Bogaerts’ grand slam backs Wacha, Red Sox beat Twins 6-5

Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, J.D. Martinez also homered to back Michael Wacha’s strong start for Boston and the Red Sox held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Wednesday night.

Bogaerts and Martinez went deep during a five-run third inning against Minnesota starter Joe Ryan. Bogaerts added an RBI double in the sixth as Boston snapped a three-game losing streak.

Wacha (10-1) won his seventh straight decision, yielding two runs on four hits in six innings and striking out seven. Garrett Whitlock surrendered three runs in two relief innings. Matt Barnes allowed the first two batters in the ninth to reach but finished out his fourth save.

Ryan (10-7) gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings. He had allowed just four runs over his previous three starts, spanning 17 2/3 innings.

The Twins lost for the first time in six games but didn’t lose any ground in the AL Central. Cleveland, which lost 4-0 to Baltimore, leads the division by 1 1/2 games.

Bogaerts and Wacha have tried to keep Boston in playoff contention, but the Red Sox had lost seven of nine coming into Wednesday. They are eight games back of Toronto for the final wild card spot.

Bogaerts has multiple hits in six of his last seven games and is 11-for-24 over that stretch, improving his batting average to .308.

His sixth career grand slam was a liner to left that just snuck over the plants lining the outfield fence. It was the second straight game with a grand slam in the series; Nick Gordon hit one for the Twins on Tuesday night.

Two batters later, Martinez hit his 11th homer of the season.

Wacha has been Boston’s most consistent starter. He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last seven outings.

The Twins had scored 14 runs over the first two games of the series, but Wacha held them hitless until Sandy León singled with two outs in the third. Luis Arraez followed with a two-run homer, his eighth of the year.

Gordon had a two-run double in the eighth but was thrown out trying to reach third to end the inning.

SWITCHING SIDES

Minnesota claimed LHP Austin Davis off waivers from Boston before the game. Davis was 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA in 50 games for the Red Sox this season and was designated for assignment on Monday. Davis will likely join the Twins’ active roster on Thursday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday.

Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco missed his fourth straight game. Polanco is dealing with an unspecified knee injury. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Polanco could have been available to pinch-hit if needed.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Returning home for a four-game series against Texas, Boston will have LHP Rich Hill (6-5, 4.32 ERA) on the mound. The Rangers will start RHP Glenn Otto (6-8, 4.79). Hill is coming off seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in his last start against Tampa Bay.

Twins: Minnesota starts a road swing on Friday with the first of three against the White Sox. RHP Sonny Gray (7-4, 3.04) will start Friday’s game and Chicago counters with RHP Davis Martin (2-4, 4.62). Gray has surrendered two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts.

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