When the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins get together, baseballs often fly, and the teams did not disappoint on Saturday night.
Red Sox DH David Ortiz went 3 for 4 and hit two home runs to help Boston outslug Minnesota 12-5.
"It might have been our best offensive night of the year," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We worked deep counts. A big night by David again. Daniel Nava continues to drive the ball with authority. But we had good at-bats up and down the lineup tonight."
Ortiz, who was 2 for 18 against the Twins last week, is 6 for 8 in the first two games of the series in Minnesota and is no longer having trouble with Twins pitching.
"Certainly, his performance is as good as you are going to find around the league right now," Farrell said of Ortiz. "But this is a guy that has a long history of a lot of production; hits both lefties and rights as we have seen again tonight, and it's the consistency with which he goes about his work.
"It's not coincidence that he has the performance that he does. He's a very good hitter and has the ability combine both average and power at the same time."
Both starters threw plenty of pitches, but neither figured in the decision.
Boston's Ryan Dempster put in a long night's work, throwing 127 pitches in 4 2/3 innings and giving up five runs, eight hits and six walks with two strikeouts.
Twins starter Scott Diamond, who gave up three home runs in his previous outing, put the Twins in an early hole, giving up the first Ortiz round-tripper. Diamond's night ended after 93 pitches and 4 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs, eight hits and one walk with no strikeouts.
"A night where we couldn't keep 'em in the ballpark," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Diamond basically was pretty much behind and up in the zone, and wasn't able to make adjustments like he normally has. Just couldn't get the ball where he wanted to. A tough night."
The Twins' usually reliable bullpen did not help Diamond. Minnesota relievers gave up five runs, including two-run homers to Ortiz and Nava.
The Red Sox had 13 hits to the Twins' 12, but Minnesota's biggest problem was Ortiz, whose six RBI were the difference.
Craig Breslow, who came on in the sixth and shut down a Twins bases-loaded threat, pitched 1 2/3 innings to pick up his first win.
Ortiz continued his hot-hitting series against the Twins with a three-run homer in the first. Jacob Ellsbury (single) and Dustin Pedroia (walk) scored ahead of Ortiz, who now has six homers on the season.
"One guy we say don't let him beat us is David Ortiz," Gardenhire said. "They've got a lot of really good hitters over there, so we say 'stay away from this guy,' but he keeps sending souvenirs, so we've got to make some adjustments."
Dempster had control troubles in the second inning, walking the first two batters he faced. He got a couple of groundouts, but Pedro Florimon hit a two-out single up the middle to score Oswaldo Arcia and put the Twins on the board.
Ortiz got to Diamond again in the third with an RBI single after Diamond walked Jonny Gomes and Pedroia reached on an infield hit.
The Twins returned fire in the fourth with a two-out double by Joe Mauer and an RBI single by Justin Morneau. The Sox had put a severe shift on Morneau his first two times up, but not this time, and he laced a liner to right.
The Sox responded with two doubles to open the fifth -- Gomes scoring on Pedroia's second hit of the game. Pedroia scored on Nava's sacrifice fly and Ryan Lavarnway's single to left scored Napoli's to break the game open at 7-2.
Ryan Doumit opened the fifth with a double off the wall and scored after two groundouts. Aaron Hicks walked, stole second and scored on Florimon's single. Florimon then scored on Jamey Carroll's single to right and the Twins scratched their way back in the game at 7-5.
"Just throwing strikes -- that was a big problem," Dempster said of his performance. "Just didn't have it tonight. But at the end of the day, we won the game and that's all that matters."
NOTES: Coming into the game, Boston batters ranked second in baseball with an OPB of .340. ... The Red Sox are 8-3 (.700) in Minnesota since the opening of Target Field in 2010. ... Mauer returned to the lineup as DH after missing one game with back soreness. Mauer hit .381 in his previous 10 games as DH.
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