Boston’s Alex Verdugo congratulates reliever Matt Barnes after defeating the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday at Minneapolis. The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Alex Verdugo had three hits, including a two-run single in a six-run fifth inning, and the Boston Red Sox extended their winning streak to nine games, beating the Minnesota Twins 7-1 to sweep Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0) pitched five innings and gave up one run on five hits for Boston, which has come from behind in six of its nine wins this season. The Red Sox have their longest winning streak since a 10-game run in 2018, a season that ended with a World Series title.

Boston is also the first team in major league history to open the season with at least three straight losses and immediately follow that by winning at least nine straight, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Verdugo had five hits in the doubleheader and capped the day with his second homer of the season in the seventh inning. The Red Sox won the first game 3-2.

“To win some ballgames, and to actually be at the top of the standings and kind of like overlooked a little bit, I love it,” Verdugo said. “I love this group of guys. I love this team, the chemistry, everything. It’s something special on this team.”

Jose Berrios (2-1) surrendered four runs in 4 1/3 innings for Minnesota, giving up four hits and three walks. Berrios, who retired nine of the first 10 batters, walked Franchy Cordero with the bases loaded for the first run of the fifth before departing.


The Twins have lost five straight.

“Obviously, we’re not playing winning baseball right now but it feels like with the exception of this last game, we’ve had opportunities to win essentially every game we’ve played this year,” Minnesota Manager Rocco Baldelli said. “So, if we keep competing like that, I think the pieces are going to fall just fine for us. We’ve got to keep playing hard. We’ve got to stay focused and not get distracted with some of these losses and the way they’ve kind of played out.”

The fifth unraveled quickly for Berrios when Rafael Devers’ drive to center caromed off the glove of a diving Jake Cave for a double. Christian Vazquez walked and Bobby Dalbec singled before the walk to Cordero.

Tyler Duffey relieved Berrios and struck out Kike Hernandez. But Verdugo scored Vazquez, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts walked, and Devers hit a two-run single off left-hander Caleb Thielbar.

Rodriguez settled in after allowing a run on three hits in the first. He permitted just three baserunners through his final four innings.

“To win both games, win the series, it makes it special,” Boston Manager Alex Cora said. “We have a good baseball team and we have to keep working on it. We have to keep getting better. But days like today, they’re very gratifying.”


The doubleheader was scheduled after Monday’s game was postponed following the fatal police shooting of a Black man in a nearby suburb.

In the opener, Nathan Eovaldi (2-1) gave up two runs on five hits in five innings for the Red Sox. Matt Barnes earned his second save.

The Red Sox finished last in the AL East in 2020, and Eovaldi has little doubt about what’s different this year.

“For me, it’s the pitching,” Eovaldi said. “I like our team a lot. I like where we’re at. I feel like at any point in the ballgame, we’re going to be able to take the lead, put up runs and keep us there.”

Kenta Maeda (1-1) was undone by Minnesota’s defense in the second inning, including his own throwing error that allowed a run to score. He pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up three runs – two earned – on seven hits and two walks.

“It was mainly my delivery,” Maeda said. “I haven’t had too many opportunities to pitch in the cold weather. But that’s something I’ve got to get used to, being a Twin, being in Minnesota, things like that. And then last year, we started here in June with the summer camp, so this is the first time I’m experiencing the cold here.”

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