Red-hot Twins roll into Fenway

( - Mike Pelfrey and the red-hot Minnesota Twins hit the road for a rematch against Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.

These teams faced each other last week in the Twin Cities, where Minnesota pulled off the three-game home sweep.

The Twins then kept the momentum going by winning two of three against Toronto over the weekend and will now turn back to Pelfrey, who enters at 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA across nine starts.

Pelfrey faced these same Red Sox on Tuesday when he worked seven innings of one-run ball. The right-hander allowed five hits and notched four strikeouts against one walk.

Buchholz gets the call for Boston in a rematch of Tuesday's pitching matchup. Buchholz was on the losing end of that one despite going 7-plus innings and giving up only two earned runs for the second consecutive outing. The righty allowed seven hits to go with four strikeouts and one walk as he dropped to 2-6.

"I didn't have much," Buchholz after the game. "I didn't have command of any one pitch. As the game went on, I found a couple pitches and was able to throw a couple strikes and make some big pitches in some big situations. As far as stuff goes, I feel like that's the worst that I've had."

Buchholz has allowed a total of only five earned runs over his past three starts but has no wins to show for it as Boston's offense has continued to scuffle. He leads the staff with seven quality starts in 10 games this season, but the Red Sox are just 2-8 in games Buchholz has pitched.

After getting swept in Minnesota last week, the Red Sox traveled to Arlington and proceeded to lose three of four to the Rangers over the weekend.

They were dealt a 4-3 loss in Sunday's finale of that series despite out- hitting Texas, 11-8. Three errors in the field certainly did not help, nor did closer Koji Uehara, who served up a pinch-hit, walk-off double to Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the ninth.

"I put extra pressure on myself to get out of that inning," said Uehara, who intentionally walked Prince Fielder following a sacrifice bunt. "I wanted to have my teammates' back. I wasn't able to. It was my responsibility."

Minnesota won 20 games in May, its best month since winning 22 in June of 1991.

"It's May 31 and I think we're going to change (Monday) to May 32 and see what happens," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But we're staying in the moment. I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself. But it's a really good month. If you win 20 games, you're doing good things."

The Twins are coming off Sunday's 6-5 triumph over the Blue Jays. Leadoff man Brian Dozier went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Torii Hunter delivered a two-run double in the seventh inning to help cap Minnesota's comeback efforts.

Starter Ricky Nolasco exited after just one inning due to a right ankle injury, but Minnesota's bullpen came through over the next eight innings by allowing only two earned runs. Molitor had said before Sunday's game that he planned to keep an eight-man bullpen for the Boston series, although that plan may change given the workload.

The Twins were held to just two runs over the course of a three-game sweep the last time they visited Fenway in June of last season.