In the first game of their Tuesday double-header against the Boston Red Sox, the Tigers faced their long-time AL Central nemesis: Chris Sale. Though Sale was on his game today, the Tigers battled, and made him work for every out. They ultimately came through late, though, winning the opener by a 7-4 score.
Nicholas Castellanos squared up the ninth pitch of his first at bat to dead center field, but unfortunately it was just a 415-foot out. Dustin Peterson also worked Sale for a ten-pitch groundball single to lead off the second inning. Meanwhile Matthew Boyd got quick outs and weak contact through the first two innings, highlighted by a four-pitch second inning. After two innings, Sale was at forty-four pitches and Boyd was at fourteen.
In the third inning fortunes turned a bit. Sale worked quickly though the Tigers, while the Red Sox got to Boyd for two runs thanks to a two-out single from Mookie Betts. Yet, the Tigers answered right back and got one run in the top of the fourth on a Ronny Rodriguez RBI double, scoring Niko Goodrum. Still trailing by one, the Tigers had pushed Sale up to seventy-six pitches after three and a half innings.
Boyd kept the Red Sox off the board in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a key inning-ending double play, which allowed the Tigers to tie the game in the fifth inning. Greyson Greiner hit a ball over the Green Monster seats and out of the park onto Lansdowne Street, his second home run in as many games, and also his eighth consecutive game with a hit. The Tigers threatened to add on more, and had two in scoring position with two outs but, on his 97th and final pitch, Sale got a called third strike to end the threat. Though the score was tied, the Tigers hitters had to feel like they accomplished a minor victory in knocking out the Boston ace early.
With Sale out of the game, the Tigers pounced on Heath Hembree, with Ronny Rodriguez getting his first home run of the season on a blast over the Green Monster, giving the Tigers a one run lead. The lead would not last long, as Xander Bogaerts tied things up in the bottom of the sixth with a solo blast. In a spectacular turn of events, the Tigers would later jump all over Colten Brewer in the top of the eighth, as Ronny Rodriguez and Josh Harrison would string together two doubles and a single to push across three runs and put the Tigers back on top.
Boyd was lifted for Daniel Stumpf, who combined with Victor Alcantara for a quick eighth inning. All totaled up, Boyd pitched yet another quality start, going seven innings, giving up just three runs on three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. The Tigers added on a run in the top of the ninth and could have had one more but Castellanos and Dave Clark tried to challenge the arm of their former right fielder, J.D. Martinez, and were on the receiving end of a perfect throw to get Nick out at the plate. No longer a save situation, Shane Greene was able to sit down and Drew VerHagen closed out the win with a briefly shaky ninth inning, thanks to another solo shot from Bogaerts.
Stat of the game
With his double in the 5th inning, @MiguelCabrera now has 560 doubles in his career, tying him with Jeff Kent and Eddie Murray for 27th in MLB history.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) April 23, 2019
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
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