April 8, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) hits a walk off two run home run during the eleventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Detroit won 13-12 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
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|WP: Duane Below (2 - 0)
LP: Mark Melancon (0 - 2)
Alex Avila 's 2 run walk off home run to right off of the Red Sox's Mark Melancon in the eleventh inning gave the Detroit Tigers a come from behind win over the Boston Red Sox, 13-12. Duane Below got his major league leading second win of season in relief. Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers' offense with his third home run of season and 5 RBI.
The Tigers came out the gate fast (including the 1000th hit of Prince Fielder's career), as Jhonny Peralta's double cleared the bases for a 4-0 first inning lead. You would have thought 4 runs would been more than enough support for Max Scherzer. You would have thought wrong.
Scherzer struggled mightily with his command, throwing 80 pitches in only 2.2 innings. Scherzer's line was as ugly as it gets: 2.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP. Yes, Scherzer managed to hit Kelly Shoppach, the Sox's number 9 hitter, twice. Amazing.
Collin Balester took over for Scherzer, and made an excellent first impression with Tigers fans, tossing 2.2 innings of solid 1 run relief (an inherited runner Daniel Schlereth allowed to score). Is it too early to say the Tigers won the Ryan Perry trade?
The less said about Schelerth, the better. Giving up a first pitch home run to Adrian Gonzalez after the Tigers clawed back to tie the game has him on every Tigers fan's list at the moment.
Some bean ball action from Phil Coke forced the umps to warn both teams in the eighth. Coke drilled Gonzalez in the side, likely retaliation for Prince Fielder getting nailed after his second home run yesterday.
But Cabrera has started the 2012 season on a mission. After Austin Jackson (who is on fire, getting 4 more hits) and Brennan Boesch (who got off the schneid with his first 2 hits on the season) started the ninth with singles, Cabrera drilled a no-doubt home run to left, tying the game at 10-10. Like I said, the man is on a mission.
All looked lost in the eleventh. Joaquin Benoit was stretched out, throwing a second inning of relief. The strategy didn't work. More iffy defense by Raburn, this time in left field, didn't help, as the Red Sox plated 2 runs. Cue the Punto hate...
But the Tigers' powerful lineup was not to be denied. Cabrera started the game winning rally with a one out single. With a nice piece of hitting, Prince Fielder beat the Red Sox shift with a single, a ground ball through the empty left side of the infield. Cabrera advanced the 3rd on a wild pitch, scoring on Delmon Young's sac fly.
All of which set up Avila's walk off heroics. Avila's liner barely cleared the right field wall, but it was just far enough to give the Tigers the series sweep, sending Comerica Park (and the BYB game thread) into hysterics.
You'll have a day to revel in the weekend sweep of the Red Sox. The Tigers have a day off Monday. They'll host the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday afternoon.
3 roars for game 3:
Alex Avila, for not only hitting the walk off winner, but for just plain ending another Red Sox death march marathon of a game. The game went 4:45, and felt longer.
Miguel Cabrera is very, very, very good at hitting baseballs very, very, very hard.
4 more hits for Austin Jackson, who hasn't looked this good at the plate...maybe ever.
3 hisses for game 3:
Max Scherzer is infuriatingly, maddeningly inconsistent. Today was no different, running up a massive pitch count in less than 3 innings.
Ryan Raburn showed his lack of infield mastery in the in the 9th and outfield mastery in the 11th, costing the Tigers at least 1, and possibly 2, runs.
Daniel Schlereth has one job to do. Get left handed batters out. He didn't.
Tigers' star of Game 3
Miguel Cabrera, 1 HR, 5 RBI (462 votes)
Alex Avila, game winning walk off HR (269 votes)
Austin Jackson, 4 H, 3 R (190 votes)
921 total votes