By The Sports Xchange
BOSTON — Gary DiSarcina said he found out just after noon Tuesday that Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell was suspended for a game for making contact with an umpire Saturday night.
Some 12 hours later, the Boston bench coach and local product was a winner in his managerial debut as the Red Sox blasted the Minnesota Twins 9-2 in the second contest of a four-game series.
“Growing up around here, I don’t think I’m going to appreciate it until the season’s over and looking back and having a day like this,” DiSarcina said after the Red Sox beat the Twins for the second straight night to move into first place in the American League East. “It was different, but it’s part of the job.”
The game was delayed 50 minutes at the start and then for 1:16 after the second inning. Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz (7-4) was perfect in the two innings before the delay, and he kept himself warm enough to come back out. He got through five innings and notched his first win in four starts.
“Very impressed,” DiSarcina said. “We hit the stopwatch as soon as the tarp was pulled to go on. He did a great job staying loose in between … kept heat on his arm, he rode the bike, played a little toss, kept his body warm, so it was very impressive.
“Usually like 45 minutes, an hour, it’s pretty close, you’re pushing it (to having a pitcher return from a delay), but talking to Carl (Willis, the pitching coach), seeing how he was going to respond after his first inning out there … I think the first pitch was hit off the wall and then Christian (Vazquez) threw (Eddie Rosario) out at third base on the stolen base, and he settled down after that.”
Vazquez snapped a 265-at-bat homerless streak with a two-run shot before the rain, Chris Young hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Dustin Pedroia had three hits, a walk, an RBI and two runs in the rout.
With the New York Yankees surrendering a late lead and losing to the Chicago White Sox, the Red Sox (43-34) moved into first by one game. The Twins (39-36) remain a half-game behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
Pomeranz allowed only an unearned run and four hits while striking out seven. It was his first career start allowing no earned runs and no walks while striking out seven or more.
“It was kind of crazy,” he said. “I didn’t even realize it was supposed to rain at all tonight. I found out about two minutes before I was about to go out and get ready for a normal start time. I didn’t know there was a second cell coming, either.”
His mound opponent, Hector Santiago, wasn’t around after the second delay. He came off the disabled list to make the start and became a hard-luck loser because of the Vazquez homer.
Santiago yielded two runs in two innings. He has lost six in a row and is 4-7 with a 5.37 ERA after starting the season 4-1, 2.76.
“Kind of a strange game in that you played two innings and then you go through the long delay right out of the chute,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “I guess they kind of miscalculated there.
“Long night. I’ve seen some really good games here and I’ve seen some ugly ones, and that would fall in the latter category for sure.”
DiSarcina had a different perspective.
“Your day kind of changes, in preparation, obviously talking to Carl about the pitching and talking to John about the pitching before he left … it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s a lot of adrenaline. I can see and appreciate the trials and the tribulations and the struggles John goes through daily, and nightly, when it comes to removing a pitcher in a game, making those tough decisions because it’s difficult.”
Rosario, who made three fine catches in left field Monday night, had three hits. Eduardo Escobar led off the eighth inning with his eighth homer of the season.
The Twins made three errors, leading to five unearned runs.
NOTES: Red Sox manager John Farrell said Major League Baseball allowing a pool reporter to talk to umpires after games is a step toward making umps accountable for their actions. He also remained adamant he was right in protesting a balk call on Saturday. … Boston DH Hanley Ramirez was out for a second straight game with a bruised left knee. … RHP Dillon Gee, sent to the minors to make room for Twins LHP Hector Santiago, will pitch, either as a starter or reliever, for Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday and could be back with Minnesota soon. … Twins INF Ehire Adrianza, on the disabled list with an abdominal problem, starts a rehab assignment Wednesday. … Rookie LHP Adalberto Mejia pitches for the Twins against RHP Rick Porcello on Wednesday. Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, is 4-9 and is trying to win two straight for the first time this year.