Minneapolis, MN – Mike Aviles belted a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox held on for a 7-6 victory to complete a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at Target Field
Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a two-run double, Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross each had an RBI and Dustin Pedroia finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Red Sox.
Clay Buchholz (2-1) gave up five runs on 10 hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings and the Boston bullpen held it together the rest of the way to secure the win. Alfredo Aceves survived a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to collect his fourth save of the season.
"I feel like I threw my curveball really well tonight and that's the big one," said Buchholz. "I was able to put it right where I wanted it to go. That's been my really good pitch for me so far this year."
Joe Mauer went 2-for-5 with a two-run double and a run scored, while Denard Span, Alexi Casilla, Trevor Plouffe and Justin Morneau had an RBI apiece for the Twins, who have lost five straight and six of their last seven.
"We need to get some runs early and try to take some pressure off the pitching staff," said Morneau. "We haven't done that, but there's no finger-pointing or blaming going on. In this clubhouse it's win together, lose together."
Minnesota received a scare in the sixth inning when infielder Chris Parmelee was hit in the bill of the helmet by a fastball from Justin Thomas.
Parmelee fell to the ground and lay motionless for a few seconds before coming to and sitting up at home plate. He spoke with the team trainer and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire before getting to his feet and leaving the field under his own power. He was replaced on the base paths by Danny Valencia.
Liam Hendriks (0-1) was shelled for seven runs on nine hits and two walks, while fanning three in just four-plus innings.
Boston opened the scoring with four runs in the second inning. David Ortiz worked a walk to lead off the frame and Kevin Youkilis stroked a single to put two runners on base. After Saltalamacchia struck out, Ross singled to center to bring in Ortiz for the first run of the inning. Marlon Byrd lined out to center for the second out, and Aviles followed with a three-run homer to deep left field to make it 4-0 for Boston.
Minnesota got on the board in the home second when Ben Revere ripped a one-out double to center field and came around to score on a single to left by Casilla to pull the Twins within three.
The Red Sox extended their lead to 6-1 with two runs in the third. Pedroia reached on an infield single and Gonzalez walked before Saltalamacchia knocked in both runners with a line drive single into right field.
The BoSox added another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Gonzalez to make it 7-1, but the Twins got back in the game with five runs in the sixth.
Sean Burroughs struck out to begin the inning for Minnesota, but then the Twins' bats woke up. Revere reached on a bunt single and Casilla hit one up the middle to put two runners on. Span followed with a double to bring home Revere and Jamey Carroll walked to load the bags with one out.
Scott Atchison was summoned from the Red Sox bullpen and promptly gave up a two-run single to Mauer to make it 7-4. Thomas was then called into the game, but he didn't fare much better, giving up an RBI double to Morneau to cut it to 7-5. Plouffe then singled home Mauer off Matt Albers to make it a one-run contest.
The Twins put together one last rally against Aceves in the ninth. Aceves got off to a good start in the frame by fanning Danny Valencia, but Plouffe walked, pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit singled to right and Casilla was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Aceves then struck out Span on a 1-2 changeup to end the game.
Aviles, has started the Sox last 10 games in the leadoff spot and has hit .380 (16-for-42) in those contests...Boston improved to 4-5 on road this season...Revere was called up from Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday to replace Josh Willingham, who was placed on the paternity list...Minnesota went 5- for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 runners...The Twins begin a three-game set in Kansas City on Friday, while the Red Sox will start a four-game set with the White Sox on Thursday.