Napoli, Ortiz homer to rally past Twins
BOSTON -- David Ortiz went from gesturing up at an official scorer one at-bat earlier to pumping his fist toward his teammates after his game-tying homer.
Three pitches later, he was hugging Mike Napoli at home plate after his teammate’s winning home run.
Napoli and Ortiz hit consecutive homers with one out in the 10th inning and the Boston Red Sox rallied past Minnesota 2-1 Wednesday, sending the Twins to their fifth straight loss.
"We haven’t been able to produce. Our pitching has been outstanding lately, but we haven’t been able to hit," Ortiz said. "To come back and win the game, that was big."
Boston was held to one hit -- a fifth-inning double by Daniel Nava -- before the homers.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 10th on Chris Parmelee’s two-out home run off Red Sox closer Koji Uehara (2-1).
But after Dustin Pedroia flied out to begin the Boston 10th, the Red Sox connected against Casey Fien (3-4) to complete a three-game sweep.
Twins closer Glen Perkins was unavailable with a sore back.
Ortiz hit his drive down the right-field line and pumped his right fist toward the dugout as he headed toward first base. Napoli hit his shot into the center-field bleachers.
Three innings earlier, Ortiz felt like he had a hit taken away when he reached on what was ruled an error by official scorer Bob Ellis after the ball deflected off first baseman Joe Mauer’s glove in the seventh inning. When he walked off the field following Napoli’s double-play grounder, Ortiz was glaring and waving his arm up at the press box.
"You hope they have your back at home and it never happens," Ortiz said. "I’ve been here more than a decade and the scoring, it’s home, man. What do you want Mauer to do? He dove for the ball. He knocked it down."
"I always look like I’m the bad guy, but they always end up changing it. It’s not that we need to check on Papi. Check on the scorer to see what he’s doing wrong," he said.
Earlier this year, Major League Baseball changed a scorer’s ruling and later gave Ortiz a single in a game in which Yu Darvish had a no-hit bid for Texas.
Parmelee also had two singles as Minnesota finished a 3-6 road trip.
"We’re glad we’re going home," Parmelee said. "It’s kind of tough end to the long road trip, but we’re headed home and we’re excited to get back home."
Uehara had a scoreless streak snapped at 21 2/3 innings when Parmelee homered into the Red Sox bullpen over the leap of right fielder Brock Holt.
"Unfortunately, one extra split to Parmelee gives them the upper hand, but a dramatic finish on our part," Boston manager John Farrell said. "David comes up big once again."
Like the previous two games of the series, both one-run wins by Boston, neither team had much offense going. The Twins entered the day with seven combined hits and one run in the first two games and Boston scored just three total runs.
The Red Sox were on the verge of being shut out until the improbable ending.
"It’s the worst feeling in the world," Fien said. "When you’ve got a pitching staff that threw like that and then they ask me to come up big and do my part. You come out with the ‘L.’ It’s not a good feeling."
Boston’s John Lackey and Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson kept up the trend with strong pitching performances.
Lackey gave up three singles over nine innings, striking out nine and walking one. He’s allowed three or fewer runs in six straight starts, and 12th of 15 this season.
Gibson pitched seven shutout innings for the third consecutive start, allowing only Nava’s double, while striking out eight without walking anyone.
Gibson retired the first 14 batters before Nava lined a double near the base of the right-field wall that bounced in Boston’s bullpen for a ground-rule double.
Pedroia had his streak of reaching in every career start against the Twins snapped at 30 after he went 0 for 4.
NOTES: Red Sox starters held an opponent to three runs or fewer for the 12th consecutive home game. ... A day after designating him for assignment, the Red Sox released struggling OF Grady Sizemore from the roster. ... Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman lost an appeal of his six-game suspension for throwing near the head of Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria on May 30, and the right-hander began serving it Wednesday. ... RHP Yohan Pino makes his major league debut, facing Chicago’s Jose Quintana (3-7, 3.98 ERA) Thursday as the Twins open a four- game series at home against the White Sox. ... Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA) goes for Boston Thursday against Oakland’s Scott Kazmir (8-2, 2.05) as the Red Sox begin a 10-game road trip.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.