Ryan Dempster takes aim at his third straight win Tuesday when the Boston Red Sox continue a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.
Dempster was impressive in beating Toronto on Thursday, as he held the Blue Jays to a run and four hits in six innings to run his record to 2-2 on the year to go along with a 3.00 ERA.
"I felt like maybe I was picking a little bit and trying to be too fine instead of getting back on the aggressive and taking advantage of their aggressiveness early on," Dempster said after the start. "They were coming after me, and maybe kind of got away from the strike zone a little bit more than I wanted to. I was able to hone it back in."
Dempster has faced the Twins four times (3 starts) and is 2-1 against them with a 6.16 ERA.
Boston got back to its winning ways in Monday's opener, as Stephen Drew capped a 4-for-5 night with an RBI double with two out in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Red Sox a hard-earned 6-5 win.
Drew added a solo homer and finished with three RBI to help the Red Sox bounce back from three straight weekend losses at Texas in their return home. Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino each went 3-for-5 while contributing solo shots as well to the victory.
David Ortiz recorded an eighth-inning double to extend his hitting streak to 26 games dating back to last season.
Clayton Mortensen (1-2) registered the win after tossing 2 1/3 innings in relief of Joel Hanrahan, who blew a 5-4 lead by allowing a solo homer to Brian Dozier in the top of the ninth.
Dozier, Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham all collected two hits for the Twins, with Mauer scoring a pair of runs and Justin Morneau knocking in two in the loss.
"We had opportunities. They had some opportunities, and finally they get the big hit there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Boston's Clay Buchholz, who posted a spectacular 1.01 ERA in winning each of his first six starts of 2013, was reached for four runs over a season-low six innings. Counterpart Vance Worley permitted three runs on nine hits through five-plus frames for Minnesota.
"I didn't do anything differently," Buchholz said. "I gave up runs."
Minnesota, meanwhile, will turn to lefty Scott Diamond on Tuesday. Diamond evened his record at 2-2 on Wednesday, as he beat Detroit, holding the Tigers to a pair of runs in six innings.
"Physically, I definitely feel like everything is starting to come around," said Diamond, who had surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow in December. "Even just throwing, I felt like my mechanics were really in sync. And the big thing now is when something is out of sync, I'm able to make a quick adjustment off it."
Diamond has never faced the Red Sox.
Boston was 4-3 last season versus the Twins.