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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

De La Rosa pitches Red Sox past Twins at Fenway

BOSTON – Rubby De La Rosa is sure making things look easy in Fenway Park.

He’s also making it a little harder for the Boston Red Sox to decide what to do when other pitchers are ready to come off the disabled list. ...

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BOSTON – Rubby De La Rosa is sure making things look easy in Fenway Park.

He’s also making it a little harder for the Boston Red Sox to decide what to do when other pitchers are ready to come off the disabled list.

De La Rosa matched his first career Fenway start with another seven impressive innings to outpitch Kevin Correia and A.J. Pierzynski had a sacrifice fly, lifting the Red Sox to a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins Monday night.

“I know it’s been 14 shutout innings here at Fenway,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Whether he feels the energy here in this ballpark or is comfortable on our mound, that’s clearly the case. When a guy possess that type of arm and that repertoire, as long as he throws strikes, he’s going to have the ability to get some of the best hitters in the game.”

De La Rosa (2-2) gave up only a single in the third inning as he combined with three relievers on a three-hitter. He walked three and fanned three.

In his other Fenway start, on May 31, De La Rosa also pitched seven shutout innings, holding Tampa Bay to four hits. He had given up four runs over 5 2-3 innings in each of his last two starts – both on the road.

The 25-year old right-hander, acquired in Boston’s salary dump deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2012, is taking injured starter Clay Buchholz’s spot in the rotation.

Mike Napoli helped cut down a runner trying to score with a heads up play in a Red Sox victory that came after a pair of one-run losses. Boston is 9-15 in one-run games.

It was Boston’s first 1-0 win at home since May 18, 2011, over the Detroit Tigers.

“I feel comfortable. I feel at home,” De La Rosa said. “The field has helped me a little bit, the mound too”

Both Buchholz and left-hander Felix Doubront are currently on the road back, making rehab starts. De La Rosa isn’t worrying about what choice the club will need to make.

“I don’t want to think about that,” he said, smiling.

Andrew Miller struck out the only batter he faced, Burke Badenhop got two outs and Koji Uehara three outs to remain perfect in 15 save chances. He extended his streak to 31 straight saves over the past two regular seasons.

“He was good. The guy throws mid 90s and has a changeup like that, a breaking ball every once and a while, but changeups, 3-2 changeups,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about De La Rosa. “He was pretty good. He was tough. Our guy was tough, too, threw the ball very well. We had opportunities – I think we made one baserunning mistake that you never know what might happen after that.”

Correia (3-8) gave up five hits, walking one and striking out two in six innings. The right-hander pitched six shutout innings in his last start, earning the win at Toronto.

“That guy was tough,” Correia said. “We had an opportunity early but after that he was real tough. I put us in a situation where we were in the game and that’s all I can really do.”

The Twins have lost three straight.

Badenhop loaded the bases, but struck out Brian Dozier to end the eighth.

The Red Sox moved ahead 1-0 in the fifth on Pierzynski’s sacrifice fly after Daniel Nava singled and advanced on Stephen Drew’s single.

Boston’s Dustin Pedroia had a single and has reached safely in all 29 career starts against the Twins.

Heads up defense by Napoli kept the Twins from scoring in the third.

San Fuld drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Danny Santana then singled to center. Napoli cut off the throw home, with Fuld holding at third, and caught Santana in a rundown. But, just he ran toward Santana, Napoli turned and fired home, catching Fuld in a rundown where he was eventually tagged out.

NOTES: Buchholz, on the 15-day DL with a hyperextended right knee, is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday. ... Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks, on the DL and recovering from a fractured right index finger, and OF Shane Victorino, on the DL for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring, are both also on rehab assignments with Pawtucket. Farrell said before the game that he hopes to get Victorino back on the upcoming West Coast trip, which begins Thursday in Oakland. ... Minnesota INF Eduardo Nunez missed his second straight with a sore hamstring. ... Kendrys Morales went 0 for 4 after hitting safely in his first six games since signing with the Twins on June 8. ... Badenhop has pitched 15 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings.