Brock Holt scored both Boston runs, Jon Lester weathered a shaky start and pitched six-plus strong innings as the Red Sox held off the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Lester (8-7) has a winning record for the first time this season. The Red Sox have won two straight and four of six.
After needing 33 pitches to get out of the first inning on a hot, muggy night at Fenway Park, Lester settled down and took a shutout into the sixth. He left with one out in the seventh after striking out six and holding the Twins to one run, four hits and a walk.
Edward Mujica pitched the ninth and earned his second save.
Phil Hughes (7-3) took the loss for the Twins, who have dropped four straight. The Red Sox have held Minnesota to one run and seven hits in the first two games of the series.
Hughes gave up two runs and eight hits in eight innings and struck out six.
Holt started in center field, his sixth position of this season, and made a sensational catch in left when Jonny Gomes lost a pop fly in the lights. Holt came from nowhere and made a diving catch to end the inning.
He received an ovation during his entire trot to the dugout and several high-fives and pats on the back from teammates. Holt led off the inning with a double off the Green Monster, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Red Sox up 2-0.
After Danny Santana opened the game with a single,, Lester retired 13 of the next 14 batters and didn’t allow another hit until Kurt Suzuki singled with one out in the fifth.
Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the sixth when Santana led off with a double, moved to third on a bunt by Brian Dozier, and scored on Joe Mauer’s double.
Dustin Pedroia nearly broke open the game on a fly ball to left that was inches short of a two-run homer. Instead, it was a single, and Pedroia was caught in a rundown. The play was reviewed for several minutes, and the call on the field stood.
NOTES: Holt played center field on Tuesday and has made starts in all three outfield positions, as well as first and third base. … Lester struck out Eduardo Escobar in the fifth inning for his 1,342nd career strikeout, passing Cy Young for fourth place on Boston’s career strikeout list. … Lester threw nearly one-third of his 109 pitches in the first inning. … Before the game the Red Sox designated outfielder Grady Sizemore for assignment. Sizemore returned from injuries that sidelined him between September 2011 and this season. He hit .333 in spring training, but struggled lately. In 52 games, he hit .216 with two homers and 15 RBIs. … Minnesota RF Oswaldo Arcia went 0-for-4 and is hitless in 20 at-bats. … Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (6-5, 3.55) will face Boston RHP John Lackey (8-4, 3.24) in the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.