The Red Sox won their sixth straight game Sunday afternoon, beating the Orioles, 14-9, and finishing off their second straight series sweep to improve to 6-3 on the season. They’re now in for a bit of a challenge in Minneapolis, where they’ll face the reigning AL Central champion Minnesota Twins for a four-game series. Here’s a preview:
Boston Red Sox (6-3) vs. Minnesota Twins (5-4) · Target Field · Minneapolis, MN
SERIES SCHEDULE (and TV information):
Mon. April 12, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market)
Tue. April 13, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN
Wed. April 14, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN
Thu. April 15, 1:10 p.m. ET — NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market)
HOW TO WATCH Red Sox vs Twins?
Mon. April 12, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market) (Channel finder: Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish, AT&T U verse, fuboTV and Sling) · Live stream: fuboTV, ESPN+ , MLB.tv (out of market)
Tue. April 13, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN (Channel finder: Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish, AT&T U verse, fuboTV and Sling) · Live stream: fuboTV, ESPN+, MLB.tv (out of market)
Wed. April 14, 2:10 p.m. ET — NESN (Channel finder: Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish, AT&T U verse, fuboTV and Sling) · Live stream: fuboTV, MLB.tv (out of market)
Thu. April 15, 1:10 p.m. ET — NESN / MLB Network (out-of-market) (Channel finder: Comcast Xfinity, Verizon Fios, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, DIRECTV, Dish, AT&T U verse, fuboTV and Sling) · Live stream: fuboTV, MLB.tv (out of market)
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT:
For the first time in 10 years, the Twins clinched back-to-back division titles in 2019 and 2020, going 101-61 in 2019 and following that up with a 36-24 record in the abbreviated season last year. Despite that success, the club was swept in the postseason in both years, losing three straight to the Yankees in 2019 and two straight to the Astros last year. Minnesota has now — unbelievably — lost 18 postseason games in a row, with the club’s last playoff win coming in Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS.
The Twins made a series of moves to improve their roster over the winter, signing shortstop Andrelton Simmons (1 year, $10.5M), lefty J.A. Happ (1 year, $8M), reliever Alex Colomé (1 year, $6.25M with option) and righties Matt Shoemaker and Hansel Robles (both got 1 year, $2M deals). Minnesota also re-signed Nelson Cruz (1 year, $13M) while losing a bunch of key contributors (Jake Odorizzi, Eddie Rosario, Trevor May, Tyler Clippard, Rich Hill, Marwin Gonzalez and Sergio Romo).
Minnesota is off to a fine start in 2021, totaling a 5-4 record through three series. The Twins took two of three from the Brewers and Tigers to start the year before dropping two of three at home against the Mariners over the weekend.
Led by Rhode Island native Rocco Baldelli, the Twins are once again expected to contend in their division and are considered by many to be the favorite.
Monday, 2:10 p.m. — LHP Martín Pérez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Tuesday, 2:10 p.m. — RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 1.46 ERA) vs. RHP Kenta Maeda (1-0, 2.61 ERA)
Wednesday, 2:10 p.m. — LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP José Berríos (2-0, 1.54 ERA)
Thursday, 1:10 p.m. — RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 10.29 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 1.64 ERA)
THREE SOX TO WATCH:
Martinez, who hit three homers in Sunday’s win, is off to a ridiculous start in 2021, hitting .472 (17-for-36) with five homers, seven doubles, 16 RBIs and a 1.583 OPS in eight games. He leads the majors in RBIs and is tied with three other players (Minnesota’s Byron Buxton, Colorado’s Ryan McMahon and Cincinnati’s Tyler Naquin) in home runs.
Renfroe hasn’t played since Wednesday afternoon due to general soreness, but it’s expected he’ll be in the lineup Monday afternoon against lefty J.A. Happ. After an impressive spring training, Renfroe has gotten off to a dismal start in his first year with the Red Sox, hitting .158 (3-for-19) with four strikeouts in five games.
Rodriguez, who got the win in his emotional return to the mound in Baltimore on Thursday, will make his second start of the year Wednesday afternoon opposite Twins ace José Berríos. With one outing under him, look for Rodriguez to try to get deeper into the ballgame than he did against the Orioles.
- With a win Sunday, the Sox became the first team to open a season with a losing streak of 3+ games and immediately follow it with a win streak of 6+ games since the 2005 Mets (started 0-5, won next 6).
- Red Sox utility man Marwin Gonzalez spent the last two years with the Twins. Lefty Martín Pérez pitched for them in 2019.
- Saturday began a stretch of 16 straight days with a game for the Red Sox… Included in that stretch is the club’s longest homestand of the season (10 games).
- Thirteen of the Sox’ first 17 games are day games, including all four in Minnesota.
- The Red Sox and Twins didn’t play in 2020 because Major League Baseball instituted a regional schedule to limit travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the teams were 3-3 against each other with the Red Sox taking two of three at Target Field in June and the Twins returning the favor at Fenway Park in September.
After four days in Minnesota, the Red Sox will fly back to Boston for a 10-game homestand against the White Sox, Blue Jays and Mariners. The club won’t play another game on the road until April 27 when they face the Mets at Citi Field. Here’s what’s ahead:
Fri. 4/16 – Mon. 4/19: vs. White Sox (4)
Tue. 4/20 – Wed. 4/21: vs. Blue Jays (2)
Thu. 4/22 – Sun. 4/25: vs. Mariners (4)
Mon. 4/26: OFF DAY