Betts leads Red Sox to 6-2 win over Twins


BOSTON (AP) – Mookie Betts homered on the first two pitches he saw, collecting four hits and five RBIs in all, and Eduardo Rodriguez allowed only five singles in seven shutout innings Wednesday night to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2.

The Red Sox won for the 12th time in 17 games and remained 5½ games back in the race for the AL’s second wild-card spot. The AL Central-leading Twins, who had won seven of eight, fell to 5½ games ahead of second-place Cleveland in the division.

Betts homered into the first row of the Green Monster seats on the first pitch of the game from José Berríos (11-8), then sent one out of the ballpark with two on in the second to make it 4-0. Betts added a single down the third base line in the fourth – after taking a pitch – and hit an RBI single in the sixth, also on the second pitch of the at-bat.

He came up again in the eighth and made his only out, on a line drive back at the mound that pitcher Brusdar Graterol caught before it hit him in the gut.

Following a 47-minute rain delay before the first pitch, Rodriguez (17-5) struck out eight while walking four and hitting a batter to add to what was already a career high in wins. The Red Sox are 12-1 when he starts at Fenway Park, and 10-2 in his last 12 starts overall.

Ryan Brasier relieved Rodriguez to start the eighth and immediately gave up a single to Nelson Cruz and a two-run homer to Eddie Rosario. Minnesota put two on with one out in the ninth against Darwinzon Hernandez before Brandon Workman got a game-ending 1-4-3 double play for his 11th save.

Berríos pitched five-plus innings, allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out six. It was the second-most runs he’s allowed this season.

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