The Boston Red Sox were in a lousy mood when they left Baltimore on Wednesday night.
Ahead 5-0 in the second inning on home runs by Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts, the first-place Red Sox had the game, the homers and David Price’s regular turn washed out.
And it came in a game that might not even have started with rain expected.
To make it worse for the Red Sox, the rain stopped completely not long after the game was postponed, with the tarp off the field.
“Every game matters,” Boston manager Alex Cora said after the rainout. “It happened two days ago — a rain delay with two outs in the first inning — and it happened again tonight. I’m not happy about it.
“I’m annoyed about the whole three-game series. Honestly, it was tough. Rick (Porcello) had to wait for a while in a game with two outs in the first inning where there was a rain delay. It was a tough one. But we’ll turn the page, we’ll show up tomorrow and we’ll do what we do.”
“Tomorrow” is Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series and 10-game Boston homestand that also includes the Philadelphia Phillies (two games) and New York Yankees (four).
Despite not playing an official game, the Red Sox (71-32) picked up a half-game on the Yankees, who lost Wednesday, and Boston comes home leading the American League East by 5 1/2 games.
Brian Johnson, destined for the bullpen after the Red Sox traded for Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday, starts against the Twins on Thursday. The Twins are coming off their first sweep of the Blue Jays in Toronto in 12 years. The three straight wins came after Minnesota was swept in a three-game series at Kansas City.
Johnson is 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA in five starts this season and is coming off a loss at Detroit where he allowed five hits and two unearned runs in five innings. Overall this season he is 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 26 appearances. He pitched one inning in relief against the Twins in Minneapolis on June 20, allowing one run, one hit and one walk.
The Twins won that game 4-1, but Boston salvaged the final game of that three-game series the next day as Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson took the loss. Gibson gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings in Boston’s 9-2 victory.
Gibson (4-7, 3.57 ERA) gets another shot at the Red Sox when he starts Thursday’s game.
He is 1-3 with a 3.06 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox, including 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in three Fenway Park outings.
With the non-waiver trade deadline approaching and some Twins mentioned in trade buzz, Minnesota (47-53) comes to Boston trailing first-place Cleveland by 7 1/2 games in the AL Central.
“It’s good that you start a trip like we did with the Royals, and you come in here, a place historically that’s been challenging for us, and they’ve been playing well at home,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said after Wednesday’s 12-6 extra-inning victory. “So you just kind of take them when you can get them.
“Now, we’re going into that hotbed of Fenway against a really good team, but it feels good.”
Betts, who lost what should have been his 25th homer of the season to the rainout, is 6-for-12 with three homers against Gibson. Martinez, who lost No. 32 to the weather, is 9-for-27 with two homers, while Brock Holt is 1-for-8, Jackie Bradley Jr. 2-for-12 and Mitch Moreland 2-for-11 against the Minnesota starter.
Cora said he is leaving Drew Pomeranz, still making his way back from injury and shaky in his first time back, in the rotation for now, with Eovaldi joining the five-man group and Johnson going to the bullpen.
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