MINNEAPOLIS – Aaron Hicks delivered the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th and Phil Hughes struck out eight in six innings to help the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 in the series finale on Thursday.
All-Star closer Glen Perkins blew his second save of the season, giving up a two-run single to Will Middlebrooks with the bases loaded that tied the game in the ninth inning. But Kurt Suzuki doubled down the left field line and Hicks, who entered the day hitting .161, lined a 3-2 pitch to left field off of Andrew Miller (1-2) to win it.
Mike Carp had two hits and an RBI for the Red Sox, but David Ortiz was a quiet 1 for 4 with a single after going deep twice in each of the first two games of the series.
Hughes gave up five hits and no walks and Chris Parmelee hit a two-run homer for the Twins, who took two of three from the defending champions. Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar each had three hits and Brian Duensing (1-1) picked up the win.
Clay Buchholz gave up three runs on 10 hits and struck out six in six innings for the Red Sox (20-20), who were lifeless through the first eight innings.
The Red Sox offense was really starting to hum, with Ortiz's personal home run derby contributing to 28 runs over their previous four games. But Hughes put those hot bats on ice on a day when the temperature was 46 degrees at first pitch.
Hughes knows Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and the Red Sox lineup well from years of facing them while he was in the Yankees rotation.
The familiarity can go both ways, but Hughes had the upper hand all afternoon in this one, striking out more Red Sox than he ever had in 22 previous appearances against them. He retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, gave up an RBI-single to Carp in the fourth and won a 14-pitch battle with Xander Bogaerts to end the fifth inning.
After hitting the winning homer in the bottom of the ninth against Miller to beat the Red Sox on Tuesday, Parmelee's two-run shot in the second inning slammed off the scoreboard hanging from the second deck in right-center field. Dozier followed with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
The Twins challenged a ruling in the sixth inning in which first base umpire Sean Barber ruled Mauer out on a pickoff attempt from Ross, the catcher. But after an estimated delay of two minutes, 28 seconds, the call was overturned when replays showed first baseman Mike Napoli missed the tag on a throw that easily beat a diving Mauer back to the bag.
NOTES: Red Sox manager John Farrell gave OFs Grady Sizemore and Shane Victorino the day off. Farrell said the oft-injured Sizemore is doing fine and would play a lot this weekend while Victorino is resting a sore left knee. ... The Twins gave SS Danny Santana the day off to rest some sore legs, manager Ron Gardenhire said. ... University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill threw out the first pitch shortly after announcing a $100,000 donation to start the Chasing Dreams foundation for epilepsy research. ... The Red Sox head home to open a series against Detroit on Friday. LHP Jon Lester (4-4, 2.75) will start for Boston against Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.04). ... The Twins start a series against Seattle on Friday. RHP Kyle Gibson (3-3, 4.74) will start against Mariners RHP Chris Young (3-0, 2.63).