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Tigers 9, Red Sox 8: Miguel Cabrera, offense salvage slim win despite Mike Pelfrey’s start

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Pelfrey nearly undid the offense’s big night.

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

A Mike Pelfrey start was once again fraught with danger, and the Tigers’ only help came from the offense. Led by Miguel Cabrera’s two-run home run, the Detroit bats refused to give in and knocked their way to a too-close 9-8 win over the Red Sox.

Cabrera’s homer gave Tigers fans a warm and fuzzy feeling in the first inning. The offense tacked on two more in the second, and for a hot minute hope appeared. Of course, then Mike Pelfrey served up a stinker in the third and gave fans everywhere flashback nightmares from 2013. David Ortiz, soon to be retired and at the ripe old age of 40, blasted a three-run home run into the seats and the troubles didn’t stop there.

Pelfrey’s Elmer Fudd-like control only got worse in the fourth when he served up two more runs. Long man Kyle Ryan then kicked the hornet’s nest in the sixth after Pelfrey’s night was done, giving up three runs (two earned) in just one-third of an inning.

The game was ultimately saved by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and all-round offensive team effort, capped by Tyler Collins’ bases-loaded walk for the go-ahead run. Were it not for Pelfrey, the Tigers might've even had a comfortable lead despite a bad night from Ryan. But then, there aren’t really any better options at this point with Jordan Zimmermann and Daniel Norris on the disabled list.

It’s like grabbing that pickle jar of rusty old nails and bolts from your grandfather’s shed and super gluing the Eiffel Tower together out of it. That hodgepodge will sorta hold ... until the dog comes barging in and wacks it across the room with his tail.

ROARS:

Miguel Cabrera: Bombed a two-run homer to right-center and walked.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia/Jose Iglesias: Salty drove in two on three hits and walked once, in addition to dealing with Pelfrey and the ‘pen. Iglesias drove in a run on two hits and combined the two were 5-for-8 on the night against their former team.

Tigers offense: The offensive contribution was well-rounded, and six of the nine players drove in runs. The help had to come from somewhere cause it sure wasn’t coming on the mound. Tyler Collins had just one hit but he had two RBI, the latter being the go-ahead run.

HISSES:

Mike Pelfrey: Five runs on six hits in five innings of work, and one sob-inducing three-run homer given up to Ortiz.

Kyle Ryan: Three runs allowed and he managed just out. Not great, Bob.

STATS AND INFO:
  • Miguel Cabrera’s home run in the first inning was his 20th of the season, and No. 428 for his career. That mark surpasses Mike Piazza for 48th in MLB history.
  • Cabrera now has eight seasons of 20-or-more home runs with the Tigers. That ranks good enough for third-most in team history. Norm Cash had 11 seasons with 20+ homers, and Al Kaline had nine.
  • Of Cabrera’s 14 seasons in the majors, only two have been with less than 20 in a single season — 2015 and 2003. Seven of those 20-or-more seasons he finished with at least 30 home runs and he collected 44 homers in 2012 and 2013.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:

Source: FanGraphs