BOSTON – Samuel Deduno allowed two hits in six innings in his third straight strong performance and the Minnesota Twins spoiled a rare solid outing by Jon Lester and beat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 on Thursday night.
Brian Dozier had three hits for Minnesota, including a two-run homer in the ninth.
Deduno, making his sixth major league start, has given up just two earned runs and 10 hits in 19 1-3 innings.
Lester had allowed 25 earned runs over his previous four starts and gave up only three runs and seven hits in eight innings on Thursday but was backed by just two hits against Deduno (3-0) and two relievers.
Adrian Gonzalez got both hits — a single and double — off Deduno, a minor-leaguer from 2005 until being called up by Colorado in 2010. Casey Fien retired the side in order in the seventh and Glen Perkins pitched two perfect innings for his sixth save in nine opportunities.
The Twins won for the fifth time in seven games, while the Red Sox dropped their second straight after winning four in a row.
The Twins scored twice in the third inning on a single by Dozier, an RBI double by Denard Span and a run-scoring single by Ben Revere that extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games. They made it 3-0 in the sixth on consecutive doubles by Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit.
Lester (5-9) has been a huge disappointment for the Red Sox. He improved in his previous start, allowing four runs in six innings. And he was much better on Thursday despite dropping to 0-4 in his last six starts and 2-7 at Fenway Park this season.
He struck out seven and walked none, but that wasn't good enough against the 29-year-old Deduno, whose six starts have all come for the Twins this season.
The right-hander got 11 of his 18 outs on groundballs and stranded runners at second base in three innings.
With two outs in the first, he walked Dustin Pedroia and Gonzalez then retired Cody Ross on a popup to shortstop. In the third, Gonzalez doubled with one out, Ryan Lavarnway walked with two outs but Will Middlebrooks flied out to center. And with two outs in the sixth, Boston threatened with consecutive singles by Gonzalez and Ross before Lavarnway lined out to left.
Deduno raised both arms as he walked off the mound.
Notes: Span stretched his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a walk, his 18th muiltihit game in his last 34. ... Minnesota C Joe Mauer was given the night off to rest. He is hitting .352 in his last 57 games. ... The Red Sox stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first six innings. ... Minnesota's Brian Duensing (2-6) is scheduled to pitch Friday night's second game of the four-game series against Felix Doubront (10-5). ... Boston is 10-10 since the All-Star break. And 289-291 all-time against Minnesota.