July 29, 2018 / 8:37 PM / 4 months ago

Eovaldi, Martinez lead Red Sox past Twins

Nathan Eovaldi pitched seven shutout innings in his Boston debut and J.D. Martinez had two hits and drove in three runs to lead the Red Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

It was the third straight victory for Boston (74-33), which moved 41 games over .500 for first time since Sept. 27, 1946. The Red Sox also improved to 37-14 at Fenway Park where they have also won 13 of their last 15 games.

Eovaldi (4-4), acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on Wednesday, entered the contest with a career 6.83 ERA in five starts against Minnesota and allowed eight runs on nine hits in 2 2/3 innings in a July 13 start against the Twins in a 11-8 loss with the Rays at Target Field. But backed by a highlight-reel diving, somersault grab by Jackie Bradley Jr. on a sinking Bobby Wilson liner near the wall in left-center in the third, Eovaldi allowed just four hits and didn’t walk a batter while striking out five.

It marked the eighth time in 11 games that Boston starters didn’t allow a run. Craig Kimbrel pitched a hitless ninth for his 33rd save as the Red Sox improved to 26-5 in day games, including winning the last 10 in a row.

Martinez increased his major league leading total to 89 with his 27th multi-RBI game of the season. Andrew Benintendi, Blake Swihart, making his first career start at third base for the injured Rafeal Devers (left hamstring), and Eduardo Nunez also each had two hits.

Jose Berrios (10-8), making his first start since pitching in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, gave up three runs and tied his career-high by allowing nine hits to go along with three walks and also hit a batter. He struck out six as Minnesota dropped its third straight game.

The Red Sox, who came away empty-handed after loading the bases with one out in the first, took a 2-0 lead in the second on Martinez’s two-out, bases-loaded single to left to drive in Brock Holt, who was hit by a pitch, and Mookie Betts, who reached on a force out.

Martinez drove in his third run of the game in the fourth, lining a drive off the top of the Green Monster in left for a single that drove in Benintendi, who had doubled, to increase Boston’s lead to 3-0.

—Field Level Media

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