Stephen Drew's double in 11th sends Red Sox by Twins
BOSTON -- Stephen Drew missed the start of the season with a concussion and struggled at the plate when he returned.
He finally started to turn his season around on Monday night.
Drew had four hits, including a winning double with two outs in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red Sox came back after Clay Buchholz's worst start of the season to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5.
"It's more or less trying to get into a rhythm," said Drew, who entered batting .182 and raised his average above .200 -- to .225 -- for the first time this season. "I've been working on some things and tonight was just a good night for me."
Drew homered and had four hits. Dustin Pedroia hit a solo shot in the eighth for a 5-4 lead, but Joel Hanrahan gave up Brian Dozier's homer in the ninth and left one out later with right forearm tightness.
"We had opportunities. They had some opportunities, and finally they get the big hit there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "A tough ballgame for us."
Clayton Mortensen (1-2) earned the win with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, helping Boston stop a season-high, three-game losing streak. Pedroia and Shane Victorino had three apiece, and David Ortiz doubled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 26 games.
Jared Burton (0-1) retired his first two batters in the 11th, then gave up a swinging bunt single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia when the pitcher's throw pulled first baseman Justin Morneau off the bag. Will Middlebrooks singled, and Drew hit a line drive to the base of the Green Monster in left-center.
"I knew I hit it good. You never know here sometimes," Drew said. "It was a good night. Everybody battles, Salty beats it out and Middlebrooks gets a hit. We're just trying to have fun."
It was Boston's first walkoff win since Mike Napoli's ninth-inning double beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Marathon Monday, just a half-hour before two bombs exploded at the race's finish line.
Buchholz struggled early, falling behind 4-1 in the fifth inning. The Red Sox came back with single runs in five straight innings, including Pedroia's homer off a Green Monster light stanchion that broke an eighth-inning tie.
It was Pedroia's first homer since Sept. 11 -- a span of 184 at-bats for the 2008 AL MVP.
One start after Toronto broadcaster Jack Morris accused him of throwing a spitball, Buchholz was rescued from his first loss of the season by the Boston comeback. There was no follow-up to the allegations, which Buchholz has denied, except that he had his worst outing this season.
"I didn't do anything differently," Buchholz said. "I gave up runs."
Buchholz, who had won his previous six starts this year, gave up back-to-back doubles off the Green Monster to Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham in the first inning, then fell behind 4-1 in the fifth. The right-hander allowed four runs, seven hits and two walks, striking out nine in six innings as his ERA rose from 1.01 to 1.60.
That gave Minnesota starter Vance Worley a chance to end a losing streak dating to August. But Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and scored in the fifth; Victorino, who homered in the fourth, singled and scored in the sixth; and Drew homered to right in the seventh to tie it 4-all.
"The last few days or so it's almost like the end of spring training with his at-bats getting up," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "You can see his timing getting better and better."
Pedroia homered in the eighth with a high fly ball that bounced off the light support above the left-field wall.
Worley allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings. Since winning at the Washington Nationals on Aug. 1, he is 0-7 with a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts.
The Red Sox posted updates on the manual scoreboard on the Bruins' 5-2 NHL playoff win at Toronto. ... Buchholz has not allowed a homer to the Twins in his career, a total of 35 2/3 innings. ... The Twins have not made an error for nine straight games. ... The Red Sox placed reliever Andrew Bailey on the 15-day DL because of a strained right biceps and activated reliever Craig Breslow (shoulder tendinitis) from the DL.
MIN Wins 3-1
- Home Plate Umpire - Cory Blaser
- First Base Umpire - Jeff Nelson
- Second Base Umpire - Ed Hickox
- Third Base Umpire - Lance Barksdale