Twins, Nolasco Shut Down Bosox
Nolasco (5-1) gave up two runs on seven hits to win his fifth straight start since coming off the disabled list.
The Twins got 16 hits to pick up their AL-leading 16th win in May. After a 1-6 start the Twins (26-18) are now just two games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.
Joe Kelly (1-4) lasted just 1 2-3 innings. He gave up seven runs on eight hits in a performance that sapped any sense of momentum the Red Sox had after picking up two straight wins over the Angels.
Mike Napoli had two hits for Boston, but his string of three straight games with a homer was snapped.
As they have been doing quite often during their climb up the AL Central standings, the Twins jumped on their opponent early to give their starting pitcher a nice cushion. They put one on the board in the first inning and erupted for six more in the second inning to chase Kelly.
Matt Barnes pitched 3 1-3 innings of scoreless relief and had five strikeouts to keep the game from getting completely out of hand, and the Red Sox scratched a couple of runs across in the third inning.
But the damage was already done, and the struggling Nolasco righted himself by setting down 15 straight hitters before leaving with two outs in the eighth.
Nolasco has been maligned in the season and a quarter since he signed a four-year, $49 million contract. He stepped to the mound on Monday carrying a 6.00 ERA and had yet to make it into the seventh inning this season.
Nolasco also got some help from his defense, including a stellar diving catch from Aaron Hicks in center field that saved a run in the second inning and some slick fielding from Plouffe at third base on a double play in the first and a diving stop in the seventh.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana threw 42 pitches in a live batting practice session on Sunday and will throw again on Wednesday as he starts to work toward an early July return from an 80-game ban for using a banned substance. ... OF Oswaldo Arcia (right hip) is expected to play four times this week in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. ... RHP Casey Fien (right shoulder) is scheduled to pitch Tuesday and Wednesday for Rochester as he nears a return.
Boston sends RHP Clay Buchholz (2-5, 4.58) to the mound against Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-1, 3.00). Buchholz has given up three earned runs and struck out 15 over 15 1 -3 innings over his last two starts, a no-decision at Seattle and a loss to Texas. Pelfrey hasn't faced the Red Sox since he pitched for the Mets in 2009.