BOSTON (AP) - The Twins made too many mistakes, and at the worst times, too.
Minnesota fielders had three errors, including two with two outs as they lost to the Red Sox on Sunday 9-5. After taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, it was a frustrating way to lose a game.
``You can't give teams extra chances,' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``That's what happened today. The game should have been a close one. Too many missed plays leads to too many runs and too many people running around the bases.
Adrian Gonzalez homered, Kevin Youkilis scored four runs and Daisuke Matsuzaka settled down to pitch six innings after a rough first.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Gonzalez, J.D. Drew and Jed Lowrie each drove in two runs for the Red Sox.
Danny Valencia had a solo homer and two-run single for the Twins, who have lost nine of their last 10 games in Fenway Park.
Matsuzaka (3-3), gave up three runs in the first and threw 34 pitches. After that, he held the Twins to two hits over the next five innings. He allowed four earned runs, struck out four and walked two.
The 30-year old right-hander was pushed back a day after making his first career relief appearance and taking the loss in a game against Los Angeles that ended early Thursday morning.
``He's going to move the ball around the zone and out of the zone and get you to chase a little bit. Early in the game we took our walks,' Gardenhire said. ``As the game got going we were swinging a little bit too much and not giving him that opportunity.'
Trailing 3-1 in the third, Boston scored four runs off Carl Pavano (2-4). Carl Crawford tripled off the left-field wall and scored on Jason Varitek's bouncer to first. Gonzalez and Drew each had RBI singles and the other run came in on Youkilis' fielder's choice grounder.
Valencia's homer off the left-field foul pole above the Green Monster sliced it to 5-4 in the fourth. The hit withstood a replay review.
But in the fifth, the Red Sox increased it to 7-4 when Gonzalez hit a drive off the light tower above the Monster seats and Youkilis raced home from third as second baseman Alexi Casilla threw the relay wild past first base on what could have been an inning-ending double-play grounder.
``Against a team like Boston, with their lineup, that's what they're going to do,' shortstop Trevor Plouffe said. ``We did that to them the first night, so it goes around.'
Lowrie's two-run double off reliever Jose Mijares made it 9-4 in the seventh.
The Twins, who entered the day scoring the fewest runs in the majors, took a 3-0 lead on the first on an RBI single by Jason Kubel and a two-out, two-run single by Valencia.
Pavano gave up seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. He's 0-4 in five starts away from Target Field, giving up 27 runs in 19 innings in the losses.
``I've got to pick these guys up. It's not going to be perfect every start, but it's just like I'm kind of searching for what's working right now because I feel like nothing's working,' Pavano said. ``It's tough on all of us. My stuff's just not very good right now. I'm not getting the job done.'
Minnesota scored three runs or fewer in nine of its last 10 games and 21 times this season.
NOTES: It's Ellsbury's longest hitting streak since a career-best 22 in May of 2009. ... Red Sox 1B Gonzalez made a diving stop to his right on a grounder, ending the fifth. ... Minnesota LHP Francisco Liriano, pushed back a day after the flu and a sore throat, is scheduled to open the Twins' five-game homestand Tuesday against Detroit, his first start since a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. ... It was Boston's 650th straight sellout. ... It was Boston's second straight win over the Twins after a three-game losing streak. The teams close out a four-game series on Monday night.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved