Thursday, September 18, 2008 – The Boston Red Sox had the night off, but I’m willing to bet they were all glued to their TVs to watch the division leading Rays take on the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night in the first of a three game series.
The Twins struck first in the game, getting a three-run home run from Jason Kubel in the first inning. They were feeling pretty good about themselves, until their own starter, Glen Perkins, was knocked out in his half of the frame after giving up five runs… including the first of three homeruns third baseman Evan Longoria would hit on the night.
Down 5-3, the Twins got a run in the third off an RBI by catcher Joe Mauer to cut it to 5-4.
Then, in the fourth, Carlos Pena hit a home run off reliever Philip Humber, and then Longoria hit his second home run, to put the margin at 7-4.
The Twins battled back in the 7th, when Mauer got another hit, this time scoring two runs to make it a more manageable 7-6.
But guess what. Evan Longoria hit another homerun, this time off reliever Bobby Korecky, to boost the margin back up to two runs.
The Twins were held in check, and entered the ninth inning, down by two runs and facing Dan Wheeler. Denard Span reached on an infield single, and then Alexi Casilla hit a game-tying home run.
But the Twins weren’t through. Joe Mauer doubled and Justin Morneau walked, and then Adam Everett hit a double that plated them both.
Delmon Young hit a single off Trever Miller, to score another run, and Matt Tolbert hit a sacrifice fly to score another run, for a total of 5 runs in the inning.
The Twins won, 11-8.
If the Red Sox are going to take the division, they’ll need more help from their friends, in this instance the Minnesota Twins. After their series with the Twins, the Rays face Baltimore and then Detroit…two teams that probably won’t give them any trouble.
Meantime, the Red Sox have to face the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. Although the Yankees aren’t much this year, they’re still the Yankees, and would love to play spoiler against the Red Sox.