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.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.