Miguel Cabrera's seventh inning solo home run wasn't enough for Detroit. Tigers pitchers gave up just three hits all day, but two of them left the playing field for the Boston Red Sox resulting in a 2-1 defeat in front of a record-crowd of 10,307 at Joker Marchant Stadium.* The biggest takeaway from the entire day is that the Tigers may have been teasing their opening day -- or at least, "regular" -- lineup today.
*Our own Alli was one of them and will hopefully have some photos!
Jacoby Ellsbury homered off Justin Verlander in the fourth inning, the only blemish on what sounds like an otherwise powerful performance. He struck out five and allowed two hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings.
Cabrera got the run back in the seventh with a solo blast off Matt Albers after Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed just two hits and a walk in five innings of work himself. Magglio Ordonez, Victor Martinez and Don Kelly had the Tigers' only other hits for the day.
Until Brad Thomas allowed the game-winning home run in the 10th, Detroit's bullpen had stood up well. Brayan Villarreal, Al Alburquerque and Fu-Te Ni pitched 3 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings. Al-Al walked one. Thomas allowed Boston's extra-innings leadoff batter Darnell McDonald to hit a solo home run in the 10th for the decider.
As for the point in the lede, was this the Tigers' opening day lineup? It's hard to say, but it sure looks like a good candidate. As someone on Twitter pointed out, it's possible Detroit could start the season with left-handed batter Alex Avila on the bench against lefty pitcher CC Sabathia. I'm not so sure they would, though, not in the season opening game anyway. Another point, second base is not yet figured out. This could be a hint that Scott Sizemore will be the opening day second baseman, but I suspect the Tigers will say not to read too much into it. All we know for sure is that Carlos Guillen will remain in Florida to continue his rehab, so it won't be him.
In any case, a good game. Too bad this wasn't the televised one!