Duffey, Twins struggle in 13-2 loss at Boston

Published 10:16 am Friday, July 22, 2016

BOSTON — Tyler Duffey was trailing Boston by a run after throwing just one pitch. It didn’t get much better from there for Minnesota’s young right-hander or the pitchers that followed him.

Mookie Betts hit a leadoff homer on the first pitch he faced from Duffey and the next three Boston batters singled as the Red Sox rode the early lead to a 13-2 rout of the Twins on Thursday night.

“When they’re in a groove like that, if you don’t make them uncomfortable they can lean on some stuff,” Duffey said. “When guys are confident, it’s hard to get them out sometimes.”

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Duffey (5-7) allowed four hits in the first, one in the second and then four more in the third. His night ended after Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled for Boston’s ninth hit with one out in the third and the Red Sox up 6-0.

“They were just jumping on fastballs, breaking balls — it didn’t matter. They had a lot of good at bats,” manager Paul Molitor said. “It got ugly. We’ve haven’t had a game like that in a while.”

Dustin Pedroia went 5 for 5 with two doubles for Boston, which had 17 hits while winning its third straight and improving to 12-3 in July. David Ortiz added a two-run homer in the eighth and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer and finished with three RBIs.

Steven Wright (12-5) tied his career high with nine strikeouts and held Minnesota to four hits in eight innings. The Twins didn’t reach base against the knuckleballer until the fifth and finished with five hits.

“We just didn’t have a lot of offense to muster off of him,” Molitor said. “He had the lead and you knew he was going to ride it out for a while.”

The Twins added a ground-rule double by pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar in the ninth off reliever Clay Buchholz.