Carl Crawford delivered his second game-ending hit of the month Monday as the Red Sox edged the Twins 2-1 in 11 innings.
Crawford, who had been 0-for-4 in the game, doubled off the Green Monster to score pinch-runner Jose Iglesias from first base. Iglesias was off with the 3-2 pitch with one out in the inning and just beat the throw home from Ben Revere.
Boston got another outstanding performance from Josh Beckett in the contest. Beckett pitched seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.99. He left with a 1-0 lead, but that was blown in the eighth after Alfredo Aceves balked a runner to second and Jonathan Papelbon, asked to get four outs, allowed a game-tying single.
The Twins ended up with nine hits in the game, every one of them a single. It kind of summed up the entire season for the team with the fewest homers and extra-base hits in all of baseball. Even the Padres have outhomered them 21-15.
Minnesota took the loss despite an encouraging showing from Nick Blackburn. In the sixth inning, Blackburn fanned J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie and Crawford to strike out the side in order for the first time in his career. He entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings for the season, but he notched five K’s tonight.
By taking three out of four at home, the Red Sox pulled back within a game of .500 at 17-18. The Twins have the game’s worst record, pending the White Sox’s result tonight. They’re 12-21.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.