EditorsNote: Adds Escobar injury as 7th graf, more Porcello details in 2nd graf
Rick Porcello tossed seven innings of one-hit ball, Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run home run and the visiting Boston Red Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 9-2 rout of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday at Target Field.
Porcello (9-3) struck out five and walked one in his scoreless outing to lower his season ERA to 3.44. He retired the final 16 batters he faced, pitching seven innings for the first time since April 29.
Mookie Betts added a solo blast along with three hits, Xander Bogaerts knocked a two-run double and Mitch Moreland had an RBI double in a 16-hit attack for Boston, which had lost four of five. Seven Red Sox hitters had at least two hits, with batters one through five in the starting lineup going 11-for-24 with seven runs scored.
Logan Morrison (1-for-3) had the only hit against Porcello, a first-inning single, and added an RBI on his ninth-inning sacrifice fly. Taylor Motter also had an RBI groundout in the ninth for Minnesota, which had won four of five.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson (2-5) allowed two runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out five in his six-inning defeat.
Despite the loss, the Twins have won back-to-back series after winning two of three against both Cleveland and Boston.
Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar left the game in the top of the fourth inning after he was hit on the right elbow by a Porcello pitch in the bottom of the first. Minnesota announced Escobar has a bruised elbow and is day-to-day.
Sandy Leon’s RBI single in the fourth inning put the Red Sox ahead 1-0. Betts homered to right-center field leading off the fifth to double Boston’s lead.
Bogaerts’ two-bagger and Rafael Devers’ RBI groundout in the seventh broke the game open. Benintendi homered and Moreland doubled in the eighth before Jackie Bradley Jr.’s RBI single in the ninth.
Boston begins a three-game set with Seattle at home Friday. Minnesota hosts Texas in the opener of a three-game series Friday.
—Field Level Media