The Red Sox's quest for a third straight win in the Mayor's Cup came up short Friday night, as a strong Liam Hendriks led a stifling pitching performance from the Twins to defeat Boston 2-1.
Getting the start for the Red Sox, Jon Lester continued to struggle with his control. After allowing four walks in four innings last time out, Lester did manage to hold the Twins to just the one base on balls, but also hit Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe in the process. First, however, he would suffer some damage from a trio of hard hit balls to the outfield to start the second inning, bringing a run across for the Twins.
It wouldn't be until the fourth inning that the free passes caught up to Lester. With Plouffe's plunking leading off the fourth, Lester found himself with two runners in scoring position after a Sean Burroughs double. While Lester would record one out without giving up the run, a Drew Butera single was enough to bring Plouffe home and give the Twins a 2-1 lead before the inning was over.
With only a walk to their name through the first three innings, the Red Sox would finally strike in the bottom of the fourth as Pedro Ciriaco continued his remarkable spring with a double, and then scored on a single from Kevin Youkilis.
From there, however, the Twins' pitching went right back to its stingy ways. The Sox would not see another baserunner until the seventh, when Ryan Lavarnway picked up a leadoff single. Lars Anderson would match that feat in the seventh, and Lavarnway would pick up another hit along with Bryce Brentz in the ninth. Lacking the big hit, however, they would never manage to push across the tying run, leaving the Twins 2-1 victors.