Frustrating night for the Boston Red Sox, who left eleven men on base in a 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park last night.
Rick Porcello was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time this season, but his pattern of rough first innings continued as he gave up two runs in the opening frame after getting two quick outs. Porcello settled down after that and didn't give up another run until the sixth when Max Kepler took him deep for a two-run shot.
Meanwhile, the Sox offense sputtered against Twins rookie southpaw Adalberto Mejia, who went five and two thirds without giving up a run. David Price will try to win the rubber game of the series tonight for Boston, and he could use a strong start. Since coming back from the DL to start the first two months of the season Price is 2-2 with an ERA hovering near five and has by his own admission not been the dominant pitcher he expects to be.
The lost opportunity for the Red Sox to increase their lead in the A.L. east was not lost on the NY Yankees, who climbed back into a tie with Boston for first after clubbing around the White Sox 12-2 in Chicago. Rookie Miguel Andujar got called up from the minors and made a pretty good bid to stay by driving in four runs on three hits in his major league debut, while another rookie who's not leaving the big club any time soon, Aaron Judge, hit his league-leading 27th home run to make things super easy for Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up six hits and won for the first time since early May to run his record to 6-7 on the year.
The NY Mets must have felt good getting a similar lopsided win in a year that's been nothing short of maddening for them and their fans. But last night the Mets unloaded on the Miami Marlins with an 8-0 win in south Florida. Steven Matz went seven innings, spreading out six hits, all singles, and got run support from Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera, who each hit two-run homers in the victory. Meanwhile former Mets all-star pitcher Ron Darling went public with scathing comments blaming the Mets training program for the rash of injuries to the pitching staff, which has seen five starters go on the DL this season. Darling says the Mets put too much emphasis on weight training for pitchers, which makes them susceptible to muscle tears and other injuries. Darling was one of the better pitchers of his day and may have a point, although the Mets front office has dismissed his criticism and says the team will stick with its training protocols.
In the NY Penn League, the Vermont Lake Monsters couldn't close things out against the Staten Island Yankees, losing 5-4 at Centennial Field last night in extras after the Yankees tied the game in the 9th on a double by Cesar Diaz, and then scored the game winning run in the tenth when Danienger Perez drew a two-out, bases loaded walk.
Jack Meggs gave the Lake Monsters an early lead when he hit a a three-run homer to right field, but the bullpen couldn't hold off the late Yankees rally.
In the NECBL, the Vermont Mountaineers had the night off. They visit the Valley Blue Sox tonight, but the hottest team in the league right now is the Upper Valley Nighthawks, who beat the Sanford Mainers 12-2 last night in Maine, the first win for the Nighthawks outside the state of Vermont, where they've been virtually unbeatable, notching ten wins in White River Junction and another in Montpelier against the Mountaineers. Paxton Stover pitched five innings, giving up just one hit while striking out six. He did walk four but didn't yield a run in picking up the win as the Nighthawks improve to 12-5 on the season.