With Ryan Dempster on the mound and their longest slide of the season in the past, the Boston Red Sox are poised to continue their success at home.
Dempster tries to win his third consecutive start and help the Red Sox extend their home winning streak to seven games Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins .
After being held to four runs and 18 hits while being swept in a three-game set at Texas, Boston (21-11) rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to beat Minnesota 6-5 in 11 innings Monday at Fenway Park. Stephen Drew homered and doubled home the winner after closer Joel Hanrahan gave up a tying home run to Brian Dozier in the ninth, then left the same inning with tightness in his right arm.
"It was a good night," said Drew, who had four hits to raise his average from .182 to .225 - the first time it's been above .200 this season. "Everybody battles."
Among the majors' top teams with a 12-5 home record, the Red Sox have averaged 6.7 runs during their longest Fenway winning streak since a nine-game run July 5-24, 2011.
"We're just trying to have fun," Drew said.
Boston's Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each homered and had three hits apiece. Pedroia, who homered for the first time since Sept. 11, is 4 for 8 in two games after going 0 for 13 in the previous three.
With a double Monday, ex-Twin David Ortiz is batting .430 during a 26-game hitting streak that dates to last season.
Dempster (2-2, 3.00 ERA), meanwhile, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five starts, and three with eight hits over 12 innings of the last two. The right-hander gave up a leadoff homer to Toronto's Brett Lawrie and three other hits in six innings of a 3-1 road win Thursday."He doesn't give in," manager John Farrell said of Dempster, who retired 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced. "He didn't have his best stuff overall (Thursday) but he uses the whole count when he needs to and he's got the knack to not let the game speed up on him and try to reach back and just go with sheer velocity."
Pitching for the Chicago Cubs and Texas last season, Dempster went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Twins.
Dozier, Mauer and Willingham are a combined 1 for 22 versus Dempster.
Minnesota's Scott Diamond (2-2, 3.97) looks for a fourth straight strong start as he faces Boston for the first time. The left-hander, who opened the season on the disabled list while recovering from elbow surgery, gave up two runs and four hits in six innings of a 6-2 win at Detroit on Wednesday."I felt like I had a lot better stuff," said Diamond, who has lasted at least six innings in three straight starts since going 4 1-3 frames in his season debut April 13. "(It) was a big step in the progression toward getting back."
One day after Boston reliever Andrew Bailey was placed on the DL with a strained right biceps, Hanrahan will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
|April 16, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Back contusion|
|April 16, 2013||Darin Mastroianni||15-Day DL||Stress reaction in left ankle|
|March 30, 2013||Cole De Vries||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|March 24, 2013||Tim Wood||15-Day DL||Right rotator cuff strain|
|March 22, 2013||Scott Diamond||15-Day DL||Recovery from left elbow surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Anthony Swarzak||15-Day DL||Fractured ribs|
|Boston Red Sox|
|May 06, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm strain|
|April 29, 2013||Andrew Bailey||15-Day DL||Right bicep soreness|
|April 20, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back tightness|
|April 14, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||15-Day DL||Sore right hamstring|
|April 14, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||15-Day DL||Sore right hamstring|
|April 07, 2013||John Lackey||15-Day DL||Right biceps strain|
BOSTON (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins aren't taking any chances with Scott Diamond 's surgically repaired left elbow.
On Tuesday night, he didn't give the Boston Red Sox many.
Diamond allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, Ryan Doumit hit his first homer of the season and the Twins beat the Red Sox 6-1.
Diamond said he still felt strong when he left the game but understands the cautious approach less than five months after the operation.
"This is only my (fifth) start after surgery," he said, "so I feel it was a smart play."
Diamond (3-2) is having a strong season after a rookie year in which he went 12-7 with a 3.54 ERA. He's allowed three or fewer runs in four of his five outings.
On Tuesday, he retired his last 15 batters, didn't allow a runner past second base, struck out two and walked none.
"Diamond was great for us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, but "coming off the elbow thing, we're really a little leery of" letting him throw too many pitches.
He threw 96 against Boston after tossing 78, 97, 97 and 88 in his other starts.
"Everything's kind of been getting back in sync," Diamond said. "That's the focus now, just continue to build and get stronger."
His approach to the game hasn't changed even if he's not pitching as long as he'd like. He still prepares intensely and throws aggressively.
"I might as well have taken a rocking chair out there. He makes it real easy," Doumit, his catcher, said. "He's one of the most prepared pitchers I've ever been around."
David Ortiz got one of the hits off Diamond, a leadoff single in the second that stretched his hitting streak to 27 games, a run that began before he sustained a season-ending injury in August. He has at least one hit in all 15 games he's played this season.
Ryan Dempster (2-3) pitched well for Boston and left trailing 2-0 in the top of the eighth after third baseman Pedro Ciriaco made errors on the first two batters, putting runners at first and third. That led to four runs, three of them unearned, as the Twins took a 6-0 lead.
The Red Sox entered the game with the best record in the majors, but have scored just 11 runs while losing four of their past five games.
They also lost two players after they collided chasing a foul pop by Chris Parmelee in the fifth near the low wall about halfway between home plate and third base.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks caught it, but catcher David Ross slid into him, forcing his back to hit the wall. Ross left later in the fifth with a left thigh contusion and Middlebrooks was replaced by Ciriaco to start the seventh because of pain in his right side.
Ross is listed day to day, while Middlebrooks said he could have stayed in the game but will have X-rays and CT scans, Boston manager John Farrell said.
Josh Roenicke worked the last two innings, allowing Jarrod Saltalamacchia 's fourth homer in the ninth.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on a leadoff double by Doumit and an RBI single through a drawn-in infield by Wilkin Ramirez . They made it 2-0 on Doumit's homer with one out in the seventh. It was upheld on video review after umpires ruled the ball had cleared the home run line at the top of the left field wall before a fan caught it.
"I made two mistakes and (Doumit) took advantage of both of them," Dempster said. "The way Diamond was throwing the ball and keeping us in check, you knew that eventually one run would be maybe one run too many."
It all unraveled for the Red Sox in the top of the eighth with three errors, a walk and three hits.
Ciriaco bobbled leadoff hitter Brian Dozier 's grounder for his first error. The next batter, Jamey Carroll , hit the ball to the left of Ciriaco, who couldn't come up with it for his second error as Dozier took third.
"That was uncharacteristic of Pedro," Farrell said. "He has shown to be a very dependable defender."
Said Ciriaco: "I just missed those two balls. I've just got to be more ready and next time make those plays."
Craig Breslow then replaced Dempster and failed to retire any of the four batters he faced. Joe Mauer doubled in one run, Josh Willingham walked to load the bases and Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe followed with RBI singles.
Alex Wilson relieved Breslow and Doumit grounded to first baseman Mike Napoli , who threw home for the force out - the first of the inning. Saltalamacchia tried to double-up Doumit, but his throw was low for an error and Napoli's return throw was too late to get Morneau.
NOTES: Patty Campbell, mother of Krystle Campbell, who died in the Boston Marathon bombings, threw out a ceremonial first pitch. ... With two singles, Morneau has 1,219 in his career, passing Torii Hunter 's 1,218 for eighth most in Twins history. ... Pedro Hernandez (1-0) pitches for Minnesota against Allen Webster (0-0) on Wednesday night in the third game of the four-game series ... The Red Sox placed Joel Hanrahan on the disabled list with a strained right forearm one day after their other closer, Andrew Bailey , went on the DL with a strained right biceps. Farrell said Junichi Tazawa would have filled that role if needed. ... Ortiz's streak is the longest by a Red Sox player since Manny Ramirez had a 27-game streak from July 15 to Aug. 1, 2006.