DETROIT--It was not the best outing of the season for Anibal Sanchez. But despite walking two and giving up his first home run of the season which came at the bat of Mike Napoli, Sanchez kept things contained. He allowed just two runs on six hits in six innings and struck out seven in the process.
Ian Krol replaced Sanchez and allowed a one-out triple in the seventh. He was quickly switched out for Evan Reed who grounded out Xander Bogaerts for the second out but walked Dustin Pedroia. The last time there was a similar situation, Brad Ausmus opted not to use Phil Coke with David Ortiz up to bat and a messy situation followed.
This time, Ausmus brought Coke in with the game tied 2-2 and one on. He proceeded to throw three balls to Ortiz and was booed accordingly. But he brought a roaring crowd of 33,835 to its feet, throwing four consecutive strikes which resulted in a deep fly ball to center field and into the glove of Austin Jackson to firmly retire the threat.
Then Ausmus did what no one thought he would. He kept Coke in the game for the eighth inning who started things off with a leadoff single by Napoli; who then proceeded to steal his one lone base of the season. Dramatics ensued and the next two batters grounded out which advanced Napoli to third.
Coke hit Jonathan Herrera who was pinch hitting for Stephen Drew which put two aboard for Jackie Bradley Junior. But Coke brought the crowd to its feet in support of him for the second time when he worked the count full and got Bradley to strike out swinging which ended another threat; all while not allowing a single run to score.
The Tigers hadn't stolen many bases during their 4-16 slump since leaving Boston, but they made up for some of that by picking up two in the fourth inning. Austin Jackson got his seventh stolen base of the season and Rajai Davis nabbed his 17th which puts him at third in the American League.
Davis also put the Tigers on the board to tie the game with an RBI single in the same inning. Miguel Cabrera came out of the game early in the sixth inning due to left hamstring tightness, but he went 2-3 before doing so; with a leadoff double in the fourth and a leadoff single in the sixth. Victor Martinez did his due diligence and drove in Cabrera in the fourth with an RBI single.
Eugenio Suarez is fitting in nicely with the Tigers. After hitting his first career hit and home run in one swing Saturday night, Suarez hit a single in the third and an RBI single in the seventh to bring the go-ahead run home to the plate for a score of 3-2.
The man the Tigers had come to rely on in tight situations and stressful innings came out to close the ninth. But Chamberlain allowed the ninth inning to get the better of him by allowing a leadoff single and a walk which brought Ortiz to the plate. It did not go well; Ortiz hit a 3-run bomb to deep right field and put the Red Sox in the lead. The Tigers would go 1-2-3 in the ninth and take the loss.