The Red Sox secured a share of the Mayor's Cup, taking a 3-2 series lead over the Twins with a 9-7 win Friday afternoon.
Getting his last start in spring, Daniel Bard got off to a tough start in the first inning, allowing the Twins to take a 1-0 lead on a walk and a double. The Sox would quickly get the run back and then some, however, as Cody Ross launched a two-run shot to put Boston up 2-1.
Both starters would settle down from there. Daniel Bard would pitch through the fifth without allowing another run, striking out seven batters along the way, while Blackburn responded in kind.
Blackburn would leave the game before the sixth, bringing Jeff Gray to the mound. Cody Ross would have no more trouble than with Blackburn, however, picking up his second two-run shot of the game to make it 4-1.
Daniel Bard, on the other hand, would come back out for the sixth, and run into trouble. Walking Denard Span to start the inning, Bard would allow the run to come across on a single, and then repeat the process to bring in another. The inning would drag Bard's line down to six innings and three earned runs on four hits and three walks after allowing just two baserunners through the first five frames.
The Sox would build their lead to 8-3 in the next couple innings on some small ball and a Mauro Gomez homer, but saw that cut to 8-5 as Matt Albers lost control and walked three batters in the eighth. With an added run in the ninth and Mark Melancon avoiding too much trouble despite a trio of singles and an error in the ninth, the Sox left with a 9-7 win.