The Red Sox need Clay Buchholz to play the stopper tonight, lest they suffer an embarrassing series loss to the Twins at home. We'll keep you up to date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 4, Twins 2, End 8th -- It takes the Sox all of two pitches to get back on top in the eighth, and who else does the job but Pedro Ciriaco? Pinch hitting in place of Ryan Kalish against left-handed reliever Glen Perkins, the young clutch machine provides again, taking a 1-0 fastball and launching a rocket shot over the Monster to recover the lead for the Sox. With Dustin Pedroia scoring on a Cody Ross single after being hit by Perkins, the Sox will even head to the ninth with some insurance.
Red Sox 2, Twins 2, Mid 8th -- The Red Sox will consider themselves lucky to have escaped with a tie. Andrew Miller enters the eighth inning in place of Clay Buchholz, and does his best 2011 Andrew Miller impression, walking two and giving up an infield single to load the bases without an out. In comes Alfredo Aceves, however, to save the day, surrendering just the one run on a sacrifice fly while escaping the inning otherwise unharmed.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, End 7th -- The Red Sox waste a leadoff base hit from Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the bottom third of the order go 1-2-3, leaving the Sox clinging to the same lead they've had for the last three frames now.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, Mid 7th -- Clay Buchholz has likely pitched his last inning of the night, but it comes in 1-2-3 fashion thanks to a double play off the bat of Alexi Casilla. Buchholz has come a long way after those two terrible months to start the season.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, End 6th -- Adrian Gonzalez gives the Sox their first hit since the second inning, but it's a two-out single that doesn't lead to anything more, leaving the Sox still stuck at just the two runs.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, Mid 6th -- The Sox have a bit of a scary moment when Bobby Valentine and the trainers come out to check on Clay Buchholz, who hunches over by the mound after getting Ryan Doumit to ground into a double play. They head back to the dugout, however, and Buchholz stays in to record the last out and move the game along to the bottom of the sixth.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, End 5th -- Cole De Vries strikes out the side in order in the bottom of the fifth. He's settled in after early struggles.
Red Sox 2, Twins 1, Mid 5th -- The Red Sox surrender what might be the quintessential Red Sox opposition run this season: a one-out ground ball single, an errant throw to first from Clay Bucholz, and then a nubber in front of the plate that Kelly Shoppach throws into Ben Revere's back. Tough one to swallow, that, but they've still got the lead at least.
Red Sox 2, Twins 0, End 4th -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia draws a two-out walk and Mike Aviles hits another deep fly ball to left, but it dies near the warning track to keep the Sox to just the two runs through four.
Red Sox 2, Twins 0, Mid 4th -- Buchholz gives up a double to the wall with two outs in the inning, but strikes out Darin Mastroianni to end the inning without any further incident.
Red Sox 2, Twins 0, End 3rd -- Cole De Vries enjoys a 1-2-3 third--his first scoreless inning of the night--though he needs a good pick on a well-hit grounder to retire Carl Crawford, and has to throw seven pitches to Dustin Pedroia to grab the third out of the frame.
Red Sox 2, Twins 0, Mid 3rd -- Clay Buchholz bounces back in style with a nine-pitch third inning, getting two ground balls and one through the air to preserve Boston's lead headed to the bottom of the third.
Red Sox 2, Twins 0, End 2nd -- One big swing from Mike Aviles doubles the Sox' lead, as the shortstop launched his eleventh homer of the season up and into the Monster seats to make it 2-0 after two.
Red Sox 1, Twins 0, Mid 2nd -- Clay Buchholz gets himself into and out of a big jam in the second. After allowing a line drive to center to Justin Morneau, giving the Twins a leadoff baserunner, Buchholz made a confusing (given Morneau's total lack of speed) throw to first which got away from Adrian Gonzalez, allowing Morneau to move into scoring position. A seeing-eye-single through the left side wasn't enough to get him in, however, and just put runners on the corners with nobody out.
Buchholz would battle back with some help from the defense after that. A well placed fastball cut just over the plate to Darin Mastroianni, costing him a called strike three, and while Brian Dozier put a decent swing on the ball, Nick Punto made a diving grab to make the out and keep the runners right where they were. With Adrian Gonzalez ranging to make a play on a ground ball from Jamey Carroll and tossing to Buchholz covering first, the Sox were out of the jam without any damage.
Red Sox 1, Twins 0, End 1st -- Even with Jacoby Ellsbury out, the top of the lineup gets the job done in the first. Ryan Kalish draws a five-pitch walk in the leadoff spot, and then is quickly knocked in by Carl Crawford, who goes to the opposite field with authority for a wallball double. While the middle-of-the-order goes 1-2-3, stranding Crawford, they'll be happy with the early lead and the positive signs from their left fielder.
Red Sox 0, Twins 0, Mid 1st -- The worst things get for Clay Buchholz in the first is a 2-0 count to Denard Span, who takes the next two pitches for strikes and goes down swinging at the changeup. Ben Revere and Joe Mauer follow him back to the dugout with a pair of quick ground balls as Buchholz wraps up a very nice 1-2-3 start to his outing.