Raise your hand if you had “Pitchers’ duel between Matt Manning and Michael Wacha” on your 2022 MLB Bingo card, simply so I may call you a liar.
And yet, that was precisely how the first half of this game seemed to shake out. Wacha’s outing was a little less impressive than Manning’s, but the Red Sox started did manage to hold the Tigers to one run into the fifth inning before giving way to the Sox bullpen. Manning, on the other hand, didn’t give up any hits until the fifth inning.
Let’s break it down inning-by-inning shall we?
Manning started strong sending the top of the Red Sox order down one-two-three, something you’re going to have to get used to me saying in this recap, because he did it a lot. In the bottom of the inning Meadows got a one-out single, then advanced to second on a Báez walk. Candelario drew a walk next to load the bases early, and a Cabrera sac fly brought Meadows home and put the Tigers on the board at the end of the first.
One-two-three went the Sox in the top of the second, though the lineout to Báez to end the inning served as a dazzling reminder of why the Tigers were smart to pick up the shortstop this offseason. Castro singled to start the second for the Tigers, but the next three batters went down in order.
Don’t drink every time I say the Red Sox were set down one-two-three. In the bottom of the third, the Tigers followed suit and went without a single baserunner. The fourth inning was more of the same, with no runners on base for either club.
The Red Sox got their first bite off of Manning in the top of the fifth, and it was off the bat of someone very familiar hitting home runs in Comerica Park: J.D. Martinez. The solo bomb was the first and only run Manning gave up the whole night. The fifth also saw a stellar catch from Austin Meadows.
The bottom of the fifth started off with a walk issued to Tucker Barnhart, and after getting Baddoo out, Wacha’s day was done. The next two Tigers were struck out swinging.
Manning continued through the sixth and once again put the Red Sox down in order. It would be his last inning of work and he ended the night with a final line of 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR on 68 pitches. Just a really nice outing for him. In the bottom of the sixth the only noteworthy move from the Tigers was a double — A DOUBLE — from Miguel Cabrera, but no runs scored.
Alex Lange was on for the Tigers in the seventh and with the exception of a leadoff single to Devers, the Red Sox had no luck. In the bottom of the inning, Barnhart got a single of his own, but again no runs scored.
Michael Fulmer was the new pitcher for the Tigers in the eighth. The previously benched Spencer Torkelson also came in to take over first base. Vázquez singled to lead things off. A fielder’s choice erased Vázquez, but Arauz got to first without the double play ever really being an option. Bradley Jr. grounded out to end the inning without any damage done.
Meadows kicked off the bottom of the eighth with a single. Then a Javy Báez got his first home run at a Tiger for a two-run shot that juuuuust snuck by the foul pole. That was followed up by Miguel Cabrera getting hit 2991 (and his double earlier was his 598th...).
Schoop doubled, sending Cabrera to third with only one out, but no additional runs scored, and Torkelson remains hitless, sadly.
Soto was on for the Tigers in the top of the ninth. Devers got a one-out double, then Bogaerts flied out, leaving J.D. Martinez as the last man standing. Grossman was there to collect a hard hit to right, and the Tigers managed to come away with the win.
Final: Tigers 3, Red Sox 1