After spotting the Minnesota Twins a 6-0 lead, the Red Sox came up just short in their comeback bid, falling 6-5 in the first game of a critical seven-game homestand.
A three-run homer from Rafael Devers in the fifth and a solo shot by Andrew Benintendi in the eighth pulled the Sox to within a run, but that was as close as they got.
Rick Porcello was tagged for all six runs in four-plus innings, saddled with his 11th loss of the season. The Sox bullpen contributed five scoreless innings of relief, but the damage had been done.
WHO: Red Sox (74-63) vs. Minnesota Twins (85-52)
WHEN: 7:10 p.m.
WHERE: Fenway Park
SEASON SERIES TO DATE: Boston 2-1
STARTING PITCHERS: RHP Rick Porcello (12-10, 5.42) vs. RHP Randy Dobnak (0-0, 0.00)
TV/RADIO: NESN/WEEI 93.7 FM
10:12 Twins try to match up, lefty vs. lefty, but it backfires when Andrew Benintendi homers off Taylor Rogers. Rogers then hits the next lefty, Mitch Moreland. Sox within a run with the tying run on base.
9:13 Rafael Devers gives the Red Sox life with a three-run shot into the right field seats. Trevor May makes the mistake of throwing him a slider down and in and Devers turns on it. He had been 5-for-34 since starting the last road trip 3-for-3.
8:41 Porcello exits to boos after giving up a mammoth two-run homer into the CF bleachers to Miguel Sano -- hit considerably harder and longer than the one Cruz just hit.
8:37 Nelson Cruz crushes a hanging slider into the CF bleachers and the Twins expand their lead to 4-0.
8:18 Red Sox offense, which averaged just over six runs per game on the road trip, punchless tonight, with just one hit through three innings.
8:07 Booming triple to straightaway center for Cave, scoring two. Jackie Bradley Jr., tracking that, drifted back and appeared ready to make the catch on the warning track. But the ball hit off the wall, far above his head.
7:27 Porcello keeps Jake Cave in the ballpark, but just barely. Mookie Betts tracks it down about a foot in front of the bullpens with two on.
7:24 Rick Porcello got ahead of Miguel Sano, but then gives up a run-scoring single to left.
WHAT'S UP: The Sox completed a 6-2 record on the West Coast and are 11-4 in their last 15...The Sox have also won four of their last five series and are 6-1-1 in their last eight...Beginning Aug. 13, the Twins have the best record in the American League (14-5, .737) and the Red Sox are right behind (11-4, .733).....Since the start of 2007, the Red Sox are 11-1-0 in season series against Minnesota....The Twins are also No. in the A.L. in bullpen ERA since July 24 with an ERA of 3.41 while the Red Sox are second at 3.44....The Sox have homered in 32 of the last 34 games, with 64 homers in that span...J.D. Martinez hit .452 (14-for-31) with six homers and 18 RBI and a 1.623 OPS on the road trip....He had a hit and run in all eight games and at least one RBI in seven of them, including the last six in a row...He's hit .400 over the last 36 games, lifting his average from .2854 to .317...Martinez is on pace to hit .300 or better with 40 or more homers and 100 RBI for a third straight year....Only nine players have ever reached those totals in as many as three straight years. The last three: Albert Pujols (2003-2006); Barry Bonds (2000-2002) and Alex Rodriguez (2000-2002)….Five Red Sox players in history had reached those totals, but never more than twice: David Oritz; Manny Ramirez; Mo Vaughn; Carl Yastrzemski; and Jimmie Foxx. Only Ortiz (2004-2005) did it in consecutive seasons..Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are closing in on 50 doubles, with 48 each...The Sox have never had two players hit 50 doubles in a season before..The only teams since 1947 with multiple players reaching 50 doubles in a season were the 2000 Colorado Rockies and the 1996 Seattle Mariners....No team has ever had two players hit 30 or more homers and 50 doubles...Mookie Betts is batting .326 with a .980 OPS in the last 53 games...He needs one double to reach 40 doubles for a fifth straight season...Bogaerts has hit in five straight....Martinez has hit in nine straight and has six homers and 18 RBI in his last 18 games...Rick Porcello has gone five innings or more in 21 of his last 23 starts and 15 straight at Fenway....Porcello tossed seven shutout innings in Minnesota in June....Nelson Cruz is just 7-for-39 with 11 strikeouts lifetime against Porcello....C.J. Cron is 5-for-18 and Jason Castro is 5-for-13...The Sox have never faced Randy Dobnak before.
- Michael Chavis rejoined the team and has officially ended his rehab assignment with Pawtucket, but has not yet been activated. Chavis, who originally had a shoulder injury, felt soreness in his side late last week. Alex Cora said the team hopes Chavis could be ready to play again by the weekend.
- Jhoulys Chacin will pitch out of the bullpen, but the Sox do not envision him being stretched out to start.
- Chris Sale, who had been in southwest Florida getting treatment at the spring training complex and spent the weekend with his family in Naples -- out of fear that they were in the path of Hurricane Dorian -- is scheduled to fly into Boston tonight.
- Bobby Dalbec is with the club, but won't be activated. The Red Sox want to work with him on his swing and his defense at first base before Dalbec plays in a Team USA tournament in November.