Chris Sale showcased some of his best stuff on the mound Tuesday, but the offense and bullpen couldn’t seal the victory.
The Red Sox lefty held the Minnesota Twins to just three hits over seven innings, but the bullpen was responsible for a four-run eighth inning, and that proved to be enough for the home team as they beat Boston 6-2 at Target Field.
Sale mowed down 11 Twins’ batters while giving up a walk, while Rafael Devers provided the offense for the Sox, going 2-for-4 with a home run. The third baseman accounted for Boston’s two runs on the night.
But Minnesota’s bats came alive late in the game to break it open and take the first game of the series.
The Red Sox fall to 49-25 with the loss, while the Twins improve to 32-37.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Sale was forced to take the no-decision in a game where he was lights-out, but the offense struggled to generate run support for the ace.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale was dominant on the mound, collecting eight strikeouts through the first five innings.
He ran into some trouble in the home half of the sixth after the Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead the previous half inning. The lefty led off the inning with a single, followed by hitting Joe Mauer to put two on with nobody out. An Eduardo Escobar double plated both runners for Minnesota to take a 2-1 lead.
He’d mow through the Twins’ lineup after that, punching out 11 batters through seven innings of work before his night was complete.
— Robby Scott made his 2018 season debut for the Sox in the eighth and walked the first two batters before getting the inning’s first out.
— Joe Kelly relieved Scott, and Escobar, who had given the Sox trouble earlier in the game, hit another bases-clearing double and reached third on a bobble by Jackie Bradley Jr, to give Minnesota the 4-2 lead.
It only got messier for Kelly after a walk put two runners on with one out, and Robbie Grossman roped a triple to center to plate two more runs to put the Twins up by four.
— Hector Velazquez came in to get the final two outs of the inning, and had some help from Bradley after the pitcher got Ehire Adrianza to fly out to center for the second out. Grossman attempted to tag from third, but the throw to Sandy Leon was right on target to get Grossman out at the plate.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The game remained scoreless until the sixth inning, when Devers crushed his 12th home run of the season to right center for aw 1-0 Boston lead.
— Boston threatened in the seventh, when it put runners on second and third with J.D. Martinez at the dish, but the designated hitter struck out swinging to end the inning.
— The Red Sox would tie the game at two in the eighth, after Devers singled and moved to second on an Eduardo Nunez groundout, before Leon ripped a line-drive single to right to score the third baseman.
— Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Bradley all went hitless on the night.
— Martinez and Devers each had two hits.
TWEET OF THE GAME
The 21-year-old remained hot Tuesday.
The two sides will play their second of the three-game set Wednesday night. Boston will hand the ball over to David Price who will oppose Lance Lynn. First pitch from Target Field is set for 8:10 p.m. ET.