager John Farrell hopes to get every regular a day off before the next scheduled day off June 3.
Napoli also has been slumping, with 10 hits in his last 52 at-bats.
"I don't think that's the only factor," Farrell said. "Certainly that's one of them. But you also look at when the guy who steps in for him might have a matchup that's advantageous to him. There's a few things you take into account."
• David Ross, who is on the seven-day concussion disabled list, had been scheduled to join the team this weekend. But he remained in Boston because of his symptoms and will not be examined until Monday.
As a result, Ross is not expected to be back for any games on this road trip. The Red Sox have the option of putting him on the 15-day DL backdated to Sunday. Ross was concussed on Saturday when he took two foul balls off his mask while catching.
"Much like we've seen with many other concussions, these things take on a life of their own," Farrell said. "He's still experiencing some lightheadedness and fatigue. So we've got to give it time."
Although nothing has been scheduled, Farrell expects that Ross will meet with concussion expect Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Collins was the doctor who treated Stephen Drew for his concussion in spring training.
• Farrell has spoken to righthander Joel Hanrahan, who had Tommy John elbow surgery Thursday along with surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. Hanrahan, who will be a free agent after the season, will be out for at least a year.
Dr. James Andrews did the surgery in Pensacola, Fla.
Farrell said that Hanrahan will be in Dallas for the initial stages of his rehab and will check in with the team periodically.
"He can rest with some peace of mind [knowing] that everything that could have been done has been done by the best in the business," Farrell said.
Our On Deck blog takes a look at the price the Sox paid for Hanrahan.
MINNEAPOLIS — Shane Victorino made two terrific catches in right field in the eighth inning Thursday night against the Rays, the first coming when he crashed into the wall to take at least a double away from Jose Lobaton.
The price he paid was a sore back and being left out of the lineup against the Twins Friday night.
"Precautionary stuff," Victorino said. "It's minor."
Victorino was clearly shaken up after the catch, to a point where John Farrell and assistant athletic trainer Masai Takahashi came onto the field. But he waved them back into the dugout.
Victorino then ended the inning with an over-the-shoulder grab of a deep fly ball off the bat of Desmond Jennings. His defense kept the score 3-1 and the Sox scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the game.
Victorino missed seven consecutive games earlier this month with inflammation in a disk in his lower back. This problem, he believes, is not related.
"It stiffened up," he said. "But I think that's all it is. I should be able to play tomorrow. It's not anything that I'm worried about. This isn't what I had before. At least I'm hoping not."
Said Farrell, "We're hopeful that it's a one-day thing where he's off his feet today and he's able to rejoin the lineup tomorrow. As hard as he plays — and I'm not going to say with reckless abandon — but obviously he doesn't fear the wall. He's been banged up the last couple of games."
Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (24-17)
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.69).
Pitching: RHP Vance Worley (1-4, 7.15).
Game time: 8:10 p.m.
Red Sox vs. Worley: Ellsbury 1-6, Pedroia 3-6, Ortiz 0-5, Saltalamacchia 1-4, Victorino 3-3, Carp 0-1, Drew 1-2, Middlebrooks 0-2, Napoli 0-2, Nava 1-2.
Twins vs. Buchholz: Morneau 8-16, Mauer 5-13, Carroll 1-6, Plouffe 0-7, Dozier 1-6, Parmelee 1-4, Willingham 4-6, Arcia 1-3, Doumit 1-3, Escobar 0-3, Florimon 0-3, Hicks 1-3.
Stat of the Day: Napoli has struck out 57 times in 41 games, a pace that would give him 225 on the season. The Red Sox record is 177 by Mark Bellhorn in 2004.
Notes: The Sox have won two straight and trail the Yankees by a game ... The Sox were 1-3 against the Twins at Fenway from May 6-9, getting outscored, 31-18 ... Buchholz is 3-1, 4.54 in six career starts against the Twins. He faced them May 6 and allowed four runs in six innings ... Buchholz has allowed six runs on 13 hits over 14 innings in his last two games. He allowed five runs over 44.2 innings in his first six games ... Worley is 1-0, 3.00 in two starts against the Twins. He faced the Sox May 6 and allowed three runs on nine hits in five innings ... Pedroia is 20 of his last 43 (11 games) and 16 of 32 in the last eight. ... Middlebrooks is 8 of his last 27 with seven doubles and a home run ... Ellsbury is 6 of his last 46 (.130) with four runs and one RBI. His batting average has dropped from .290 to .249. As Bill Chuck of Billy-Ball.com points out, Ellsbury leads the majors with 137 outs ... Napoli is out of the lineup for the first time this season ... Victorino is out after crashing into a wall making a catch in right field in the eighth inning Thursday night ... Carp is hitless in his last 12 at-bats ... The Sox are 11-7 on the road.
Song of the Day: "Minneapolis" by Bill Janovitz.
Friday: RHP Clay Buchholz (6-0, 1.69) vs. RHP Vance Worley (1-4, 7.15), 8:10 p.m., NESN.
Saturday: RHP Ryan Dempster (2-4, 3.75) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (3-3, 4.08), 7:10 p.m., NESN.
Sunday: RHP John Lackey (1-4, 4.05) vs. LHP Pedro Hernandez (2-0, 5.79), 2:10 p.m., NESN.
Will Middlebrooks stuck in the Red Sox lineup and it paid off in the ninth inning on Thursday. His three-run double produced a 4-3 victory.
Nick Cafardo writes that Shane Victorino is toughing it out in right field.
The notebook has the Sox wrestling with what to do with Daniel Bard.
The minor league notebook checks in with Jose Iglesias and his recent issues. Julian Benbow has that story.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red Sox starter Felix Doubront had a wildly inconsistent five innings. On the positive end, he allowed two runs on just three hits and struck out seven. But he also walked a career-high six and threw 105 pitches, 54 for strikes.
“Much improved,” John Farrell said after a 4-3 victory against the Rays. “The work he and Juan [Nieves, the pitching coach] have been doing between outings seemed to pay off. He was on the plate with his stuff, all three pitches. I thought he had better conviction to the stuff that he threw tonight.”
About those walks . . .
“We have to take one step at a time,” Farrell said.
• The Sox had not won a game when trailing after eight innings since July 19, when they beat the White Sox, 3-1, on a walkoff home run by Cody Ross. Dustin Pedroia was base for that, too.
“These kind of wins are big ones,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who it’s against. We had good quality at-bats in a row and Will gets the big hit. It’s uplifting for everybody. We’re all excited.”
• Pedroia has been on base 79 times this season, second in the AL to Miguel Cabrera.
• The three-run double for Will Middlebrooks was the first go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning of his career.
• It was the worst-case scenario for righthander Joel Hanrahan, who went in for surgery by Dr. James Andrews on Thursday in Pensacola, Fla.,
In addition to flexor tendon surgery, Hanrahan required Tommy John reconstruction surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had bone spurs removed according to one his agents, Mike Dillon.
Hanrahan is expected to miss 12-15 months. The 31-year-old will be a free agent after the season.
Hanrahan, who was obtained from Pittsburgh in December, appeared in only nine games for the Red Sox.
• Former Boston College and Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie was at the game, wearing a Sox jersey.
• There was a heartwarming moment before the game. The Rays had 9-year-old Alayna Adams of Dunedin, Fla., throw out the first pitch with her mother, Dana, also on the mound. The catcher proved to be Army Lt. Colonel William Adams, home after a one-year deployment to Afghanistan. Lt. Colonel Adams had on a Rays uniform with full catchers gear and surprised his family. His wife and daughter ran to the plate to hug him. The crowd then gave the family a standing ovation.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Will Middlebrooks missed only one game after he collided with Red Sox teammate David Ross while chasing a foul ball May 7 and bruised several ribs on his right side.
But that didn’t mean the pain went away. Middlebrooks had trouble catching his breath in one game last week and called time to get that under control. He also had trouble sleeping for several nights.
“It was one of those moments in the career of a young player when you have to earn some stripes and stay out there,” said Jonny Gomes, the veteran outfielder. “You can’t win a game sitting on the bench.”
Perseverance paid off for Middlebrooks Thursday night. His three-run double in the ninth inning gave the Sox a 4-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The two-out, two-strike hit off closer Fernando Rodney was perhaps the biggest of the season for the Sox. After losing three series in a row, they took two of three from the Rays and moved into second place, a game behind the Yankees.
After losing nine of 11, the Sox have won two straight and may be going back in the right direction.
With the Sox down, 3-1, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz drew walks. With Pedro Ciriaco running for Ortiz, Mike Napoli struck out. Daniel Nava then walked to load the bases.
Middlebrooks was on deck watching closely when Rodney struck out Stephen Drew with three straight changeups for the second out of the inning. He figured he would get the same.
“I was up there looking changeup,” Middlebrooks said. “It surprised me. In the past when I’ve faced him it’s changeup, changeup, changeup. It’s his best pitch.”
Instead Rodney threw three consecutive fastballs. The first was 97 miles per hour, the second 98, and the third 100. Middlebrooks took a strike on the first, fouled off the second, and took the third for a ball.
Rodney probably should have stayed with his fastball given how unsure Middlebrooks looked against it. But he threw a changeup that stayed up in the strike zone.
“Maybe the only pitch I threw bad,” Rodney said.
Middlebrooks is 8 of 27 with eight extra-base hits in seven games since bruising his ribs. A .211 batting average is nothing to get excited about. But it beats the .190 it was.
“I got frustrated a little bit. But I never changed my plan. I never changed routine at the field and my teammates, they had my back the whole time,” Middlebrooks said.
Farrell believes Middlebrooks is more relaxed at the plate since the collision.
“If he chases a pitch, he regroups. He doesn’t expand the [strike] zone consistently,” Farrell said. “When he was going through a little bit of a spell, that was the case.”
Once Middlebrooks got over the initial shock of the injury, he was determined to play.
“I wasn’t going to get any better sitting out,” he said. “You need reps, you need to get out there and fix stuff on your own and not just say, ‘I’m going to go sit down.’ That’s the selfish way to go about it I think. I wanted to do anything I could do to help my team win.”
Game over: Red Sox 4, Rays 3: Junichi Tazawa preserved the one-run lead in his first strong outing as the team's closer. He allowed a single to right to Luke Scott, but then got Ben Zobrist to line out to shortstop. The biggie was striking out Evan Longoria. He went 1-2 to Yunel Escobar, before the temperamental SS singled through the 5-6 hole. James Loney, 0-for-3 coming into the at-bat, got behind 0-2 quickly and then grounded out to shortstop to end the game. The game took 3:43 to play before 16,055. The Red Sox took two out of three and now head to Minnesota.
Top 9th: Red Sox 4, Rays 3 - Fernando Rodney didn't have it. He walked Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to start the ninth. But he found his composure in striking out Mike Napoli. Daniel Nava walked to load the bases. With one out, Stephen Drew was fooled on three pitches, two of them change-ups and struck out. That left it up to Will Middlebrooks.
After showing him a 100 mph fastball for a ball, Middlebrooks cleared the bases with a double to left center on a change-up that rolled to the wall, scoring all three runs to give the Red Sox the lead. After Rodney walked Saltalamacchia, Joe Maddon had to pull his closer. Lefty Alex Torres, just called up from Durham to replace the injured David Price (triceps strain), came on to retire Ellsbury (0 for 5).
Bottom 8th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1 - Rays just want to get to Fernando Rodney.
Top 8th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1 - Jacoby Ellsbury went 0-for-4 as the Sox go down in order.
Bottom 7th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1 - Three-up, three down for the Rays vs. Craig Breslow.
Top 7th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1 - Mike Napoli started the inning with a leadoff walk, but the Sox couldn't do much especially when hatrd-throwing lefty Jake McGee came on to get Drew and Middlebrooks.
Bottom 6th: Rays 3, Red Sox 1 - After issuing his sixth walk to James Loney on four pitches, Doubront exited the game. Clayton Mortensen induced a fielder's choice grounder by Matt Joyce, pinch-hitting for Sean Rodriguez with the runner eliminated at second base. Lobaton walked and after a passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Roberts also walked. Desmond Jennings singled in a run. This brought Andrew Miller in. He singled to right, driving in the second run.
Top 6th: Red Sox 1, Rays 1 - With two outs, Dustin Pedroia singled, but David Ortiz grounded out into the shift.
Bottom 5th: Rays 1, Red Sox 1 - The Rays draw a pair of walks against Doubront, but he's able to keep it tied, getting Yunel Escobar to pop out to shorstop in short rightfield ending the potential threat.
Top 5th: Rays 1, Red Sox 1 - Will Middlebrooks drew a walk, but Alex Cobb still seems very much in control.
Bottom 4th: Rays 1, Red Sox 1 - Doubront has his best inning yet with a pair of Ks to Sean Rodriguez and Jose Lobaton, and a ground ball out by Ryan Roberts. What ever Doubront worked on on the side with Juan Nieves this week seems to be working.
Top 4th: Rays 1, Red Sox 1 - David Ortiz roped a single to right field which bounced against the wall on a hop scoring Shane Victorino who had doubled.
Bottom 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0 - Evan Longoria managed a single vs. Doubront, but the lefty got the next two hitters to stop any momentum.
Top 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0 - Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks especially, both struck the ball well toward center but both balls were caught for outs and Cobb has now pitched to nine batters in three innings.
Bottom 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0 - Ryan Roberts took Doubront deep on a 2-0 pitch to left-center to give the Rays the early lead. Doubront had retired the first two batters, but left the 2-0 pitch too far out over the plate. It was the third homer for Roberts.
News update via Pete Abraham: Closer Joel Hanrahan had Tommy John surgery: It was the worst-case scenario for righthander, who went in for surgery by Dr. James Andrews on Thursday. In addition to flexor tendon surgery, Hanrahan required Tommy John reconstruction surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had bone spurs removed.
Hanrahan is expected to miss 12-15 months recovering from the surgery. The 31-year-old will be a free agent after the season. Hanrahan, who was obtained from Pittsburgh in December, appeared in only nine games for the Red Sox.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - Cobb, with a nice changeup/sinker combo, struck out Napoli and Nava on route to a 1-2-3 inning. He's retired all six batters he's faced.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - Luke Scott reached on an infield single to shortstop in the shift. Felix Doubront, for whom this was an important start, then walked Ben Zobrist, got Evan Longoria to fly out to center. he lost a real battle with Yunel Escobar who fouled off a few pitches on 3-2 before Doubront thought he had the SS struck out with a nice curveball, that was just a little bit high called Ball Four by home plate umpire Joe West. With the bases loaded and two out, James Loney, the league's top hitter, took a called third strike to end the threat.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Rays 0 - Alex Cobb, who became the first major league pitcher to strike out 13 batters in less than five innings in his last start vs. San Diego (4-2/3 innings), struck out two (Ellsbury and Pedroia) of the three Red Sox batters he faced.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrew Bailey threw 15 pitches in a simulated game at Tropicana Field this afternoon. Facing teammates Mike Carp and Ryan Lavarnway, Bailey got three fly balls.
"I felt good. Was throwing all my pitches," Bailey said. "My arm feels good."
The next step will be for Bailey to pitch an inning for Triple A Pawtucket on Saturday at McCoy Stadium against Indianapolis. He would then rejoin the Red Sox in Chicago on Monday.
Sox manager John Farrell said Bailey would return to closing once he is activated off the disabled list, Bailey has not pitched since April 28 because of a strained biceps muscle.
Bailey would have preferred to be activated right away. But he complied with the team's desire for a brief rehab assignment.
"We kind of discussed that. What we talked about is that I missed enough time to warrant just at least one inning. Kind of getting sharp. But everything feels great. It's just kind of getting back baseball-wise. We agreed to go one inning and I'll be fine," Bailey said.
Farrell believes a one-game rehab stint makes the most sense.
"The fact is he's 19 days from his last game. He's a guy that pitches with a lot of adrenalin in that role. The next progressive step would be in a game situation against a different uniform and all the other things that we can't reproduce here in a sim game situation," the manager said.
Bailey was pitching well before his injury. In 13 appearances, he allowed two earned runs on six hits over 12.1 innings with four walks and 20 strikeouts.
Bailey said the biceps is no longer an issue.
"Once everything calmed down in there, it was pretty normal," he said. "The trainer said there would be one day when I come in here and feel great. That's kind of what happened. As soon as we were able to cross that bridge, it was getting back on the mound and the routine of things."
Farrell said he has spoken to Bailey at length about making sure he keeps the team informed about his physical condition after each outing.
• Farrell said the Red Sox have not discussed the idea of moving Daniel Bard out of Double A Portland to extended spring training.
The righthander has struggled mightily since he was optioned back to Portland on April 28. In five appearances, Bard has pitched 3.2 innings and allowed six earned runs on five hits and 13 walks. He has struck out only two. Of Bard's last 109 pitches, 37 have been strikes.
For the season, counting the majors, Bard has walked 19 and thrown eight wild pitches in 13.2 innings.
"He's going through a pretty tough stretch right now," Farrell said.
Here are the lineups:
RED SOX (23-17)
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (3-1, 6.40).
Pitching: RHP Alex Cobb (4-2, 3.09).
Game time: 7:10 p.m.
Red Sox vs. Cobb: Pedroia 2-9, Saltalamacchia 1-6, Drew 2-5, Ellsbury 2-7, Nava 1-6, Ciriaco 0-6, Napoli 2-5, Lavarnway 1-4, Victorino 1-3, Carp 1-3, Middlebrooks 1-3, Ortiz 0-1.
Rays vs. Doubront Johnson 3-11, Zobrist 3-12, Escobar 2-6, Longoria 2-6, Rodriguez 3-9, Jennings 2-5, Scott 2-6, Joyce 1-2, Loney 1-3.
Stat of the Day: The Red Sox lead the majors with 145 extra-base hits. Napoli is the individual leader with 26, 18 of them doubles.
Notes: The Sox and Rays play the rubber game of a three-game series. The Sox have lost three series in a row ... The Sox have dropped three of four and six of their last eight ... The Sox are 4-1 against the the Rays this season, outscoring them, 22-10 ... Doubront is 2-1, 3.91 in seven career appearances against the Rays, four of them starts. Six of those appearances have been at Tropicana Field ... Doubront is coming off two dispiriting performances, one start and one long-relief appearance. The numbers: 9 IP, 23 H, 12 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 202 pitches ... Cobb is 2-2, 3.18 in four starts against the Sox. He faced the Sox April 14 at Fenway and allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings ... In his last start, he struck out 13 Padres over 4.2 innings ... Pedroia is 17 of his last 37 and is now hitting .340 ... Middlebrooks is 7 of his last 24 with seven extra-base hits ... Ellsbury has gone 143 at-bats without a home run, the longest drought on the team. He has a .366 slugging percentage since the start of the 2012 season ... The Sox are 10-7 on the road.
Song of the Day: "Cool For Cats" by Squeeze.