The Minnesota Twins jumped out to a 7-run lead in the second inning and cruised to victory over the Boston Red Sox at Target Field on Memorial Day.
A 3-run home run by Trevor Plouffe was the big blow in the Twins' six-run second inning. Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco took it from there, working into the eighth inning and allowing just two runs. It's Nolasco's fifth straight victory, giving him the longest winning streak of his career.
When Joe Mauer brought home Brian Dozier with a sacrifice fly in the first, it marked the eighth straight game in which Minnesota has scored before their opponent.
Defense and pitching were also critical to this win, though. Aaron Hicks made another diving grab in center field in the top of the second.
Until recently, Nolasco had given the Twins little to cheer about since signing what was the richest free-agent contract in team history before the 2014 season.
The Associated Press notes Monday's win was the first time this season he'd completed six innings. He went 7 and 2/3 before yielding to Aaron Thompson and Blaine Boyer.
The Twins are on a 17-6 roll and will try to keep it going Tuesday evening, when Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Boston's Clay Buchholz.