Max Kepler

Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) runs to home plate after hitting solo home run in the 13th inning at Target Field on Tuesday. Kelper later won the game with an RBI single in the 17th inning.

MINNEAPOLIS — It was a productive night off for Max Kepler.

The Twins outfielder drove in the tying run in the eighth inning, hit a game-tying home run in the 13th and drove in the go-ahead run in the 17th after entering as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning as Minnesota rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, in front of a dwindling group of diehards at Target Field.

Kepler’s bases-loaded single to right off Brian Johnson (1-1) scored Luis Arraez with the winning run, the third-walk off hit and fifth walk-off RBI of his career. It was the first walk-off win this season for Minnesota, which ended Boston’s winning streak at six and assured itself of waking up Wednesday with baseball’s best record (48-24).

“Amazing, very relieving,” Kepler said. “Relief is, I think, the word that we’re all feeling. But just ecstatic about a ‘W.’ ”

With the victory, the Twins avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

“It’s huge,” said catcher Mitch Garver, who played all 17 innings, went 1 for 7 with a walk and scored the tying run in the eighth inning. “To lose game like that would take way more out of you than winning that game propels; losing that game sucks. That would be so hard — to go that far, use all the pitchers that you did, grind out at-bats and then lose. So, it feels great to be on top.”

C.J. Cron drove in Eddie Rosario with a fourth-inning run with a single as the Twins ended a losing skid at two for the fifth time this season. Minnesota hasn’t lost three in a row since Sept. 13-15, 2018.

“That was one of the best games I’ve been a part of, ever, in baseball,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I think a lot of people in that clubhouse can say the same thing.”

The World Series champions had the Twins on the ropes, taking the lead on Mookie Betts’ leadoff homer in the 13th inning. His 380-foot line drive hit the netting on the foul pole in left. But Kepler did the same, hitting a shot into the left-field bleachers that traveled an estimated 391 feet.

“I never think home run,” Kepler said. “I just go up there and try to make contact and see what happens.”

An announced crowd of 25,741 settled into a pitchers duel between starters Michael Pineda and David Price and gradually thinned out by the time the game ended at 12:55 a.m., the Twins’ longest game of the season at 5 hours, 45 minutes.

That is tied for the fourth-longest game by time in Minnesota Twins history. The 17 innings played at Target Field since the park opened for the 2010 season. The previous high was 15 innings — June 17, 2012, versus Milwaukee and May 28, 2017, against Toronto.

Twins starter Michael Pineda allowed just one earned run on five hits and a walk. He fanned five and threw just 80 pitches in six innings. Price was lifted after five innings despite allowing one earned run on four hits and striking out two on just 73 total pitches.

The Twins emptied out their bullpen, sending all eight relievers to the mound for at least an inning: Ryne Harper, Trevor May, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Blake Parker, Mike Moran, Matt Magill and, finally, Zach Littell — who earned his first victory with two scoreless innings.

In all, the bullpen threw 11 innings without a walk, gave up 12 hits but just two earned runs.

“It was incredible,” Littell said. “You kind of have that (feeling), ‘Oh, eventually, it’s going to happen; somebody’s going to have to.’ But it didn’t.”

TWINS 4, red sox 3, 17 inn.

(Tuesday)

Boston Minnesota

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Betts rf 6 2 1 1 J.Plnc ss 8 0 1 0

Bnntndi lf 8 0 3 0 Garver c 7 1 1 0

Mrtinz dh 8 0 0 0 Cruz dh 5 0 1 0

Devers 3b 8 1 3 2 Arrez dh 2 1 1 0

Bgats ss 8 0 2 0 E.Rsrio lf 8 1 4 0

Holt 2b 7 0 3 0 C.Crn 1b 5 0 2 1

Chavis 1b 7 0 1 0 Gnzlez rf 2 0 0 0

Brdly J cf 5 0 2 0 Kepler rf 5 1 3 3

C.Vazqz c 7 0 2 0 Sano 3b 7 0 0 0

E.Nnez pr 0 0 0 0 Cave cf 6 0 0 0

Leon c 0 0 0 0 Schp 2b 7 0 2 0

Totals 64 3 17 3 Totals 62 4 15 4

Boston 000 100 100 000 10000 —3

Minnesota 000 100 010 000 10001 —4

E — Garver (3). DP — Boston 1, Minnesota 2. LOB — Boston 14, Minnesota 16. 2B — Bogaerts (23), Holt (3), Garver (7), E.Rosario 3 (12). HR — Betts (12), Devers (12), Kepler (18). SB_Betts (8), Benintendi (8). CS — Devers (5). S — Bradley Jr. (3).

IP H R ER BB K

Boston

Price 5 4 1 1 0 2

Shawaryn 1 2 0 0 1 1

Brasier H,4 1 0 0 0 0 2

Workman BS,3 1 1 1 1 2 2

M.Barnes 1 0 0 0 0 2

J.Taylor 2 1 0 0 0 4

Brewer 1 1 0 0 1 0

Velazquez BS,1 4 3 1 1 0 3

B.Johnson L,1-1 1-3 3 1 1 1 0

Minnesota

Pineda 6 5 1 1 1 5

R.Harper 1 1 1 1 0 1

May 1 1 0 0 0 1

T.Rogers 1 0 0 0 0 2

Duffey 2 1 0 0 0 3

Parker 1 2 0 0 0 1

Morin 1 2 1 1 0 0

Magill 2 3 0 0 1 2

Littell W,1-0 2 2 0 0 0 2

HBP — by Shawaryn (C.Cron), by M.Barnes (Cave), by Duffey (Bradley Jr.). WP — Workman.

T — 5:45. A — 25,741 (38,649).

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Sports Reporter

Guy covers a wide variety of high school, college and professional sports. He is a native of Rochester and has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Guy resides in Byron with his wife, children and numerous pets.