MINNEAPOLIS — Cody Ross homered twice, tying the game with a two-run shot in the seventh inning and giving Boston the lead with two outs in the ninth as the Red Sox snapped a five-game losing streak, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Monday night.

Starter-turned-temporary-reliever Daniel Bard (1-2) recorded two critical outs in the eighth after the Twins put the leadoff runner on third. Alfredo Aceves picked up the save, his third in five tries, and all was right with the reeling Red Sox for at least one night.

Aceves gave up a one-out single to Chris Parmalee and a drive to the warning track in left-center by Trevor Plouffe, but Denard Span bounced back to the mound to end it.

Ryan Sweeney misplayed Jamey Carroll’s single into a two-base error that put him at third with none out in that pivotal eighth, after the ball bounded down the right-field line, ricocheted off the padded facade of the seats in foul territory and skidded away.

But Franklin Morales got Joe Mauer to ground out weakly to first base, and Bard retired two of the three batters he faced sandwiched around an intentional walk to Justin Morneau. Josh Willingham greeted Bard with a sharp line drive, but it zipped straight at third baseman Kevin Youkilis for the second out.

Then Ross put the Red Sox in front with his drive off Matt Capps (0-1).

After a rainout Sunday gave the rotation an extra day of rest, Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine put Bard in his struggling bullpen for a few days amid fan calls for the young right-hander to take over for Aceves as the closer. But Bard and Valentine insisted the move was merely temporary, and Bard is still on track to make his next start Friday.

“I still view myself as a starter, and they said they do, too,” Bard said before the game. He said he “asked a lot of questions” about what the team’s goals were with the decision.

Bard gave the relievers some relief, but the starters still need some, too. Jon Lester allowed six hits, five runs and four walks over seven innings. He struck out four but wasted a 3-0 lead.

Danny Valencia’s two-run homer, his first of the season, followed Ryan Doumit’s two-run double in a four-run fourth for the Twins. Then Plouffe drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, Span singled, and a run scored when Carroll grounded into a double play.

Adrian Gonzalez followed a pair of singles with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia smacked an 0-2 slider into the front part of the section of right-field seats that juts out and hangs above the warning track to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead in the second.

Then, after the Twins surged ahead, Twins starter Jason Marquis allowed a two-run drive by Ross that soared into the left-field seats.


NOTES: Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka’s rehab start for Class A Salem, his first game since undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery last June, was rough. He gave up six hits, three runs and two homers in four innings. … Center fielder Marlon Byrd, who went 3 for 43 with the Cubs before being traded Saturday, had a single in his Red Sox debut.