BOSTON (AP) - Stephen Drew missed the start of the season with a concussion and struggled at the plate when he returned.
He finally started to turn his season around on Monday night.
Drew had four hits, including a winning double with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red Sox came back after Clay Buchholz's worst start of the season to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5.
``It's more or less trying to get into a rhythm,' said Drew, who entered batting .182 and raised his average above .200 - to .225 - for the first time this season. ``I've been working on some things and tonight was just a good night for me.'
Drew homered and had four hits. Dustin Pedroia hit a solo shot in the eighth for a 5-4 lead, but Joel Hanrahan gave up Brian Dozier's homer in the ninth and left one out later with right forearm tightness.
``We had opportunities. They had some opportunities, and finally they get the big hit there,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``A tough ballgame for us.'
Clayton Mortensen (1-2) earned the win with 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief, helping Boston stop a season-high, three-game losing streak. Pedroia and Shane Victorino had three apiece, and David Ortiz doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 26 games.
Jared Burton (0-1) retired his first two batters in the 11th, then gave up a swinging bunt single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia when the pitcher's throw pulled first baseman Justin Morneau off the bag. Will Middlebrooks singled, and Drew hit a line drive to the base of the Green Monster in left-center.
``I knew I hit it good. You never know here sometimes,' Drew said. ``It was a good night. Everybody battles, Salty beats it out and Middlebrooks gets a hit. We're just trying to have fun.'
It was Boston's first walkoff win since Mike Napoli's ninth-inning double beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Marathon Monday, just a half-hour before two bombs exploded at the race's finish line.
Buchholz struggled early, falling behind 4-1 in the fifth inning. The Red Sox came back with single runs in five straight innings, including Pedroia's homer off a Green Monster light stanchion that broke an eighth-inning tie.
It was Pedroia's first homer since Sept. 11 - a span of 184 at_bats for the 2008 AL MVP.
One start after Toronto broadcaster Jack Morris accused him of throwing a spitball, Buchholz was rescued from his first loss of the season by the Boston comeback. There was no follow-up to the allegations, which Buchholz has denied, except that he had his worst outing this season.
``I didn't do anything differently,' Buchholz said. ``I gave up runs.'
Buchholz, who had won his previous six starts this year, gave up back-to-back doubles off the Green Monster to Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham in the first inning, then fell behind 4-1 in the fifth. The right-hander allowed four runs, seven hits and two walks, striking out nine in six innings as his ERA rose from 1.01 to 1.60.
That gave Minnesota starter Vance Worley a chance to end a losing streak dating to August. But Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and scored in the fifth; Victorino, who homered in the fourth, singled and scored in the sixth; and Drew homered to right in the seventh to tie it 4-all.
``The last few days or so it's almost like the end of spring training with his at_bats getting up,' Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ``You can see his timing getting better and better.'
Pedroia homered in the eighth with a high fly ball that bounced off the light support above the left-field wall.
Worley allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings. Since winning at the Washington Nationals on Aug. 1, he is 0-7 with a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts.
NOTES: The Red Sox posted updates on the manual scoreboard on the Bruins' 5-2 NHL playoff win at Toronto. ... Buchholz has not allowed a homer to the Twins in his career, a total of 35 2-3 innings. ... The Twins have not made an error for nine straight games. ... The Red Sox placed reliever Andrew Bailey on the 15-day DL because of a strained right biceps and activated reliever Craig Breslow (shoulder tendinitis) from the DL.
The Associated Press News Service
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