It gave Boston an early eight-run lead, as the Red Sox also scored three times against Twins starter Kevin Correia. Correia, making his first start since Feb. 27 because he left camp to attend the birth of his third child in San Diego, gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits over 2 1/3 innings.
"I just wasn't able to throw back-to-back good pitches," Correia said. "I'm pretty close to where I need to be, but it's just backing up a good pitch with another one and I'll probably get an out. I've had some longer innings and I've given up a lot of hits, but a lot them have been singles, which is good for me. It means I'm that close to making it a poorly hit ball hit to somebody."
Stephen Drew brought home the first run with an RBI single after Correia made a throwing error on an errant pickoff throw with one out in the opening frame.
Correia wasn't helped by his defense in the second inning, as Joe Benson lost a fly ball in the sun that ended up dropping in for an RBI double for Drew Sutton. The Red Sox tacked on another run in the third on an RBI single from Ryan Lavarnway.
The Twins rallied for four runs in the fourth inning against Joel Hanrahan. The Red Sox's new closer allowed the first five batters to reach base, including RBI singles from Eduardo Escobar and Jeff Clement, before striking out Brandon Boggs.
Chris Carpenter came in and promptly allowed a two-run single to Ray Olmedo before getting out of the inning on a double-play fly ball hit by Jamey Carroll, as Clement was thrown out at home by right fielder Ryan Sweeney.
Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz fared much better, as he threw three scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits and struck out four.
Up next: Ryan Dempster, who didn't allow a run in his first two starts for the Red Sox, will take his third turn on Friday night on MLB.TV in a 7:05 p.m. ET home game against the Twins. Chris Hernandez, Alex Wilson and Anthony Carter are also scheduled to pitch.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.