Former ‘Bow Steven Wright flirts with perfection, downs Twins

Steven Wright // AP

BOSTON (AP) — Mookie Betts homered on the first pitch Boston faced, David Ortiz added a late two-run homer and the Red Sox continued to surge through July with a 13-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

Dustin Pedroia went 5 for 5 with two doubles for Boston, which had 17 hits while winning its third straight and improving to 12-3 in July.

Betts, Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts had three hits apiece and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer and finished with three RBIs.

Steven Wright (12-5) tied his career high with nine strikeouts and held Minnesota to four hits in eight innings. The Twins didn’t reach base against the knuckleballer until the fifth and finished with five hits, adding a ground-rule double by pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar in the ninth off reliever Clay Buchholz.

Boston, which had 16 hits in an 11-7 win over San Francisco on Wednesday, was up 3-0 after getting four hits against Minnesota starter Tyler Duffey (5-7) in the first.

Betts hit the first pitch Duffey threw out to left, then led off the third with a single as Boston added three more runs and led 6-0. Duffey allowed six runs before being pulled with one out in the third after Bradley doubled for Boston’s ninth hit.

Max Kepler got Minnesota’s first hit, singling with one out in the fifth to start a two-run rally that turned out to be the only offense for the Twins.

The Red Sox were up 11-2 in the eighth when Ortiz continued his farewell tour with his 24th homer, a shot deep into the seats in right field.

TRAINERS ROOM

Twins: OF Bryon Buxton was not in the starting lineup for the Twins as manager Paul Molitor rested him against Wright’s knuckleball. Buxton was 1 for 9 as Minnesota took two of three games against Detroit.

Red Sox: Plans to get C/LF Blake Swihart (sprained left ankle) a minor-league rehab stint are on hold because of recurring soreness in his ankle. Swihart has been out since severely spraining the ankle on June 4. Manager John Farrell said Swihart started feeling the soreness as he increased the intensity of his workouts.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-6, 5.12 ERA) gets his 12th start of the season for the Twins. Gibson allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings last week against Cleveland.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-3, 7.18) goes for his second straight win. Rodriguez threw seven strong innings in a win over the Yankees on Saturday, allowing one run and four hits.

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