MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite a late-game letup and some scary moments in the ninth inning, the Boston Red Sox weren't going to complain about a win and a series sweep on the road.
After building another big lead, the Red Sox survived a Minnesota Twins rally Wednesday, winning 7-6 to sweep the three-game series at Target Field.
"We got a win. That's what it's all about at the end," Rex Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Mike Aviles hit a three-run home run, and Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 for the Red Sox, who improved to 4-5 away from Fenway Park.
Clay Buchholz (1-2) pitched 5 1/3 innings and got the win despite allowing five runs on 10 hits.
"Clay was very much improved," Valentine said. "He kept the ball down much better and had a very good curveball tonight. That's the best curveball I've seen him have."
Boston closer Alfredo Aceves came on in the ninth and ran into trouble, walking Trevor Plouffe, giving up a single to Ryan Doumit and hitting Alexi Casilla to load the bases. However, Aceves struck out Denard Span to get his fourth save in six opportunities.
Minnesota trailed 7-1 before making a charge in the sixth, sending 10 men to the plate in the inning and scoring five times.
Span and Justin Morneau both hit RBI doubles, and Buchholz was chased from the game after 107 pitches. The scariest moment of the game came with two on and one out, as Red Sox reliever Justin Thomas threw an inside fastball that hit Twins first baseman Chris Parmelee on the brim of his batting helmet.
"You never want to see that happen to anybody," said Thomas, admitting he was rattled when he came out of the game. "I was going up and in, and it just ran in a little more than I wanted it to. He stayed in on it, and it ran back into him."
After lying motionless at the plate for more than a minute, Parmelee was helped up by trainers and left the field under his own power. Thomas was pulled from the game and left to a chorus of boos from the crowd of 32,254.
Thomas said he sent a message over to the Twins clubhouse and said he was hoping that Parmelee was doing OK.
The Twins took their fifth consecutive loss.
"It will be good to get them a day off. A little bit of a break here," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Regroup for the weekend and hopefully we'll play a better series this weekend and win some ballgames and get back on the road. It's been a long stretch here of 15 games, with some tough travel and some tough baseball teams, and we're breathing, let's put it that way."
After a quiet first inning, the Boston bats came to life in the second. David Ortiz walked, went to second on a Kevin Youkilis single, then scored when Cody Ross singled to center. With two on and two outs, Aviles homered to left, giving Boston a 4-0 lead.
Minnesota got a run back in the second when Ben Revere doubled and scored on Casilla's single to center. But the Red Sox soon rebuilt their lead.
With runners on second and third and two outs in the third inning, Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to center and rounded first. Caught in a rundown, Saltalamacchia avoided the tag long enough to allow both Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez to score for a 6-1 Boston lead.
The Red Sox added another run in the fifth when Pedroia hit a leadoff triple, then scored on Gonzalez's RBI single.
Minnesota had chances to chip away, putting runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, but Buchholz hung on.
"It's been like that all year," Buchholz said. "I think I've had two clean innings. It's a struggle when you're out there throwing pitches and guys are putting them in play. That's got to change. It can't stay like that all year."
Twins starter Liam Hendriks (0-1) was lifted in the fifth after allowing nine hits. He was charged with seven runs.
"Without a doubt, I let the team down completely tonight," said Hendriks, who was making his third start of the season.
NOTES: Revere started in left for Minnesota after Josh Willingham went on paternity leave. Willingham's wife, Ginger, gave birth to the couple's third son, named Rogan, on Wednesday afternoon at a Twin Cities hospital. ... Gonzalez was responsible for nearly half of the 31 pitches Hendriks threw in the first inning. Gonzalez fouled off nine pitches and bounced out to short on the 15th pitch of the at-bat to end the inning. ... Ross left the game in the sixth inning due to soreness in his left knee. ... Wednesday was the fifth time this season that the Red Sox have had 10 or more hits in a game, which is tied with Texas for the best in baseball.