KEN POWTAK, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — A year ago, Rick Porcello was hearing nearly as many boos as cheers in Fenway Park.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: The Political Road Ahead
Now, he’s piling up wins in front of the home fans.
Porcello became the first Boston pitcher in 55 years to open a season 10-0 in Fenway, and Hanley Ramirez and Travis Shaw both hit a three-run homer as the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 8-7 Sunday to earn a split of a four-game series.
“I just feel good here,” Porcello said. “I feel comfortable pitching in front of our crowd.”
Last year, the 27-year-old Porcello was expected to be an ace for the staff after the club acquired him from Detroit before the season, but he lost six of his first 11 starts at home and ended the year just 9-15 overall with a 4.92 ERA.
“Rick is in a very good place here in Fenway,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “You talk about dependable and reliable, he embodies that. He epitomizes that.”
Porcello (13-2) allowed five runs with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, becoming the first since Don Schwall in 1961 to win his first 10 Fenway decisions in a season.
Dustin Pedroia hit a tiebreaking solo homer and Xander Bogaerts had three singles for Boston, which won its 10th time in 13 games.
Juan Centeno had three hits and drove in three runs for the Twins, who completed a seven-game road trip 4-3 but gave up four unearned runs in a key inning.
“You’ve got a chance to come in here and potentially beat a team that’s been playing good — three out of four,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “Unearned runs, they’re painful, they’re tough when you can’t find a way to get off the field.”
Brad Ziegler got the final three outs for his first save with Boston after being acquired from Arizona earlier this month.
The Red Sox surged ahead with five runs – four unearned – and chased Tommy Milone (3-3) in the fifth.
Pedroia homered over the Green Monster. Third baseman Miguel Sano had a grounder go through his legs for an error that scored a run before Shaw belted his homer into Boston’s bullpen, making it 8-3.
“The one to Shaw was just a curveball that hung over the middle of the plate,” Milone said. “He was waiting for it. They capitalized hard on the mistakes.”
Milone gave up eight runs – four earned – in 4 2/3 innings, snapping a personal three-game winning streak.
The Twins scored two runs in the seventh and eighth innings, slicing it to 8-7.READ MORE: 'My Name Is Sara' Film On Holocaust Survivor Premieres In Metro Detroit
Ramirez’s homer – his fifth in five games – went into the first row of Monster seats, with a fan making a nice standing, two-handed grab, to make it 3-2.
The Twins tied it when Max Kepler tripled leading off the fourth before scoring on Kennys Vargas’ grounder.
Twins: C Kurt Suzuki was out with stitches in his chin after getting hit in the face mask Saturday. “We’re trying to look at ways that we can potentially protect him if we needed to play him in an emergency,” Molitor said.
Red Sox: DH David Ortiz was rested. . Farrell said CF Mookie Betts’ right knee was “improved” and “we hope that by (Monday) night he’s back in the lineup.” Betts left Friday’s game with soreness in the knee.
The Red Sox recalled RHP Joe Kelly from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game after sending RHP Heath Hembree there following Saturday’s loss.
Kelly has only started since being acquired in 2014, but has pitched 52 2/3 career innings of relief with a 3.25 ERA.
Junichi Tazawa entered with bases-loaded and no outs in the eighth. He allowed two inherited runners to score, but struck out Byron Buxton on a splitter in the dirt to end the inning.
Ortiz wore a Boston Marathon medal in the dugout that’s given to runners that finish.
“A friend of mine that ran the Marathon gave it to me,” he said, pointing to it hanging in his locker. “I wear my jewelry on different days. I just put it on.”
Twins: They’re off Monday before beginning a six-game homestand Tuesday. RHP Ervin Santana (3-8, 3.93) faces Atlanta RHP Lucas Harrell (1-2, 4.24) in the first of a two-game series.
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz makes his second start for Boston Monday after being acquired from San Diego. He gave up five runs in three innings in his debut Wednesday against the Giants. RHP Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.74) is slated to go for the Tigers in the opener of a three-game series.MORE NEWS: Dearborn Homecoming Festival Kicks Off This Weekend
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