The Red Sox got to the Tigers in the first of a three-game series, taking a 7-2 win over Daniel Norris and the Tigers. Detroit had several rallies where they threatened to cut an early gap that they'd dug, but could not come through with a big hit against Joe Kelly and the Red Sox.
Norris was bad in his second start with the Tigers. He went three and a third innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs. The lefty allowed a massive home run to David Ortiz in the third that put the Tigers down 4-0. If there was a bright side to Norris, it was that he struck out three while not walking anyone. However, his command was still very spotty.
Detroit's entire offense was provided by Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the fourth that briefly put the Tigers back in the game at a 5-2 score, especially when Tyler Collins singled immediately afterwards off of Kelly. However, as they have done frequently this year, the Tigers ran themselves out of key situations; first Collins was picked off, then Alex Avila strayed too far off of second with none out in the fifth and got doubled off during Anthony Gose's lineout.
Buck Farmer was the bullpen's sacrificial lamb after Norris exited early, and he allowed a couple more runs. Ian Krol and Al Alburquerque were quite good in their relief roles, keeping the game 7-2 in the middle innings.
The big story of the game was the dust-up in the dugout between Jose Iglesias and James McCann. This came in the middle of an off day for the young shortstop, who went 0-5 and played fairly uncharacteristic defense. Fortunately, no punches were thrown, but tempers were obviously boiling for a team that has slowly played themselves completely out of the playoff picture in the last month.
The bullpen: Farmer was forced to fall on his sword for the team, but Krol, Alburquerque, and Shane Greene locked the Red Sox down.
Ian Kinsler: The second baseman is completely on fire right now, reaching base another three times and scoring a run.
J.D. Martinez: Martinez the Younger had a two-run homer, a missile of a double into right center, and another hit to continue raking in the five-spot in the lineup.
Daniel Norris: Norris was far less impressive tonight than in his team debut. He showed the same propensity to leave balls up in the zone, and Boston hitters were not fooled. He's clearly still an unpolished pitcher with the talent to make it work, but we'll have to deal with the bad stuff as he sorts it out.
Jose Iglesias: Iglesias had a very bad day, going 0-5 with a pair of strikeouts. He also appeared a step off of several balls hit in the field.
Situational hitting: The Tigers did not score any of their runners from scoring position all night long, despite having multiple chances.
Streaks and Stats
Ian Kinsler has 42 multi-hit games, tied with Prince Fielder for most in the American League- the very same Fielder who was traded for Kinsler.
J.D. Martinez hit his 30th home run of the season in the fourth. The only other Tigers since 2000 to hit 30 homers in a season are Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Prince Fielder, Bobby Higginson, and Curtis Granderson.
Ian Krol now has a 2.45 ERA in the second half, albeit in just over seven innings.
Win Probability Graph