The Red Sox came back from an early three-run deficit against the Twins Sunday to take the third game of the series 9-5.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound to start the game, it's always a possibility for things to get hairy early on. Entering the game with a 7.20 ERA in the first inning, Matsuzaka yet again found himself in trouble before a single out was recorded-even if it wasn't entirely his fault-when Twins leadoff man Denard Span hit a pop fly that was suddenly knocked down by the wind in front of Carl Crawford.
After Trevor plouffe walked, Daisuke picked up his first out by overpowering Justin Morneau with an outside fastball. But another lucky hit, this time a flaired single falling just fair down the left field line scored the first run of the game for the Twins. Danny Valencia's two-out single up the middle would quickly make it a 3-0 lead for Minnesota before the inning was over.
The Red Sox began to chip away in the bottom of the second, manufacturing a run on a pair of groundouts after Kevin Youkilis doubled to start the inning. It was in the third, however, that things really got started for Boston. Carl Crawford got things started with a triple, scoring on a ground out from Jason Varitek to bring the Sox within one.
With one out in the frame Jacoby Ellsbury re-started the rally, singling ahead of a walk from Dustin Pedroia, and then scoring on a base hit from Adrian Gonzalez. Minnesota starter Carl Pavano almost escaped the inning with the tie, inducing a ground ball from Kevin Youkilis, but the Red Sox' third baseman beat out the throw, letting Pedroia score, and keeping the inning going. Back-to-back singles from David Ortiz and J.D. Drew brought Youkilis home, capping off the four run inning.
As impressive as the third inning had been, Daisuke allowed the Twins to get back to within one on the first pitch of the fourth, giving Danny Valencia his third RBI of the game on a home run off the left-field foul pole that stood after a quick review from the umpires. From there, though, Matsuzaka seemed to settle down, recording three quick outs and managing to make it through the sixth inning without allowing any more runs to score.
Carl Pavano was not so successful. After a baserunning gaffe by Jacoby Ellsbury let him escape the fourth with a 1-2-3 inning, he would find himself victimized by Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth as the slugging first baseman picked up his fourth home run of the year-an effortless opposite field shot over the Monster. Kevin Youkilis followed with a single, later scoring on a throwing error on an attempted double play by Alexi Cassila.
The Sox would add a couple more runs in the seventh on a Jed Lowrie double, but they wouldn't be necessary. Matt Albers threw two good innings, allowing just one run thanks to a fluke of a ground-rule double while striking out three, and Daniel Bard finished it off with ease, getting Cassila to ground out to Jose Iglesias-making his Major League debut as a defensive replacement-for the last out of the game.