Offense rallied, but Hendriks 'let the team down completely' in loss
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A furious sixth-inning comeback was not enough to make up for the seven earned runs allowed by starter Liam Hendriks, as the Minnesota Twins fell 7-6 to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
The loss marked the third time the Twins have been swept already this season.
Wednesday also marked the 16th time in 19 games a Twins starter failed to record a quality start, as Hendriks allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out three and threw 87 pitches and forced the Twins offense to play catch-up the rest of the night.
Cody Ross opened the scoring for Boston with an RBI single to left field scoring David Ortiz. Two batters later, Mike Aviles blasted a three-run homer over left fielder Ben Revere's head to put Boston up 4-0.
In the third inning, Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two more with a two-out single to make it 6-1. Dustin Pedroia led off the fifth with a triple after Trevor Plouffe was unable to corral a fly ball underneath the right-field overhang. Pedroia scored Boston's seventh run on a single by Adrian Gonzalez.
"I let the team down completely today," Hendriks said. "The pitching staff and offensive-wise."
The Twins rallied with five in the sixth, led by a two-RBI single by Joe Mauer and an RBI double by Justin Morneau, and they rallied again in the ninth against closer Alfredo Aceves, who was attempting to protect a one-run lead.
Trevor Plouffe drew a one-out walk and Ryan Doumit singled to right field to start the rally. The next batter, Ben Revere, was retired on a broken-bat bouncer to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez that moved Plouffe and Doumit into scoring position.
Anthony Swarzak came on in relief of Hendriks and pitched three scoreless innings, striking out one and allowing only one hit.
"I think we actually had more chances in this game than they did," Morneau said. "Kind of the story of the season so far -- one big hit away from being in the right spot, being on the winning side of one of those ball games."
The Twins made a furious rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, but they came up one run short.
Red Sox manager had seen enough of right-hander Clay Buchholz and went to a bullpen that has been battered early this season -- starting with right-hander Scott Atchison to face Mauer.
Mauer laced a line drive off Atchison's foot and into left field for a two-run single to make it 7-4. Valentine then summoned Thomas, who was greeted promptly with a ringing double off the right-field wall by Morneau, closing the gap to 7-5.
Four pitches later, a fastball got away from Thomas and hit Chris Parmelee in the helmet. Parmelee stayed down for a couple minutes but eventually walked slowly back to the dugout, giving way to pinch runner Danny Valencia.
Still searching for answers, Valentine brought in right-hander Matt Alberts, but Trevor Plouffe ripped a single up the middle to cut the lead to one.
But with the bases still loaded, Sean Burroughs grounded into a 6-3 double play to end the inning. He also struck out swinging to start the frame.
7.09: ERA of Twins starters this season.
15: Pitches thrown by Hendriks to Gonzalez in one at-bat in the first inning. Gonzalez was eventually retired after hitting a hard one-hopper to shortstop Carroll. After a couple of pitches at 3-2, you're kind of just hoping either he puts it in play or he swings over the top of one," Hendriks said. "But to his credit he battled away. And even the pitch he hit into play was struck well."
7: Pitchers used by the Red Sox.
97: Miles per hour hit on a fastball by Glen Perkins, who blew away David Ortiz as part of a scoreless eighth inning. Perkins also fanned Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis.
• RHP Kyle Waldrop (inner elbow strain) threw a bullpen session Wednesday and mixed in sliders for the first time since being sidelined in late March.
• Parmelee left the game after taking a fastball to the helmet, and the plan is for him to be re-evaluated on Thursday. He had a headache, but was alert and talking with teammates in the clubhouse after the game. "I had about as good a view as anybody," said Morneau, who was standing on second base during Parmelee's at-bat. "It's almost the exact same way I got hit in '05 -- two strikes, kind of hanging in there waiting, making sure you're hanging in long enough for a breaking ball, and all of the sudden that two-seamer just seems to be running at you and you can't get out of the way. It's a scary feeling."
Thursday: Off day
Friday: vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. RHP Carl Pavano (1-2, 4.73) vs. LHP Danny Duffy (1-2, 3.63)
Saturday: vs. Royals, 6:10 p.m. RHP Jason Marquis (1-0, 7.15) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (0-2, 2.52)
Sunday: vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m. RHP Nick Blackburn (0-2, 7.53) vs. RHP Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 6.75)