Red Sox top Minnesota 1-0
BOSTON — Young right-hander Rubby De La Rosa gave the Boston Red Sox just what they needed on Monday night.
With his team still looking for offensive answers, the 25-year-old De La Rosa, in his fourth start, pitched seven innings of one-hit shutout ball, leading Boston to a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series.
De La Rosa (2-2) won a pitcher’s duel with right-hander Kevin Correia (3-8), as catcher A.J. Pierzynski hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for the only run of the game.
Boston left-hander Andrew Miller relieved to start the eighth inning, struck out the first hitter, but right-hander Burke Badenhop had to escape a jam to end the eighth. Catcher Kurt Suzuki singled and then, after third baseman Eduardo Escobar lined out hard to left, center fielder Sam Fuld doubled.
Badenhop then hit shortstop Danny Santana with an 0-2 pitch but struck out second baseman Brian Dozier to end the threat.
Closer Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his 15th save in as many chances — his 38th in a row dating back to last season (including postseason).
Correia, coming off a six-shutout-inning performance in his last start, allowed the run on five hits in six innings. He became the American League’s second eight-game loser.
Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew, in his second game back after missing six with a sore oblique, had his second straight two-hit game.
Boston ended a two-game losing streak but has scored just five runs over its last three games combined. Monday marked the 24th time in 70 games the Red Sox scored two runs or fewer, and they are 2-22 when they don’t score at least three.
They raised their record in one-run games to just 9-15.
The Red Sox are 1-for-22 with runners in scoring position over the last three games, including 0-for-7 Monday night.
The Twins ran themselves out of a possible scoring chance in the third inning. With one out, Fuld walked and stole second, Minnesota’s second swipe of the game. Santana then lined a single to center but got caught between first and second. That led to Fuld getting caught between third and home, and he was tagged out as Santana made it all the way around to third. Dozier grounded out to end the inning.
De La Rosa, who walked only four in his first three starts, went to 3-0 counts on the first three batters of the game, walking two of them, but the walk to Fuld was his only other free pass through the first five innings.
The Red Sox took the lead the fifth. Right fielder Daniel Nava led off with a single and rode to third on Drew’s second hit, a single down the left field line. Drew was thrown out by Santana as the ball caromed off the stands in short left field. Pierzynski then delivered his sacrifice fly.
Notes: The Red Sox had a pregame tribute and moment of silence for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who died Monday. ... Twins coach and fellow Hall of Famer Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune he used to spend winters in San Diego and got to know Gwynn. “This is a tough day,” Molitor said. ... Hollywood director/actor Rob Reiner threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Twins INF Eduardo Nunez was out for a second consecutive game due to a hamstring strain. ... Minnesota RHP Phil Hughes pitches against LHP Jon Lester in the second game of the series Tuesday night. ... Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket, is getting work in the outfield as Boston looks for some production from its anemic outfield. ... Red Sox minor league LHP Miguel Pena was suspended for 100 games for a third failed drug test, reportedly not for PEDs. ... Boston signed 1B Sam Travis, its second-round pick in this month’s draft.