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Depleted bullpen hands game to Boston: Red Sox 5, Tigers 4

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Final - 7.31.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 8 0
Boston Red Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 5 15 0
WP: Hideki Okajima (4 - 3)
LP: Phil Coke (6 - 2)

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It was going so well. Already the winners of the first game of the series, the Tigers had a 4-0 lead after a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera and a pair of RBI hits by Ramon Santiago. Max Scherzer was cruising. Not exactly pitching a thing of beauty, but a shutout none-the-less.

And then the depleted bullpen showed up. Robbie Weinhardt and Jose Valverde were unavailable. Brad Thomas, Ryan Perry and Phil Coke were ungood.

After Coke allowed the tying runner to get to second base with one out in the ninth, manager Jim Leyland decided to put the game-winning run (Kevin Youkalis) on first base, hoping for a double play, or at least the force out.

The Red Sox made him pay for that decision when the free runners turned into the game-winning run.

Whoops.

I'm not one to hang losses on the manager -- the players he has been given didn't get their jobs done, either -- but I'm pretty comfortable doing so this game. Two days of questionable decisions added up to one game given away when the Tigers really have no games left to hand over if they are to actually be in the division-title hunt.

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