Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Danny Valencia and Denard Span each posted two hits and two RBI as Minnesota downed Boston, 9-2, in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Trevor Plouffe homered among his two hits and scored three times for the Twins, who have won three in a row after dropping six straight.
Scott Baker (2-2) allowed seven hits and two runs with eight strikeouts over eight solid innings.
J.D. Drew and Adrian Gonzalez each hit solo homers for the Red Sox, losers of three straight games.
Tim Wakefield (0-1) lasted just 4 1/3 innings, charged with nine hits and eight runs — six earned — with four walks.
Ahead by two, Minnesota took control with a four-run fifth inning, chasing Wakefield from the game.
Plouffe walked, then Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer singled to load the bases. Valencia’s double plated a pair, then the veteran knuckleballer was lifted in favor of Alfredo Aceves. Two batters later, Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie misplayed a Drew Butera grounder to score Cuddyer and Valencia for an 8-2 game.
Aceves balked in Plouffe with two down in the sixth. Meanwhile, Baker retired the side in order in the fifth and seventh frames. He induced a double-play grounder from Dustin Pedroia in a scoreless sixth, then fanned Pedroia with two runners in scoring position to end his outing.
Joe Nathan walked Kevin Youkilis with one out in the ninth but got the next two batters to end the game.
Plouffe’s one-out blast in the first over the Green Monster put the Twins on the board, then with the bases loaded in the second, Span drove in two with a single then a Wakefield balk brought in another run.
Sox manager Terry Francona was ejected for arguing the call by home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez but Boston was still down 4-0.
Drew’s one-out homer to right in the home half put the Sox on the board, then Gonzalez cleared the Monster to start the fourth.
Boston has been outscored 25-5 during their losing streak…This was Baker’s longest outing of the season, and lengthiest start since going eight full innings in a no-decision on August 4, 2010 at Tampa Bay…Wakefield made his 409th career start with the Red Sox, dating back to 1995…Prior to the contest, the Red Sox recalled Aceves from Triple-A Pawtucket.