Kyle Gibson pitched eight strong innings, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 2-1 victory Thursday night against the host Boston Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Gibson (5-7) allowed one run on four hits to win for the third time in his past four starts. The right-hander walked two and struck out seven.
Twins closer Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 22nd save of the season, though not without some drama.
Boston’s Xander Bogaerts led off the bottom of the ninth with a line-drive single to center and advanced to second on Steve Pearce’s groundout. Rodney got Rafael Devers to foul out before Blake Swihart and Brock Holt walked to load the bases. Rodney fell behind in the count 3-0 to Jackie Bradley Jr. before striking him out to end it.
The Red Sox lost consecutive games for the first time since June 19-20 at Minnesota.
The Twins, who won their fourth game in a row, one shy of their season high, broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning.
With one out, Brian Dozier walked and stole second on a swinging strike three to Eduardo Escobar. Mitch Garver then lined a run-scoring double to left field off Boston right-hander Matt Barnes (3-3).
Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Three of the hits Johnson allowed came in the first inning. Joe Mauer led off with a single, and an out later, Dozier singled. Escobar then grounded a single to center, but Mauer was thrown out at the plate by Bradley.
The Red Sox, who had to sit through a lengthy rain delay Wednesday in Baltimore before their game was called, opened the scoring in the second.
Swihart led off with a single, and Holt was hit by a pitch. Bradley grounded into a fielder’s choice, sending Swihart to third. Swihart scored when Mookie Betts grounded out to short, with Bradley thrown out at third to complete an inning-ending double play.
The Twins tied it off reliever Heath Hembree in the seventh. Robbie Grossman led off with a single and advanced to third on Max Kepler’s single to right. Grossman scored when Ehire Adrianza grounded into a double play.
—Field Level Media