|Final - 4.7.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||2|
|WP: Duane Below (1 - 0)
LP: Josh Beckett (0 - 1)
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The Detroit Tigers punished Boston Red Sox pitching in a 10-0 victory, starting the season 2-0. Duane Below picked up the win in relief. The Tigers' MVP candidate duo, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, each took Red Sox starter Josh Beckett deep, both drilling 2 home runs.
Alex Avila also went yard for the Tigers, taking a Beckett's two-strike pitch deep over the fence in left in the fifth. Avila is rapidly putting the "one year wonder" talk seen in many season previews behind him.
The middle of the Tigers' order was in beast mode against the Red Sox, 3-4-5-6-7 hitters combining for nine hits, seven RBI, eight runs, five home runs, and forcing Beckett to walk the walk of shame in the fifth. Avila, Delmon Young and Andy Dirks all chimed in with multi-hit games.
By tossing 2 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout relief, Below received credit his first major league victory. WXYZ-TV reporter Brad Galli tweeted how the Tigers' pitchers commemorated Below's accomplishment:
Tigers pitchers all doused Duane Below with beer in the clubhouse for his first major league win. Below: "That was pretty refreshing."
But it was not all unicorns, rainbows and beer showers at Comerica Park.
Starting pitcher Doug Fister was very effective through 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits whille striking out three. But he was forced to leave the game in the foruth due to injury. It appeared Fister grabbed his left side on his first pitch to Ryan Sweeney. After running the count to 2-0, trainer Kevin Rand and Jim Leyland rushed out to the mound, and quickly ended Fister's afternoon.
We learned after the game that Fister has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, with RHP Brayan Villarreal being recalled from Toledo. (Kurt has a story here.)
Injuries are a part of baseball, all teams have to overcome them. But if a pitcher is to go down to injury, April isn't the worst time for it to happen. There are more days off scheduled than usual, and the Tigers don't even need a 5th starter until April 12. Let's just call Fister's DL stint a speed bump.
I'm sure Fister would agree, the Tigers starting the season 2-0, especially against the Red Sox, works as a salve for any injury.
3 Roars For Game 2:
Below, who was supposed to start the season with the Mud Hens, stepped up in a big way after Fister's injury.
Austin Jackson reached base 3 times. As goes Jackson, so goes the Tigers' offense.
Cabrera shook off his opening day misadventures at 3rd base, robbing Jarrod Saltalamacchia of a single with a diving stab in the 5th. Cabrera easily handled everything the Red Sox sent his way.
3 hisses for game 2:
Without question, Doug Fister's injury. HISSSSSSS
After going deep twice, Red Sox reliever Matt Albers plunked Fielder in the ankle with a high 90's fastball in the 7th. Fielder was OK, but Tigers fans had their heart in their throats for a few seconds.
Brennan Boesch was 0-5 on the afternoon.
Tomorrow the Tigers go for a sweep of the Red Sox, as Max Scherzer takes the mound against Clay Buchholz. Even though it will only be game 3, what are the odds we'll see one of Lelyand's infamous Sunday lineups?