Tyler Duffey didn’t do a good job of making the Boston Red Sox uncomfortable Thursday night, and the Minnesota Twins paid the price.
The Twins are desperately hoping Kyle Gibson will provide more resistance in Friday night’s meeting after Boston pounded out 17 hits and scored 13 runs en route to a 13-2 rout of Minnesota in the series opener.
“It’s one of those things when they’re in a groove like that, if you don’t make them uncomfortable they can lean on some stuff,” Duffey said after serving up six runs on nine hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings.
The first time the Red Sox faced Duffey this season, they notched a season-high 15 runs, and the team has 33 hits in the past two contests.
Boston (54-39) maintained its 1/2-game lead over Baltimore in the American League East after capturing its season-high-tying seventh straight win at Fenway Park and moved a season-best 15 games over .500.
“July has been a very good offensive month,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after his team moved to 12-3 in the month. “Just great to see the number of quality at-bats.
Minnesota (35-60) is the first 60-loss team in the AL and is 5-19 on the year against AL East opponents.
Eduardo Rodriguez (2-3, 7.18 ERA) hopes to keep the good times rolling after a stellar return against the Yankees in New York last Saturday following a stint in the minors.
The 23-year-old southpaw turned in his best performance of the season, holding the Yankees to one run on four hits and two walks with a strikeout in a seven-inning victory.
Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 28 to work on mechanical issues after claims he was tipping pitches. He made two starts with the PawSox, going 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
He is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two career starts against the Twins, with Brian Dozier going 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two walks against him.
No other Minnesota batter has more than one hit off Rodriguez, although Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer against him.
Gibson has two wins in his last four starts for the Twins, but he’s given up four runs in three straight outings.
Gibson (2-6, 5.12 ERA) surrendered a season-high 10 hits with the four runs in Sunday’s start at Cleveland. He gave up a home run and a walk while striking out four.
The right-hander has faced the Red Sox only once in his career, and the results weren’t pretty.
Gibson surrendered five runs on seven hits and a walk with a pair of punch outs in a 5 2/3-inning loss against Boston on June 11. Boston scored a season-high 15 runs in the rout.
Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBIs in that game, while Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a three-run homer and went 2-for-4.
Mookie Betts (2-for-6) and Sandy Leon (4-for-4) drove in two runs apiece in the blowout.
Bradley’s homer came against Gibson and Bogaerts is 2-for-6 lifetime against him. Hanley Ramirez, who has driven in seven runs in the Red Sox’s last two games, is 1-for-5 with two RBIs.
Two of Leon’s hits also came with Gibson on the mound.