Minneapolis, MN – Jonny Gomes drove in the deciding run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning as the Boston Red Sox rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series from Target Field.
David Ortiz went 3-for-4 with an RBI single for Boston, which trailed 2-1 after six innings before drawing even on Jacoby Ellsbury's run-scoring hit in the seventh. Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each collected two hits in the triumph, which gave the Red Sox their first three-game win streak of May.
Alex Wilson (1-0) recorded the final out of the bottom of the ninth to earn his initial major league victory, with Koji Uehara tossing a 1-2-3 10th to notch his first save of the season.
Clay Buchholz worked the first seven innings for Boston, striking out nine while yielding just four hits, though one was a two-run homer to Pedro Florimon.
"I was able to get out of a couple of big situations without giving up anymore damage," Buchholz said of his start.
The Twins spoiled a strong outing from Vance Worley in their third consecutive defeat, with the right-hander giving up only one unearned run while scattering six hits over six innings.
Boston stranded nine runners through regulation and 11 for the game, but scratched home a run against Josh Roenicke (1-1) in the first extra frame to forge ahead.
Dustin Pedroia started things off with a single and Roenicke walked Ortiz before Will Middlebrooks advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. After Stephen Drew was intentionally walked to load the bases, Gomes sent a fly ball to left center deep enough to allow Pedroia to slide home safely in front of Aaron Hicks' throw to the plate.
Uehara then finished off a string of 17 consecutive batters retired by Boston pitchers with a pair of strikeouts to close the contest out.
Buchholz struck out five of the first six Minnesota hitters in beginning the game with two perfect innings, but served up a leadoff double to Trevor Plouffe with the Red Sox leading 1-0 in the third.
Two batters later, Florimon lofted a first-pitch curveball into the seats in right to send the Twins in front. The homer was just the second allowed by Buchholz in 65 2/3 innings pitched this season.
Save for a bases-loaded, one-out jam in which he fanned Josh Willingham looking and got Justin Morneau to fly out to end the fifth, Buchholz was in control for the remainder of his mound stint, which he ended by setting down the last eight men he faced.
He was taken off the hook by Ellsbury's hard smash up the middle off Brian Duensing in the seventh, with the single plating Gomes after he drew a leadoff walk against the Twins reliever and took third on a Saltalamacchia hit.
Worley, meanwhile, was touched for a run in the opening inning, with Nava ending a nine-pitch at-bat with an infield single and taking second when Twins second baseman Brian Dozier threw past the bag on the play. Ortiz later ripped a two-out base hit to right that gave Boston an early edge.
The right-hander shut Boston out thereafter, with the aid of three double plays turned by the Minnesota defense. One came after the Red Sox placed runners at the corners with one out in the fifth on singles by Saltalamacchia and Nava, with Pedroia bouncing into the twin-killing to end the threat.
"I think we actually had more chances in this game than they did and it's kind of the story so far this season," Morneau said.
Pedroia's single extended his hitting streak to nine games, during which he's gone 17-for-37 (.459) ... Twins catcher Joe Mauer, riding a 14-game hitting streak, was held out of the lineup due to a stiff back ... Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino also did not play after leaving Thursday's game at Tampa Bay with a strained back ... Morneau had an 11-game hit streak snapped after finishing 0-for-4 ... The Red Sox have now prevailed in six of their last seven visits to Target Field.