MINNEAPOLIS - Joe Mauer hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Minnesota Twins to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Mauer's first career walk-off home run landed in the bullpen in left-center field and backed a strong start from Phil Hughes in the Twins' fifth win in six games. Hughes gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings while struck out four in his deepest outing of the season for the Twins.
Chris Young's pinch-hit, two-run single in the top of the ninth tied the game at 3-3 for the Red Sox, who were fresh off of an exhausting four-game series against the Orioles that included beanballs, ejections and a fan hurling racial epithets at O's outfielder Adam Jones. Andrew Benintendi hit his fourth homer of the year for Boston.
Whether they were drained by the drama in Boston or just baffled by Hughes' breaking ball, the Red Sox hitters continually came up empty in the first eight innings. But Young ripped a single off of closer Brandon Kintzler (1-0) to give the Sox new life.
Mauer, who had an RBI-single in the seventh inning, picked up Kintzler with his second home run of the season, this one coming off Matt Barnes (3-1).
Miguel Sano had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI for the Twins.