DETROIT--Brad Ausmus was looking for the spark that could get the Detroit Tigers going again.
The Boston Red Sox provided just what the Tigers needed following a much needed win Friday night and did not give Jon Lester a single easy inning. Max Scherzer meanwhile, was dominant and needed just 57 pitches to get through four innings, allowing just two hits in that time frame.
But he ran into trouble in the fifth with 26 pitches which resulted in four hits including an RBI single for the Red Sox. Scherzer went through six batters before he struck out Xander Bogaerts swinging to end the inning. The sixth inning Scherzer allowed three singles, one of which scored a run but escaped without further damage and a firm lead.
But a leadoff walk in the seventh and a single by Dustin Pedroia prompted a visit to the mound by Brad Ausmus. Scherzer had pleaded his case and won the decision at the time to remain in the game with David Ortiz up to bat, but Ortiz hit an RBI double to left and ended his day to a standing ovation. Scherzer exited having allowed 11 hits, four runs and one home run but he struck out nine batters in the process.
Lester, however, was pulled after just 4 ⅓ innings when he surrendered five runs on 12 hits and a walk to the Tigers in the first four innings. By the time the sixth inning came around, every Tigers player had at least one hit, two home runs had been recorded and four Tigers players had multiple hits. Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos were both 3-3 on the night, Cabrera with two doubles and an RBI single and Castellanos recording a solo home run and two singles.
Eugenio started in his first MLB game at shortstop and made a couple of solid defensive plays, but the highlight of his evening came at the plate. After working the count full, Suarez hit a bomb to left field to record not only his first MLB career hit, but his first career home run as well. Suarez also drew a leadoff walk in the sixth which allowed him to score on an RBI triple off the bat of Ian Kinsler.
The Red Sox did not record their first 1-2-3 inning against the Tigers until the eight inning when Edward Mujica retired Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter. The only two innings where the Tigers did not record a run were the fifth and eight innings.
Al Alburquerque replaced Scherzer with one out to go and finished the seventh inning on a 3-1 groundout. Joba Chamberlain came out to pitch the eighth and performed well, despite hitting the leadoff batter Daniel Nava. Following a flyout and a 3-6 force to get Nava at second base, Chamberlain struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging to end the inning.
Joe Nathan came out to pitch with an 8-4 lead but allowed back-to-back singles and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third base. A sacrifice fly by Pedroia gave the Red Sox another run. Things became bizarre when Bogaerts stole third base while Castellanos was shifting to shallow right and Nathan ran for third himself. It was close and Ausmus challenged whether Bogaerts was safe but the call was upheld.
Ortiz grounded out to bring the runner home and Nathan then allowed back-to-back singles, one which was nearly caught by Hunter but he ran into the wall in right field and narrowly missed the catch. An ugly ninth inning finally came to an end however on a flyout by Stephen Drew and despite two runs in the ninth, the Tigers won by a score of 8-6.