MINNEAPOLIS — In this Boston Red Sox lineup that’s packed with potent bats, Xander Bogaerts has fast become the best of an imposing bunch.

The 23-year-old shortstop from Aruba has been an awfully tough out at Minnesota this weekend.

Bogaerts tacked four more hits on his majors-most total, including a two-run homer to help the Red Sox break away late to beat the Twins 15-4 on Saturday.

“Bogey’s exciting to watch each and every day,” Manager John Farrell said after Bogaerts followed a 4 for 5, four-RBI night with a 4 for 5, four-run, three-RBI afternoon. He homered for the second straight day and raised his AL-best batting average to .358.

The highest-scoring team in the majors managed to post a season high in runs, with five apiece in the eighth and ninth against the league-worst Twins. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a three-run homer in the first, Sandy Leon went 4 for 4 with two RBI and David Ortiz had three more hits against his former team. Mookie Betts and Chris Young drove in two runs each.

“I think we’re a pretty special offense,” Bradley said, adding: “When somebody doesn’t get the job done, we have a whole lot of faith in the next person.”

Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning off Eduardo Rodriguez, but the Twins managed only one hit against five Red Sox relievers over 51/3 scoreless innings. Heath Hembree (3-0) was the first one, retiring Byung Ho Park on an infield popup to finish the fifth with two runners on base and the score 4-all.

Rodriguez tied his career high with four walks, in his shortest of three starts since returning from the disabled list.

Kyle Gibson (0-4) pitched for the first time since April 22, returning from the disabled list to quite the test with a team averaging nearly six runs per game.

Bogaerts used some heads-up hustle to score the go-ahead run in the sixth.

He led off the inning with a single, then beat a relay on a ground ball by Ortiz that second baseman Brian Dozier first bobbled. Ortiz was thrown out at first, but Bogaerts never stopped running and slid safely into third. He scored on a sacrifice fly.

“There’s nobody that can cover third base in that situation other than myself,” Gibson said. “It’s kind of a learn by failure, really.”

The play was made possible by the infield shift for Ortiz and the speed and sensibility of the young Bogaerts.

“I just knew no one was going to be there,” Bogaerts said. “If he makes the play, it’s a double play for sure. But once I saw him miss it, I was going.”

By the end of a sweltering game that crawled to completion in 3 hours, 45 minutes, the heads-up play hardly mattered.


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