The Detroit Tigers came back with three late runs to beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3... you mean, the Tigers are allowed to score more than one run a game? Imagine that!
For the first six innings it was a surprising pitchers' duel, with Clay Buchholz and Matt Boyd matching (mostly) zeroes. That is, it was was surprising given Buchholz's propensity for exiting games he's started early and behind; the last time he finished the sixth was back on May 20 against the Rockies.
Boyd's outing featured exactly one 1-2-3 inning, as he was flirting with danger for a good percentage of the day. Emblematic of this was the third, where he put the first two on with a single and walk, got the first two outs of the inning, and then loaded the bases with a walk. A harmless flyout to left by Jackie Bradley Jr. ended the inning, but it was still somewhat stressful. His only real mistake was a solo home run by Sandy Leon, a leadoff shot to center in the fourth. Six innings, five hits, four whiffs, two walks, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Buchholz, on the other hand, made the admittedly-shorthanded Tigers lineup look pretty anemic. In six innings he gave up six hits, one run, struck out three, and didn't walk anyone. Again... Clay Buchholz. Against the Tigers. Because baseball.
Alex Wilson came on in the seventh and set the Bostons down in order. But after an infield single and a chip-shot over Cabrera at first to put runners on the corners to start the eighth, Hanley Ramirez shot a line drive back through the box to break the tie. For some reason Justin Wilson was brought in, and a slick but unusual 6-3-4 double play kept Mookie Betts at third, which was great and all. But then J-Wil did himself no favours by airmailing a fastball behind Leon, which went to the screen and allowed Betts to score and put Boston up 3-1.
After Robbie Ross came on in relief in the seventh and quietly got the Tigers go to 1-2-3, Junichi Tazawa stepped in for the eighth and Ian Kinsler promptly greeted him with a sharp single to left. Erick Aybar followed with a double just inside the first-base line, advancing Kinsler to third. Miguel Cabrera singled to drive in Kinsler, pushing up Aybar and chasing Tazawa in favour of Brad Ziegler. Victor Martinez had the fourth straight hit of the inning to drive in Aybar, tying the game, and Ziegler walked J.D. Martinez on a full-count pitch to load 'em up with none out. A groundout and strikeout racked up the first two outs, but Andrew Romine walked with the bases loaded to drive in pinch-runner Justin Upton to put the Tigers up 4-3.
Francisco Rodriguez came in to start the ninth and his recent troubles continued. He walked leadoff batter Travis Shaw, and Andrew Benintendi then grounded into a 4-6 forceout for the first out. David Ortiz came on to pinch hit and smacked the first pitch into center, pushing up Benintendi. Xander Bogaerts got the second out on a weak grounder to first, moving the runners to second and third, but a line drive by Mookie Betts to Kinsler ended the game and broke the losing streak. Never a dull moment with K-Rod on the mound lately.
Matt Boyd: Six innings, dipping into trouble but usually extracting himself from it against a potent lineup. His only real mistake was the home run given up to Leon. Also, who the heck is Sandy Leon?!
Casey McGehee: Hit a sinking liner that was eventually ruled a hit by the umpires, with a little help from New York. Also made a slick defensive play in the fourth.
Miguel Cabrera: Got his 1000th RBI as a Tiger in the eighth inning.
Detroit's lineup for the first seven innings: Sheesh. You'd have thought Detroit was the team that came into town at some ungodly hour of the night.
The Wilsons: The seventh went well for Alex, but the eighth, not so much. Justin came in and allowed the two runners Alex put on to score.
STATS AND REACTIONS:
- Three young pitchers that former Tigers president and GM Dave Dombrowski got on his way out the door -- Boyd, Fulmer and Norris -- are facing Dombrowski's current team in this series. I like coincidences like that.
- Both Aybar and Alex "Don't Call Me Jim" Presley got their first hits as Tigers. The last time two Tigers got their first hits with the team in the same game is... a question I can't answer.
- Miguel Cabrera got his 1000th career RBI in the eighth inning.
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