BOSTON — Nathan Eovaldi is ready to be back in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. He knows he’ll have the fans on his side in Fenway Park, too, especially after his debut with Boston.

Eovaldi pitched seven impressive innings, J.D. Martinez drove in all three runs to increase his major league-leading RBI total to 89, and the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 3-0 on Sunday for their 18th victory in 22 games.

“What a great way to start his career with the Red Sox,” Boston Manager Alex Cora said of Eovaldi. “People can now talk about how good he is and how he’s going to help us out.”

Acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay for pitcher Jalen Beeks on Wednesday, Eovaldi (4-4) gave up four hits and struck out five without issuing a walk. Matt Barnes pitched the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel got the final three outs for his 33rd save.

Eovaldi was sharp from the start, relying on a 95-97 mph fastball with a slider and curve. The 28-year-old righty was hammered two starts ago by the Twins, giving up eight runs and nine hits in 22/3 innings.

“I feel like my emotions were under control,” he said. “I try not to put any extra pressure on myself. It was nice pitching with the crowd behind me today instead of against me.”

Eovaldi was with the Yankees for two seasons before signing with the Rays prior to 2017. He missed last season following Tommy John surgery.

His next start will be part of a four-game weekend series against the Yankees.

“Extremely efficient. I mean, I wish we would’ve seen the Eovaldi we saw a couple weeks ago before the break,” said Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, who was running the team because manager and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor was in Cooperstown, New York, for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Martinez had a double, a single and a walk, and Andrew Benintendi added two hits and a walk for the Red Sox. The AL East-leaders improved to a majors’ best 74-33 by winning three of four in the weekend series.

The Twins finished 4-6 on a 10-game trip. They fell nine games behind Cleveland in the AL Central, and appeared to give up on making the playoffs when they traded infielder Eduardo Escobar and reliever Ryan Pressley on Friday night.

Jose Berrios (10-8) was in trouble every inning, giving up three runs on nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 42/3 innings in his first career start in Fenway.

“I couldn’t locate my pitches early on, but my mentality was to keep attacking the hitters,” he said.

Martinez’s two-run double made it 2-0 in the second inning. In the fourth, Benintendi doubled off the Green Monster and Martinez followed with a hard single halfway up the left-field wall.


Cora was visibly upset at the end of his postgame press conference, talking about the death of University of Miami pitching coach J.D. Arteaga’s son, Ari. The Miami Herald reported the 16-year-old was killed in a single-car crash Saturday night.

“Today was a tough day for us as a family,” he said. “J.D., he’s my best friend. They adopted me, basically, when I went to Miami. … It puts everything in perspective. We get caught up in this madness, the pennant race, the AL East, the Red Sox and the Yankees, but in the end, it’s just baseball.”


Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., running at full speed, made a backhanded catch on Bobby Wilson’s liner into the left-center gap. After the catch, he tumbled over at the edge of the warning track and slid on his back hard into the left-field wall.

He got a standing ovation, and when he headed to the dugout at the end of the inning, his teammates were lined up waiting to give him high-fives.

“Once I got closer, I thought I had a pretty good chance,” he said. “I hit (the wall) a lot harder than I thought I did after looking at the replay. I’m sure I’ll have a few bumps and bruises.”


Backup catcher and infielder Blake Swihart made his first career start at third. He even started a nifty double play in the fourth inning, snagging a hard grounder as he went to his knees, then getting up and turning the 5-4-3 play.


The Red Sox improved to a majors’ best 26-5 in day games, and they’ve won 20 of their last 22 day games.

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