After bending for four innings, Shane Greene broke in the fifth. The maligned Detroit Tigers' starter allowed four runs on five hits in the frame, leading to a 11-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers only tallied three hits on the night, and missed a chance to gain ground in the AL wild card race.
The Tigers wasted a great run scoring opportunity in the top of the third inning. James McCann led off the inning with a double to left, but was thrown out at third base on a ground ball to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. It was a costly mistake by McCann, as Rajai Davis' speed caused an errant throw by Eduardo Rodriguez into right field in the next at-bat. Had McCann stayed at second, he would have easily scored on the play. Instead, the Tigers stranded runners at second and third when Ian Kinsler grounded back to the mound.
The Red Sox broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth. With Hanley Ramirez on first and two outs, Greene walked first baseman Mike Napoli. Greene put catcher Blake Swihart in an 0-2 hole, but hung a slider that Swihart lined down the first base line for an RBI double. Nick Castellanos quickly tied the game with a mammoth solo home run to dead center field in the top of the fifth.
Boston wasted no time taking the lead again in the bottom of the fifth. Greene allowed a pair of singles to lead off the inning, then hung an 0-1 pitch to David Ortiz, who hit a three-run homer to right field. The Red Sox added to their lead later in the inning. With runners on first and third, Mike Napoli hit a ground rule double into the right field seats, ending Greene's night. Kyle Ryan prevented further damage, retiring Swihart and Mookie Betts with runners on second and third to end the inning.
The Red Sox added two runs off Ryan in the sixth inning, but by that point they had more than enough insurance. Rodriguez flummoxed the Tigers offense all evening long, allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings. Ortiz capped off the festivities with a three-run homer off Neftali Feliz in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Red Sox 10 unanswered runs to finish the night.
Nick Castellanos: He flubbed a play in shallow right field in the first inning, but continued to swing the bat very well. Castellanos hit a fly ball to deep center field in his first at-bat, then followed up with a monster home run to center in the fifth inning.
BYB writer Jeff Roberts: He didn't contribute to the outcome of this game, but Jeff found a couple of awesome stats used in the next section.
Shane Greene: He held it together for four innings, but it all came apart in the fifth. Greene allowed three runs and four hits in his first seven pitches of the fifth inning, and faced three more batters before Kyle Ryan was finally ready to replace him. Final line: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO.
Tigers offense: Just three hits for the offense, none of which came from their top four hitters. Another baserunning mistake cost them a scoring opportunity in the third, but they went quietly in almost every other inning. Oh, and they grounded into another double play in the seventh for good measure.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- James McCann's double in the third inning stretched his hitting streak to five games. He was batting .400/.429/.575 in 42 July plate appearances coming into tonight's game.
- Jose Iglesias committed his 10th error of the season in the bottom of the second inning. That is tied for the fifth-highest total in the American League among 13 qualified shortstops.
- Nick Castellanos' home run in the fifth inning was his second of the series. He now has six home runs and 21 RBI in his last 28 games.
- Shane Greene has allowed four earned runs in each of his past seven starts, dating back to May 25. This is tied for the seventh-longest streak in Tigers history. The last Tigers pitcher to have seven consecutive starts with four earned runs allowed was Nate Robertson in 2008.
- Greene has failed to record 15 outs (read: five innings) in each of his past six starts, which is tied for the 10th-worst stretch in Tigers history. If he has one more bad start, he will move up to a tie for third. Righthander Kevin Ritz holds the club record with 12 starts of five innings or less from 1989 to 1992.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: