BOSTON – Catcher Kurt Suzuki did not start in Sunday’s 8-7 loss to the Red Sox because of the cut he suffered on his chin the night before. But he hoped to return to the lineup Tuesday, when the Twins open a six-game homestand.
Suzuki was injured during the second inning Saturday when a foul ball off Dustin Pedroia’s bat hit him squarely in the mask and opened up a gash on his chin.
“It jarred me a little bit,” Suzuki said, “but it more just cut me open.”
Suzuki said he received “seven or eight” stitches for the gash. He said his chin was sore, but he hoped that having Sunday off and Monday’s scheduled off day would be enough time for him to play Tuesday.
“I think there’s a going to be a good chance that he is going to be available,” said Twins manager Paul Molitor, who checked with trainer Dave Pruemer after the game to make sure. “Your risk is having to restitch something that’s already been closed up once.”
In the meantime, the Twins will work to add padding to Suzuki’s mask around the chin area to provide him with a little more protection.
Juan Centeno started in place of Suzuki on Sunday and was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, becoming the first Twins catcher with three RBI in a game at Fenway since Matt LeCroy in 2003.
Milone not as sharp
Some circumstances were out of his control, but lefthander Tommy Milone paid the price for a few mistakes Sunday.
Milone was coming off a strong outing Tuesday in Detroit during which he pitched 8 ⅓ innings. He wasn’t as precise vs. the Red Sox.
He had a chance to get out of the third inning unscathed, but Pedroia hit a two-out single and Xander Bogaerts lined a single that third baseman Miguel Sano nearly caught but saw it tick off his glove. Milone then threw a low first-pitch changeup to Hanley Ramirez that he lifted over the Green Monster for a three-run homer.
Pedroia and Travis Shaw then homered in the fifth as the Red Sox scored five runs. That was the inning that Bogaerts avoided being picked off and Sano committed a critical error. It wasn’t all Milone’s fault.
But Boston hit three home runs off him, more than he had given up than over his previous seven starts combined.
“A couple pitches they hit out were decent,” Milone said. “Maybe a little bit too much of the plate, but they were still down but they were able to lift them. The one to Shaw, he was just waiting for it. You have to give them credit. They hit some good pitches then capitalized on some mistakes.”
Made them squirm
The Twins still head home with a 4-3 record on the road trip and were encouraged by their offense and how some of their young players performed.
They put some heat on a Red Sox team that was on a roll before the Twins came to town. The announced crowd of 36,806 was not as boisterous as it normally is when Boston is leading.
With the score 8-5 in the eighth, Sano and Brian Dozier singled and Max Kepler walked, loading the bases with no outs. Soon, Bogaerts was standing next to Dozier at second.
“He looked at me and said, ‘Not again,’ ” Dozier said.
Bogaerts was referring to how the Twins came back to win Saturday’s game 11-9.
Part of Boston’s problem has been a shaky relief corps.
• Molitor said he sent congratulatory messages to both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, who were both inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.
• Kepler is the first Twins player with triples in back-to-back games at Fenway since Kirby Puckett in 1985.
• Red Sox slugger David Ortiz did not play Sunday, which means Saturday was his final game against the team with which he broke into the majors. He finishes with a .332 average, 21 homers and 58 RBI in 73 career games against the Twins.