Tim Wakefield couldn't pick up his 200th win, but the Red Sox fought back from an early 5-1 deficit with a big sixth inning, but managed to pull ahead in the ninth thanks to a ninth-inning rally that gave Boston an 8-6 win.
Seeking his milestone win, the Sox' veteran knuckleballer entered the second with a 1-0 lead. It did not take long for Wakefield to give it up, allowing three straight hits including a pair of doubles which, combined with a passed ball, left the Sox trailing 3-1. A fourth inning Jason Kubel homer and a pair of two-out hits built that deficit to 5-1.
Up until the top of the sixth, Twins starter Scott Baker had been largely untouchable aside from his three-hit second. But on the second pitch of the frame, Carl Crawford tripled to deep center and the rally was on. Adrian Gonzalez brought him home with a sacrifice fly, but things didn't just end there. Dustin Pedroia hit a one-out single, and two pitches later, Baker delivered a flat fastball to David Ortiz that ended up about as gone as gone can get, into the upper deck in dead center. Now down 5-4, Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasted no time in tying it up.and perhaps proving it was possible to go even longer than Papi's shot, launching a solo homer into the back of the stands in right.
Wakefield proved up to the task of two more innings, giving him a chance to leave the game with his 200th win when the Sox pushed across a sixth run in the top of the eighth thanks to some small ball and Joe Mauer's inability to control a throw home. It was not to be, however, as Alfredo Aceve allowed a leadoff double to come home in the bottom of the frame.
Entering the ninth in a tie game, the Sox picked up a leadoff single from Jacoby Ellsbury. But Carl Crawford struck out, and with Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, Jacoby Ellsbury was caught trying to take second leaving the Sox with two down and no baserunners to work with. With two strikes on Gonzalez, the Twins needed just one more to give themselves a chance to walk off in the bottom half. They wouldn't get it before it was much too late. Gonzalez lifted a flair to center field for a single, moved to second on an infield single from Justin Pedroia, and up came David Ortiz in another big situation. Once again, he delivered. The 1-0 pitch was a weak curveball, and Ortiz made Joe Nathan pay for it, lining it into left field to pick up his fourth hit of the game: a go-ahead single. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled in an insurance run, but the Sox wouldn't need it thanks to Jonathan Papelbon, who picked up a pair of strikeouts in a perfect ninth that left the Sox winners.