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Red Sox visit Twins aiming to extend series road success

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Red Sox try to continue their recent road mastery of the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday when they open a three-game set against them at Target Field.

Boston was only 4-3 overall against the Twins a year ago, but won all three matchups as the visitor. In fact, the Red Sox have beaten the Twins six straight times in Minnesota.

Boston has won everywhere of late and comes into this series having won four of its last five after it took two of three in Texas over the weekend. In Sunday's rubber match, John Lackey struck out nine batters in seven strong innings and the Red Sox rolled to a 5-2 win.

Lackey (5-2) remained unbeaten over his last three starts after giving up two runs on seven hits and no walks.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits, including a solo homer, and Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.

"It's encouraging to see on day three when you've got a chance to either sweep or win that rubber game, we've been able to put together a very good effort," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Getting the call for the Red Sox on Tuesday will be lefty Felix Doubront, who has lost his last three decisions and hasn't won since beating the Baltimore Orioles in his first start of the year back on April 3.

Doubront, though, pitched well last Tuesday against Cincinnati, as he allowed a run and five hits in 5 1/3 innings to lower his ERA to 5.09. He has yet to pitch more than 6 2/3 innings in any of his outings this season.

"We're trying to gain some consistency with him to get deeper into games," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Our rotation is going to be critical to us and his contribution is going to be needed."

Minnesota, meanwhile, will turn to an inconsistent hurler of its own in righty Ricky Nolasco, who has struggled to a 2-3 mark with a 5.64 ERA. Nolasco did not get a decision on Wednesday in Cleveland, but pitched well, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings. He also struck out nine in his team's 4-3 loss.

Nolasco, who signed a 4-year, $49 million deal with the Twins this offseason, has split his four starts versus the Red Sox and has pitched to a 5.24 ERA in the process.

Minnesota managed a series win over the Detroit Tigers over the weekend, as Josmil Pinto and Eduardo Nunez each stroked an RBI single during a three-run eighth-inning to carry the Twins to a 4-3 victory in Sunday's rubber match at Comerica Park.

Jared Burton (1-1) picked up the win after spinning a perfect seventh inning in relief of starter Samuel Deduno, who allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five over six innings.

"First of all, I'm really happy because the team won and we won the series," Deduno said. "I'm pretty happy too to get to the sixth inning."

05/13 10:56:09 ET

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