By BRIAN HALL Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nick Gordon hit his first career grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, Jake Cave and Gary Sánchez also homered, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 10-5 on Tuesday night.
Gordon lined a two-run double in the first inning and followed with a drive to the upper deck in right field in the fifth to lead Minnesota to its fifth straight win. The Twins trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by 1 1/2 games.
“His nickname’s ‘Flash’ and he was definitely that spark for us tonight,” said Chris Archer, who started for Minnesota and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Michael Fulmer (5-5) worked 1 1/3 innings of relief with two strikeouts.
Kutter Crawford (3-6) surrendered five runs — four earned — on four hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings for Boston, which has lost seven of nine.
“This is where we’re at,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We know we are better than this but we haven’t proven it over 100-plus games. We haven’t been able to have shutdown innings or go to the next level and it’s why we are where we are.”
Gordon’s homer was the lone hit in an inning of miscues for the Red Sox in the fifth.
Alex Verdugo dropped a flyball in right field. Crawford then walked Max Kepler. Ryan Brasier entered and hit Jose Miranda with a pitch to load the bases for Gordon.
“It pisses me off when I make mistakes, when I mess up, when I hurt the team,” Verdugo said. “I take it heavy. It’s not something I take lightly and when we’re in a skid like this, those are the little things that separate a team from winning and losing.”
Gordon, the 6-foot, 160-pound former first-round pick, has helped Minnesota stay in playoff contention while dealing with injuries. Originally a shortstop, Gordon has played all over the outfield and infield, and the grand slam was his sixth homer of the season.
“It’s awesome,” said Gordon, the son of former major leaguer Tom Gordon and the brother of big leaguer Dee Strange-Gordon. “I definitely had some tough times. It’s all about believing in yourself, just continuing to believe there’s purpose for why I’m here, things like that. Just going and working hard, man, giving it everything I’ve got every single day, no matter what happens. We’ve all got the same 24 hours, so.”
As he went to the field for the next half-inning, Gordon’s teammates stayed in the dugout while the public address announcer told the crowd it was Gordon’s first career grand slam. Gordon waved during an unexpected curtain call before his teammates took the field.
“At first, I was like, ‘Oh man, where are the guys?’ Had to make sure it was three outs,” Gordon said. “Then I looked back and — that was awesome. That was definitely an amazing feeling.”
The Twins came from behind to win for the fourth straight game.
“I think the last six games we’ve really shown the type of club we are: good starting pitching, great bullpen and an offense that is one-through-nine capable of doing damage,” Archer said. “Tonight was, I think, a full display of who we are as a team.”
Boston scored three times in the fifth for a 4-3 lead. Tommy Pham and Xander Bogaerts had RBI singles and another run scored on a wild pitch from Fulmer.
The Red Sox completed an Aug. 1 trade with the Chicago White Sox by acquiring minor league right-hander Taylor Broadway. The deal included catcher Reese McGuire going to Boston with left-hander Jake Diekman heading to Chicago.
Broadway, 25, will head to Double-A Portland. A sixth-round draft pick in 2021, he went 3-2 with a 4.74 ERA in 37 relief appearances for Double-A Birmingham.
Red Sox: 2B Trevor Story was in the lineup for the second straight day.
Twins: 2B Jorge Polanco missed his third straight game with a knee injury. The injury doesn’t bother him when running but is an issue when hitting.
Boston will have RHP Michael Wacha (9-1, 2.53 ERA) on the mound for the series finale Wednesday night. Minnesota counters with RHP Joe Ryan (10-6, 3.65).
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