MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox at a soggy Target Field on Tuesday.
After a lengthy delay forced a late start to the game, Pelfrey ran into trouble in the second inning, then cruised from there, scattering just five hits and a walk, improving to 4-1. Pelfrey is just the third Twins starter in the last 20 years to enter the month of June with an ERA under 3.00 (at least five starts).
Pelfrey was only a little better than Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz, who was solid in his own right, allowing just two first-inning runs. Buchholz took the loss, despite allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings of work.
Twins closer Glen Perkins entered in the eighth inning and worked out of a bases loaded, two-out jam by getting Boston left fielder Hanley Ramirez to line out to right field, then tossed a perfect ninth for his 17th save.
The Twins strung together three doubles in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Second baseman Brian Dozier led off the game with a two-base hit into the left-field corner and scored three batters later on a double by third baseman Trevor Plouffe. Catcher Kurt Suzuki followed with a double of his own, knocking in Plouffe.
Boston got a run back in the next half inning after some shaky outfield defense by the Twins. Designated hitter David Ortiz hit a ball that appeared catchable for Twins left fielder Eduardo Escobar. But instead of tracking the ball to the wall, Escobar turned and let it bounce off the wall as Ortiz cruised into second with a one-out double.
First baseman Mike Napoli followed with a bloop single to center, scoring Ortiz to make it 2-1.
The Twins had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth against Buchholz and had runners on the corners with two away in the fifth, but could not extend their lead.
NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 81 minutes due to inclement weather in the Twin Cities. It was the first delayed game of the season at Target Field. … Red Sox DH David Ortiz batted fifth for the first time this season and first time since May 6, 2012. … Twins 1B Joe Mauer grounded into his ninth double play of the season. He had 12 all of last season and seven in 2013. … The Red Sox and Twins will play the finale of the three-game series Wednesday. Boston RHP Rick Porcello (4-3, 5.07 ERA) will oppose Minnesota RHP Phil Hughes (3-4, 4.50 ERA).