Red Sox - 100 101 300 - 6 11 0 Twins - 050 010 002 - 8 13 0Chris Parmelee slugged a two-out, two-run homer off Andrew Miller in the bottom of the ninth to give the Twins the win. Miller had thrown six straight scoreless appearances before tonight. He started the inning by striking out Trevor Plouffe and pinch-hitter Chris Colabello, but gave up a hard single to left to Kurt Suzuki before Parmelee hit a 0-1 pitch for his first career walk-off HR.
David Ortiz swung a big bat for Boston, going 4-for-5, with four RBI, on two solo home runs and two singles. Shane Victorino (3-for-5) and Xander Bogaerts each tripled.
Boston had crawled back from being down 5-1 to tie the game 6-6 in the seventh. Michael Tonkin began the inning by quickly retiring Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks, but then surrendered singles to Jackie Bradley, Dustin Pedroia, and Shane Victorino. A run scored to cut the Twins' lead to 6-4. Lefty Brian Duensing came on and allowed a run-scoring single to Ortiz and a walk to Mike Napoli, loading the bases. Jonny Gomes was announced as a pinch-hitter for Grady Sizemore and Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire brought in righty Matt Guerrier. Gomes put on an amazing at-bat, fouling off five pitches before working a 10-pitch walk, bringing in the game-tying run. Gardenhire then called on his fourth pitcher of the inning, Caleb Thielbar, who needed nine pitches before getting A.J. Pierzynski to look at strike three.
Jake Peavy (4.1-9-6-2-1, 91) allowed six straight Twins to reach base with one out in the second inning, putting the Red Sox in a 5-1 hole.
Pedroia, 2BUpdate: The Red Sox have flipped Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront in the rotation, with Peavy getting the ball tonight. One reason for the switch is that the Red Sox want Peavy pitching against the Tigers this weekend.
In 2013, the Red Sox were successful in stealing 87% of bases (123-of-142), leading all of MLB. This year, they have been so dismal (11-of-22, 50%) that manager John Farrell is considering shutting down the running game altogether.
We're always going to look to take the extra base whenever we can, but the straight-out steal has been something where we've given away far too many outs on the bases.The loss of Jacoby Ellsbury (52-of-56 in 2013) has not been the problem. When you subtract the speedy Ellsbury's numbers from last year's totals, Boston was still successful 83% of the time (71-of-86).
Also: Gordon Edes looks at some of the Red Sox's hot and cold performances in May.
Boston lost nine of its first 14 games. But since April 16, they have gone 13-9 (.591), third best in the AL behind Detroit (15-7, .682) and Baltimore (14-7, .667). ... The Red Sox (19-18) is tied for second place in the East with the Yankees, 1.5 GB the Orioles.
Speaking of the Yankees, here's Tyler Kepner of the Times:
The Yankees are taking on that same discouraging feeling from last season: old, sad and broken. You look at the names and the salaries and you expect something special. Then you look at the calendar and know better.
This is the Yankees’ reality now, the price they must pay for years of failing to produce homegrown talent and losing the aggressiveness they once had on the international market. They spend big for marquee names, pay them well past their primes and watch them get hurt.