Boston led MLB in wOBA versus RHP in 2011. In his only start against the Red Sox last year, Max managed to get 6 outs while giving up 7 earned runs. He lasted longer today, but not by much. This time Scherzer got 8 outs, 3 in the form of leadoff man Nick Punto, on the way to yielding 7 ER. Buchholz was hammered in his 5 games last April to the tune of .312/.391/.560 and his season started off poorly again in 2012. Austin started the game by fouling off two 0-2 pitches before doubling on the 3rd 0-2 offering. He's looked better in protect mode after hitting just .117 on 0-2 pitches last year. Later in the inning, Buchholz threw an 0-2 changeup to Jhonny that got too much plate and went for a 3-run double. CB had allowed only 3 hits on 0-2 counts in his 14 games last year. Austin singled in both the 2nd and 4th to help the Tigers score in both frames and Buchholz left after 4 having matched Scherzer's 8 hits and 7 runs allowed.
Five Tiger relievers allowed 3 runs in 6.1 innings through regulation with 2 scoring when Schlereth's first pitch of 2012, to Gonzo, left the yard. Jimmy Leyland perhaps mis-managed the 9th when Coke faced 3 RHB before Dotel was summoned to face 2 lefties in his 3 batters. At least initially, the Boston pen fared better. It looked like Padilla would get a win after throwing 4 scoreless using a low to mid-50s mph breaking ball. But things changed when Aceves came in for the 9th. Austin led off with his 4th hit. Boesch, who looked atrocious in his first 2 PAs against Buchholz, followed with an infield single for his 2nd hit. Then Miggy left the yard to tie the game with his 5th RBI. Austin had a chance to win it with his 5th hit when Danny reached second with 2 out in the 10th. But there would be another hero today. In extras, Joaquin walked the leadoff man in both the 10th and 11th. It was only the 3rd time in 68 games as a Tiger that he's issued multiple walks. He survived the indiscretion in the 10th but not the in the 11th. In his longest outing as a Tiger, Benoit would get charged with two runs and what could have been the first Tiger loss of the year. But the storybook season continued as Cabrera and Fielder singled in the 11th and Alex launched the 2-out walkoff big fly after barely fouling off a tough 2-2 curveball. At 0.895, it was easily the biggest WPA hit of Avila's career. Below picked up his second win in 2 days.
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