BOSTON -- That’s one way to alter a narrative.
On the brink of suffering a one-hit, extra-inning loss to the Minnesota Twins, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back home runs in the 10th inning to give the Sox a 2-1 win and a three-game sweep of Minnesota.
Twins outfielder Chris Parmelee, who had hit a walk-off home run off Andrew Miller in Minnesota on May 13, homered with two outs in the 10th off Sox closer Koji Uehara, who had not allowed a run in his previous 21 innings and had retired 17 straight batters.
But the Sox, held to Daniel Nava's fifth-inning double by Kyle Gibson and two relievers, struck back in the bottom of the inning against Twins reliever Casey Fien. Ortiz, who had raised eyebrows after his previous at-bat when he angrily made repeated thumbs-down gestures at the press box after official scorer Bob Ellis ruled he had reached safely on an error on first baseman Joe Mauer instead of awarding him a hit, drove a ball deep into the right-field grandstand to tie the score.
Ortiz came into the game batting .246, his lowest average this deep into a season since ending the 2009 season batting .238.
Napoli, the next batter, fell behind 0-2 before driving a ball onto the tarp in center field, firing his helmet into a cluster of jubilant teammates awaiting him at home plate. The home run was Napoli’s seventh of the season and first since June 8. It was also the third walk-off home run of his career, first since July 21 against the Yankees, which was also Boston’s last walk-off homer.
The victory went to Uehara. Sox starter John Lackey threw nine scoreless innings of three-hit ball, walking one and striking out nine.
The Twins scored a total of two runs in three games in Boston. The Sox scored five in the series. It was the fifth straight one-run game in which the Sox have been involved; they have won three of them.
Sox pitchers allowed just 13 runs in the seven-game homestand. Their series victory over the Twins was their first since losing three straight on the road and splitting four games against the Indians last weekend.