EditorsNote: Multiple edits, fix in headline
Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a home run as the Boston Red Sox snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins on Friday night at Fenway Park.
It was Betts’ 25th homer of the season and his first career walk-off homer. The blast over the Green Monster in left field came on the second pitch of the inning from Matt Belisle (1-1).
Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. also homered, and Eduardo Nunez had two hits for Boston, which moved five games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees in the American League East.
Eddie Rosario had a two-run go-ahead double off Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the ninth, and Jorge Polanco also had two hits for Minnesota, which had a four-game winning streak snapped. The Twins also fell to 6-18 in one-run games this season.
The Red Sox, who got another brilliant start from Chris Sale, improved to 35-14 at Fenway Park, where they have also won 11 of their last 13 games. Reliever Tyler Thornburg (1-0) picked up the win.
Sale allowed three hits and two walks over six shutout innings while striking out 10, breaking his own American League record for the fastest to 200 strikeouts in the process.
Sale struck out the side in the first inning to hit the 200-strikeout mark in 136 innings, which, according to Elias Sports Bureau, broke the record of 141 1/3 innings set by Sale last season.
Sale has allowed just one run on 21 hits over 39 innings in his last six starts, an ERA of 0.23. He has struck out 67 and walked six during that span.
The Twins loaded the bases in the fourth, sandwiching two-out walks to Ehire Adrianza and Robbie Grossman around a Max Kepler hit by pitch. But Sale buckled down and blew a 3-2 fastball past rookie center fielder Jake Cave to end the 29-pitch inning.
The Red Sox then took a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the fifth on Bradley’s towering one-out homer to left-center off Minnesota starter Lance Lynn, driving in Nunez, who had opened the inning with a line double off the middle of the Green Monster in left.
The Twins cut it to 2-1 in the seventh when Kepler led off with a double to left, advanced to third on a groundout and then scored on a broken-bat grounder by Cave that skipped past Nunez into right field for an error.
Rosario then put the Twins ahead in the ninth with a double off the Green Monster in left-center, driving in Polanco and Grossman, who had both walked.
But Devers tied it leading off the bottom of the ninth against Fernando Rodney when he lined his 15th homer of the year just over the glove of Kepler into the bullpen in right.
Lynn wasn’t involved in the decision, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out three.
—Field Level Media