Red Sox beat Twins 7-1 for twinbill sweep, 9th straight win

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Boston Red Sox center fielder Alex Verdugo hits a single against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during a baseball game, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

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 Rodríguez (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.”

José Berríos (2-1) surrendered four runs in 4 1/3 innings for Minnesota, giving up four hits and three walks. Berríos, who retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, 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.”