Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/5/12

BOSTON - The Red Sox, in desperate need of a victory, got six strong innings from Franklin Morales in his first start since July 13 and a two-run homer from Adrian Gonzalez, and they hung on to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4 Sunday.

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak and allowed Boston to avoid being the victim of its first four-game home sweep at the hands of the Twins in 21 years.

Morales, who had been pitching well as a starter before being sent back to the bullpen, was starting in place of Josh Beckett (pushed back to Wednesday because of a back spasm). The lefty gave up a run on three hits in six innings to raise his record to 3-2.

The Sox, who blew a game when the Twins scored four runs in the ninth inning Saturday night, had to sweat this one out, too. Ahead 6-1, Vicente Padilla yielded a mammoth homer on his third pitch, Josh Willingham's 28th of the year, then walked Justin Morneau and served up another hefty homer, Ryan Doumit's 11th of the year.

Saturday night victim Alfredo Aceves came on to get the last three outs, in order, for his 23rd save.

Carl Crawford, playing on his 31st birthday, went 3-for-5 (7-for-14 in the last three games) with an RBI groundout and a stolen base in the win.

With the Sox up 2-1, Gonzalez hit his 11th homer of the season, an opposite-field shot off loser Nick Blackburn (4-7) in the fifth inning. Cody Ross' second hit of the game, an RBI single, made it 5-1 in the seventh, and Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly brought in another run in the eighth.

The Red Sox left runners at second base in each of the first two innings but used four hits for two runs in the third. Mike Aviles singled and rode to third on Ellsbury's double. Aviles scored on Carl Crawford's groundout, and Ellsbury came in on Dustin Pedroia's single.

Morales threw 26 pitches but stranded two runners in the first. He picked Darin Mastroianni off first base with runners on first and second and one out in the third, and he had a shutout until the fifth, when the Twins scored without a hit.

Alexi Casilla led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Ben Revere's sacrifice fly.

Gonzalez, who had singled in the third, then delivered his home run with two out in the bottom of the fifth, as the Red Sox improved to just 28-32 at home.

Blackburn, gone after five innings, is 17-35 with a 5.71 ERA lifetime on the road.

NOTES: The teams announced a trade during the game, with Boston getting third baseman Danny Valencia (and sending him to Pawtucket) and the Twins getting minor league outfielder Jeremias Pineda. Pineda, 21, was leading the Gulf Coast League with a .421 batting average in 36 games, while Valencia, once a big prospect, was batting .198 for the Twins and .250 in his time in Triple-A. ... Crawford, who was rested every fifth game just after making his season debut last month, is back to playing every day. He played his eighth straight game Sunday. He is 13-for-35 with three homers on his last eight birthdays. ... David Ortiz, still on the disabled list with an Achilles strain, said Saturday night he is making it progress but knows he can't push it. "It doesn't depend on me, it depends on how fast my injuries heal up. I can't go back on the field and put it at risk." Ortiz does not have a contract past this season. Sunday, Valentine said he expected "a full bore workout where they test everything" on Ortiz. ... Boston's Aaron Cook goes against rookie Yu Darvish in Monday night's series opener against the Rangers, while Scott Diamond pitches for the Twins in their series opener at Cleveland. ... Revere opened the game with a single, extending his career-high hitting streak to 19 games. He then swiped his 27th base of the season and later made an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch in centerfield and turned it into a double play. ... Red Sox owner John Henry held a brass meeting after Saturday night's dreadful loss, telling the Boston Globe, "We just have to play better on the field."

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