The Twins could have used a Bobby Dalbec in their lineup Tuesday.
The home team stranded 10 runners in a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on a frigid day at Target Field.
And Boston's first baseman continued his run of success against them with a pair of RBI doubles.
"The guy's incredible," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of Dalbec, who homered against the Twins five times in spring training. "He's been a thorn in our side."
Not only did the Twins not have Dalbec, but they were also without resident big hitter Nelson Cruz, who went home early because of a non-COVID-related illness.
His return is unclear, although the team is likely to have third baseman Josh Donaldson, out since the opener because of a hamstring strain, back Wednesday. That would be just in time for a doubleheader, as the teams will play two seven-inning games after Monday's postponement in the wake of the death of Daunte Wright because of a police shooting in Brooklyn Center.
Twins starter J.A. Happ threw four scoreless innings in the snow flurries before Hunter Renfroe homered in the fifth and Dalbec doubled to drive in a run and tie the game 2-2. Happ said the righthanded-hitting Dalbec kept his approach simple, hitting mostly to right field.
Reliever Randy Dobnak gave up the go-ahead run when Christian Arroyo and Dalbec hit back-to-back doubles in the eighth inning for a 3-2 lead. Those were the only hits Dobnak allowed in his three innings, but he took his second loss of the season.
"I'm used to being ahead of guys, and every once in a while the guys that seem to get the hits are the guys I fall behind," Dobnak said. "Two balls in a row or I get to a 2-1 count so it's in their favor, and I know I have to throw a strike, and they know that, too. So they put some good wood on it."
The Twins were shut down by five Boston pitchers after their first two batters in the game scored. Byron Buxton led off the game with a broken-bat double. Kyle Garlick was hit by a pitch and Mitch Garver walked, loading the bases. Jorge Polanco's sacrifice fly scored Buxton, and Garlick came home on Luis Arraez's groundout.
But those runs were the last for the Twins, who were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"This is one of those periods of time that I think a lot of teams go through when you're looking for a big hit. You're looking for something to set everything off and get things rolling," Baldelli said. "… We had really good at-bats to start this game. We had a ton of guys on base. We pushed a couple of runs across. We need to find ways to do that as the game goes on, as the relievers find their way into these games. We need to go out there, get some baserunners, and make it happen."
Former Twin Martin Perez started for Boston, giving up four hits through five innings. Rafael Devers homered in the ninth for the Red Sox for the fourth consecutive game.
Boston has won seven in a row after starting the season with three losses.
The Twins fell to 5-5 with their third consecutive loss in front of 6,724 fans, but have their top two pitchers, Kenta Maeda and Jose Berrios, starting Wednesday's shortened games.
"We all know that we're better than we've been playing," Dobnak said. "Things are going to come around for us. Pitching has been great. Hitting has been ... great, obviously, but sometimes bats just don't do what they need to do."