Twins limp home carrying silent bats

The banged up Minnesota Twins had a finish Monday night that has become all too familiar this season.

Playing without four regulars in its lineup, Minnesota, last in the majors in scoring, lost 2-1 to the Boston Red Sox as Carl Crawford doubled home the winning run with one out in the 11th inning.

"We just haven't been scoring runs and it continued tonight," manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins scored three or fewer runs for the 10th time in the last 12 games, the 22nd time this season.

In falling into last place in the American League Central, the Twins wasted a strong start by Nick Blackburn, who worked 6 1-3 innings. He moved up to pitch in place of Francisco Liriano, who pitched a no-hitter his last Tuesay against the White Sox, but was pushed back a day because of a bout with the flu and sore throat.

The Twins lost the last three games of the four-game weekend series here and have dropped 11 of their last 12 games in Boston.

They did tie the game on Justin Morneau's two-out single off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in the eighth inning, but that was it for the sputtering offense until the Red Sox won the game off reliever Jim Hoey.

"We pitched very good," said Gardenhire, who wasn't around at the end after being ejected by home plate umpire Joe West in the ninth inning. "To hold that team down in this ballpark two runs, that's pretty damn good pitching.

"It was a crisp ballgame, but unfortunately we came up short offensively. It was a heck of a ballgame. In this ballpark to have a 1-1 game going into extra innings is pretty amazing, to tell you the truth and says a lot about both pitching staffs, but they finally got the last at-bat and they got the last whack at it."

With one out in the Red Sox 11th Hoey (0-1) walked Jed Lowrie. Jose Iglesias, the shortstop who made his major league debut Sunday, pinch ran for Lowrie and scored on Crawford's hit.

The loss ended an eight-game road trip (3-5) and the Twins were looking forward to getting home.

"We've been on the road an awful lot and we've been traveling an awful lot," Gardenhire said. "We're not even going home for a long series, but, yeah, we need to kind of regroup, get home and see what happens."

The Twins put runners on first and second with one out in the 10th against Hideki Okajima (1-0), but Tolbert struck out and Alexi Cassila bounced into a fielder's choice. They did it again in the 11th, but Ben Revere grounded into a fielder's choice and Rivera struck out.

Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the third inning, extending his hitting streak to 18 games for the Red Sox. It's his longest since a career-best 22-gamer in May 2009.

Boston wasted a chance in the 10th inning. Dustin Pedroia had a one-out double against Jose Mijares and advanced on Adrian Gonzalez's grounder to second. After Kevin Youkilis was walked intentionally, David Ortiz grounded out into the shift in short right.

The Red Sox broke up the scoreless game in the fifth. Jason Varitek had a leadoff double and advanced to third on Ellsbury's ground out to second. After Pedroia bounced to short with the infield in, pitching coach Rick Anderson visited Blackburn before Gonzalez lined the first pitch to left, making it 1-0.

The Twins tied it in the eighth when Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save of the season.

Denard Span reached on an infield hit to third with one out in the eighth against Alfredo Aceves before the right-hander was called for a balk by first base umpire Angel Hernandez. After Tolbert fouled to third, Papelbon entered and Jason Kubel blopped a single over second baseman Pedroia into right-center.

The late run wasted a solid start by Josh Beckett, who gave up six singles, struck out five and walked one over seven innings.

Blackburn gave up one run, seven hits, walked three and struck out five.

The Twins collected singles in each of the second through sixth innings, but stranded a runner each time.

Beckett had his last start cut short after 4 1-3 innings by a 2 hour, 35 minute rain delay. It was his fourth straight no-decision after winning two straight starts in early April when he threw 15 innings, allowing just one run.

NOTES: Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game he hadn't heard anything from MLB regarding his ejection in Friday's 9-2 loss to the Twins. "I figured if it was that bad I'd probably hear from them," he said. ... LF Revere made a fully-stretched diving catch on Ortiz's liner in the second. ... Span robbed Ellsbury with his sliding catch in the seventh.