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BOSTON — Christian Vázquez received a warm ovation Tuesday in his first game back to Fenway, his former home park. But the fans who applauded had no idea about the gifts the longtime Red Sox catcher would inadvertently provide them.

A catcher's interference penalty that the Red Sox declined — yes, just like in football — turned into the game-tying run, and a third strike that skipped underneath Vázquez sparked Boston's three-run, 10th-inning rally. The result was Minnesota's third straight loss, 5-4 in a ballpark that seems to inspire the bizarre every time the Twins are here.

Even the game-winner was weird: Alex Verdugo hit a fly ball that likely would have been foul in any other park. But it bounced off the padding just beyond the right-field foul pole, a mere 302 feet from home plate, a fair ball that drove in Reece McGuire and, once a replay allowed it to stand, set off a raucous midfield celebration.

The hit capped a three-run 10th for the Red Sox, an outburst ignited when Jovani Moran's third strike to leadoff hitter Kiké Hernández skipped in the dirt and to the backstop, allowing him to reach base.

"Jovani got the first guy to swing and miss, and we have an out on that the vast majority of the time, and then you're well on your way," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "But when he does get on, things get significantly more difficult, we know that."

They sure do now. Back-to-back singles tied the game and set up Verdugo's two-out, hugging-the-line drive for the win. The Twins had led 2-1 on a Max Kepler homer, and 4-2 on a Byron Buxton sacrifice fly and a Jose Miranda groundout, but walked away grumbling about missed chances.

And none of the 10th-inning freakiness could overshadow the strange eighth-inning mistakes that forced extra innings.

With one out and Red Sox second baseman Hernández on first base, pinch hitter McGuire clipped the tip of Vázquez's glove as he swung at a 2-2 pitch.

The ball dribbled to third baseman Jose Miranda, who charged in, fielded the ball and threw it to Donovan Solano at first base.

Solano, though, was pulled off the bag and McGuire reached base. Hernández, meanwhile, rounded second base and, seeing pitcher Griffin Jax not covering third base, kept on running and took the extra base.

Normally when catcher's interference occurs, play stops and the batter and each runner are awarded one base. But under MLB rule 5.05 (b), the Red Sox declined the interference and accepted the result of the play — with Hernández at third.

"That's the first time I've seen [an umpire's call declined] in my life, but we've got to make sure the guy doesn't get to third base," Baldelli said. "There are a lot of little things like that in our game that you've got to be aware of. The thing is, none of these individual things are the sole reason why we lost the game."

No, but the gaffe allowed Hernández, when Jarren Duran followed with a ground ball to second, to head home. Nick Gordon's throw may have beaten him to the plate, but Vazquez dropped the throw, allowing the tying run to score.

The late-inning strangeness changed the complexion of a game that had already seemed a little bizarre. After all, Sonny Gray has never won in Fenway nor pitched particularly well here, while Chris Sale owns a decade of tormenting the Twins.

Sale struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced, and never allowed more than one hit in an inning in his six-inning start. Only when the Twins loaded the bases with a walk, a hit batter and a bunt single by Willi Castro did the Twins seriously threaten Sale, and Carlos Correa cashed in the opportunity with a sacrifice fly.

Yet Sale's masterful performance was matched by Gray's high wire act; each allowed only one run, though Gray stranded eight Red Sox runners, five of them in scoring position. Six of the first 11 Boston hitters reached base, and only one scored.

"The first two innings, they were a little bit upside down. They were a little bit of a mess," Baldelli said. "But he gave up, what, a run? Yes, it wasn't pretty, but it was masterful to find a way to do that.

"Most of the time, if you're throwing the ball like that or you don't have a feel for what you're doing, you're going to give up lots of runs. But he battled out there very well."