06/19 22:41 CDT Surging Escobar sparks Twins past Sale, Red Sox in 6-2 win
Surging Escobar sparks Twins past Sale, Red Sox in 6-2 win
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --- Eduardo Escobar had two go-ahead hits, including an RBI
single that launched a four-run eighth inning for the Minnesota Twins in a 6-2
victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Robby Scott (0-1), just recalled from Triple-A to make his season debut,
relieved Chris Sale to start the eighth and walked the first two batters. Joe
Kelly entered, and Escobar's one-out line drive bounced in front of Jackie
Bradley Jr. and skipped past the center fielder for an error as two runs
scored. Robbie Grossman broke the game open with a two-run triple.
The late surge masked a classic pitching duel between Sale and Jose Berrios,
the six-time All-Star against the budding ace. Sale retired the first 14
batters he faced before Ehire Adrianza's soft roller to Rafael Devers at third
base went for an infield single.
The Twins were mostly out of sorts against Sale, with bewildered players
complaining to home plate umpire Jeff Nelson about the size of his strike zone.
They fell behind on a two-out home run by Devers in the sixth off Berrios.
All it took was a single by Ryan LaMarre and a hit by pitch for Joe Mauer to
start a rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Escobar drove a 1-1
slider from Sale down the left-field line for his major league-leading 31st
double and a 2-1 lead. Escobar pumped his arms back and forth several times
before clapping and pointing at his teammates in the dugout.
Sale finished seven innings, the 12th time in 16 starts this season he has
logged at least six. This was the 11th turn in which he's yielded two runs or
fewer and his fifth double-digit strikeout performance. In his last three
starts, he has allowed only 11 hits in 21 innings. Yet the Red Sox are only 8-8
with him on the mound.
Berrios had to work harder, but he was largely responsible for the Red Sox
finishing 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10 men. He
left with one out and one on in the seventh, and Trevor Hildenberger struck out
American League RBI leader J.D. Martinez with runners at second and third to
end that threat.
Struggling Twins right-hander Addison Reed, who has appeared in only one of the
previous six games, has been at least temporarily removed from his setup role.
"I'm going to use him when I think it's the right time. I'm not sure exactly
when that's going to be right now," manager Paul Molitor said before the game.
Zach Duke (3-2) took the eighth inning instead and, with two outs, surrendered
Sandy Leon's tying single that drove in Devers.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was the general manager of Puerto Rico's national
team that reached the championship game of the World Baseball Classic last
year, and Berrios and Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario were two of his
favorites on the squad. He greeted them warmly during batting practice.
"What they did for our country was amazing," Cora said. "They're like my little
brothers. I really care about them."
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has played in only three games this season
because of inflammation in his left knee, has still not been cleared for
baseball activities since returning to the DL three weeks ago. The lack of
progress has been concerning, Cora acknowledged, but the team is trying to keep
focused on the bigger picture. "It was major surgery. We didn't know what to
expect. So we are where we are now, hoping that, yeah, he'll be back. When? We
don't know," Cora said. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz threw in the outfield before the
game, his stint on the DL with biceps tendonitis almost at three weeks. The
session went well, Cora said.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana, yet to appear this season because of a slow recovery
from surgery on his middle finger, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session before the
game. He'll face live hitters on Friday, another step forward after his setback
Red Sox: LHP David Price (8-4, 3.76 ERA) pitches Wednesday night. He is 6-0 in
his last seven starts, with two runs or fewer allowed in all but one of those,
when he gave up three runs. Price is 10-3 with a 2.52 ERA in his career against
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (4-5, 4.98 ERA) takes the mound in the middle game of the
series. He's 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA over his last five turns, with a .195 batting
average against him and 30 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.
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