Now that the Boston Red Sox have bounced back from their recent slide, they hope John Lackey can end his losing streak.
The right-hander hopes to avoid dropping a fourth straight start while trying to help the visiting Red Sox to their fifth win in a row Sunday against the slumping Minnesota Twins .
David Ortiz homered twice and drove in six runs as Boston (26-17) rolled to a 12-5 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. The Red Sox have scored 28 runs during a four-game winning streak that's followed a 2-9 stretch.
Ortiz hit .143 (4 for 28) in his previous seven games before going 6 for 8 in the first two of this set. He's batting .332 with 15 home runs and 43 RBIs in 53 games against his former club, which released him in 2002.
He's 19 for 38 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 10 games at Target Field, where Boston has won five straight and eight of 11."The one guy we say don't let beat us is David Ortiz ," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They've got a lot of really good hitters over there, but we told them to stay away from this guy, don't give in to him. And he keeps sending souvenirs."
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is batting .475 during a 10-game hitting streak.
Lackey (1-4, 4.05 ERA) has mostly pitched well but lost for the third consecutive outing Tuesday, 5-3 to Tampa Bay. He gave up five runs in the fourth inning and departed after getting one out in the fifth."I really thought I pitched better than what's going to show," said Lackey, who posted a 2.82 ERA in his first four starts.
The right-hander has gone 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his last five starts versus the Twins, the most recent a 5-3 loss in which he allowed five runs - one earned - in seven innings May 9.
Minnesota (18-21) could have a tough time avoiding a season-high fifth consecutive defeat if Pedro Hernandez (2-0, 5.79) can't find a way to end his struggles against the Red Sox.
The left-hander has given up 14 runs and 19 hits - five homers - in six innings while going 0-1 in two starts versus Boston. He allowed a grand slam to Jonny Gomes and six runs in two innings of a 15-8 win at Fenway Park on May 8.
In his next start, Hernandez gave up three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
Five Twins had two hits Saturday, but they stranded 13 runners.
"We've been able to score some runs," Gardenhire told the team's official website. "We've seen that, but we've been inconsistent. Hopefully we can get everyone clicking."
Joe Mauer had two hits in his return after missing Friday's game with a stiff back. The star catcher is batting .443 during a 15-game hitting streak but has also struck out 20 times in 61 at-bats in that span.
He's hitting .407 (11 for 27) with two home runs against Lackey.
|Boston Red Sox|
|May 12, 2013||David Ross||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|May 07, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||60-Day DL||Right elbow surgery - out for season|
|May 07, 2013||David Ross||Day-to-Day||Left game - Knee injury|
|May 07, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right side soreness|
|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 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|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- At least John Lackey and the Boston Red Sox had something to keep themselves entertained during a long rain delay on Sunday.
Lackey allowed one hit over six innings before a three-hour delay, Dustin Pedroia and Will Middlebrooks homered and the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 for their fifth straight victory.
Fans at Target Field saw more than the Twins' fifth straight loss.
The longest delay ever at the ballpark lasted long enough for the 1993 movie "The Sandlot" to be shown in its entirety on the videoboard. Several cast and crew members were at the stadium to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary.
When asked what he did during the delay, Lackey laughed and said he did what everyone else left at the stadium did while it poured.
"Watched `The Sandlot.' I hadn't seen that in a while," he said before getting back to talking about his performance. "I wanted to go at least another inning. I was definitely frustrated a little bit not to keep going. But winning the game is all that really matters."
The game resumed about 80 minutes after the movie ended and many fans moved into the first eight rows behind the dugouts.
Lackey (2-4) gave up one unearned run and struck out five before dark skies and heavy rain sent fans running for cover as he was warming up to start the seventh.
Lackey ended his three-game losing streak. He didn't allow a runner until Trevor Plouffe led off the fifth with a double. Plouffe later scored on shortstop Pedro Ciriaco 's throwing error.
"Crisp. He was powerful," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Overall just a solid performance for him."
Earlier this month, Lackey's throwing error against the Twins resulted in four unearned runs and a frustrating loss in the midst of a stretch where the Red Sox went 2-9.
After Andrew Miller pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Koji Uehara loaded the bases in the eighth, but struck out Joe Mauer to end the threat.
"We didn't really come up with key hits when we needed to or when we wanted to," Twins outfielder Chris Parmelee said. "It's tough to win a ballgame when you don't have any clutch hits."
Junichi Tazawa pitched the ninth and capped a weekend where the Red Sox bullpen didn't allow a run.
Mauer's 15-game hitting streak was snapped. The All-Star catcher struck out three times and has now fanned in 16 straight games.
"It's baseball, man," Plouffe said. "These games, they happen throughout the season and it's something you've got to deal with."
Pedroia drove in three runs, scored twice and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. His two-run homer in the ninth bounced off the wrist of a leaping Josh Willingham and over the left-field wall.
"Lucky," Pedroia said. "But we'll take the break. They're usually robbing `em."
Middlebrooks' two-out homer in the second off Pedro Hernandez (2-1) traveled 402 feet and flew over the flower pots on top of the scoreboard wall in right-center field.
Movie or no movie, Farrell chuckled when asked about his team's focus coming out of the long delay.
"That's built in," he said. "Even with a three-hour rain delay, they're rarin' to go. Keeping this group focused, I'm not going to say is not an issue, but the game is clearly a priority to them."
NOTES: Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey threw 17 pitches in one inning of a rehab appearance at Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night. Farrell said Bailey - on the DL since May 6 with a right bicep strain - is on track to be activated on Monday. ... Franklin Morales , on the DL since March 31 wish a low back strain, started the game for Pawtucket and allowed five runs in four innings. He's expected to make at least one more rehab start. ... Boston SS Stephen Drew missed his second straight game with a sore back. ... Patrick Renna and Chauncey Leopardi, aka "Ham" and "Squints" from "The Sandlot," visited Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his office before the game. "The players wondered what we did wrong to get summoned to the manager's office," Renna said. ... Jon Lester (6-0, 2.72 ERA) starts on Monday as the Red Sox begin a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox. Dylan Axelrod (1-3, 4.27) is scheduled to start for Chicago. ... Kevin Correia (4-3, 3.35) starts for Minnesota as the Twins kick off a nine-game road trip against Atlanta on Monday. Julio Teheran (2-1, 4.57) starts for the Braves.