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Red Sox 5, Twins 1

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- After waiting out a three-hour rain delay in the seventh inning, the Boston Red Sox expanded the lead they built before the storm and beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 at Target Field on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

The Red Sox were in command from the start, pounding out 11 hits, and Boston starting pitcher John Lackey silenced the Minnesota bats.

Lackey (2-4) pitched six strong innings, giving up one hit and one unearned run. He struck out five and hit one batter but didn't issue a walk. The storms prevented him from completing the game, but he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning.

Andrew Miller came in for Lackey when the game resumed and set down the Twins in order in the seventh. He gave way to Koji Uehara in the eighth, who gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases but pitched his way out of the jam with three strikeouts.

Junichi Tazawa pitched around two hits in a scoreless ninth.

Dustin Pedroia's two-run, ninth-inning homer expanded Boston's lead to 5-1. Pedroia, David Ortiz and Daniel Nava each had two hits for the Red Sox.

Trevor Plouffe collected two of Minnesota's five hits.

Twins rookie Pedro Hernandez, who has been up and down in his six starts this season, struggled from the start with the Red Sox lineup. Hernandez (2-1) gave up three runs on ninth hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Reliever Josh Roenicke kept the Twins in the game. He pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits and walks while striking out two.

The Red Sox jumped in front when Will Middlebrooks connected on a 2-1 pitch to deep right center for a solo shot in the second inning, his eighth of the season.

In the third, Shane Victorino walked and went to third on a Jonny Gomes single, then scored when Pedroia hit a grounder to third baseman Plouffe, who, while trying for a double play, threw the ball into right field.

The Sox scored again in the fifth on three straight singles by Pedroia, Ortiz and Mike Napoli to take a 3-0 lead.

Plouffe broke up Lackey's no-hitter with a leadoff double in the fifth. He scored on a throwing error by Boston shortstop Pedro Ciriaco. It looked like a sure double-play ball that could have ended the inning, but instead it ended the shutout.

NOTES: The first innings have been brutal for the Twins. They have allowed 43 runs in first innings this season (1.10 per game), which is tops in the majors. ... Red Sox pitchers entered play Sunday ranked second in the major leagues with 404 strikeouts, trailing only the Tigers' 409 K's. Boston fanned 11 Minnesota hitters in the series finale. ... The Twins pitching staff has allowed 10-plus hits in eight straight games.
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