The Tigers got plenty of power on Saturday, as Spencer Torkelson, Eric Haase, and Kerry Carpenter all homered in this one, Carpenter twice. As a result, a solid Matt Manning outing held up to even the series at a game apiece with a 6-2 victory.
Matt Manning needed a better outing this time around, and while he got it, it still wasn’t a very convincing performance. However, his fastball location was better this time around and he was able to keep the Red Sox in check and earn the victory in this one.
Kerry Carpenter provided an early lead to work with by blasting an oppo shot to lead off the second inning. Spencer Torkelson stayed inside a Bello sinker and lined a single to right, but Zach McKinstry grounded into a double play and Andy Ibáñez struck out to end the inning.
"Is Kerry Carpenter the real deal?"— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 12, 2023
Literally the next pitch: pic.twitter.com/xbg06aotd3
Manning issued walks to Rafael Devers and Pablo Reyes in the bottom half, but got a couple of fly balls to escape with no runs across.
The third began with a lined single to center from Nick Maton. Eric Haase, catching Manning in this one, struck out, but Akil Baddoo lined a single to right to set up Riley Greene. The Tigers’ center fielder came through, pulling a ground ball past the second baseman to score Maton. Matt Vierling grounded into a double play to end the inning, but it was 2-0 Tigers.
Manning’s breaking balls were still just about useless, but he racked up three quick outs anyway, spotting fastballs in on Luis Urias and Alex Verdugo for pop ups before Masataka Yoshida lined out to Ibáñez at second.
The Tigers got another inside-out lined single from Torkelson with one out in the fourth, but that went nowhere as McKinstry flailed his way to a strikeout and Ibáñez bounced into a force at second.
Manning started dialing up more mid-90’s heat in the fourth, and he needs to do that more consistently. Justin Turner led off with a lined single to left. Devers grounded out, moving Turner to second, and Triston Casas reached for a 2-2 fastball away and flew out to Carpenter in right field. Manning needed one more out to strand Turner at second, but a routine ground ball from Pablo Reyes was just whiffed by Maton as he let the hop play him. Turner raced around to score, but Jarren Duran lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
The error on Maton made it an unearned run against Manning, and a 2-1 Tigers lead, but the complete lack of whiffs and strikeouts was again disturbing for the right-hander.
Eric Haase led off the fifth by lobbing a fly ball just into the first row on top of the Green Monster for his first homer since mid-June. 3-1 Tigers.
Baddoo followed with a single and in a 3-2 count, AJ Hinch put Baddoo in motion, pulling the shortstop to the bag at second base, and Riley Greene spanked a single right through the hole. A thing of beauty. Vierling slapped a high chopper to shortstop and Baddoo scored easily as Vierling had no trouble beating out the double play attempt. That ended the day for Bello, as Alex Cora turned to lefty Brennan Bernardino, who got Kerry Carpenter on a ground ball to end the half inning.
Manning finally recorded a strikeout to open the bottom of the fifth, blowing away Reese McGuire with a high 95 mph fourseamer. He then walked Urias, but Verdugo lined out to Ibáñez and Urias was a dead duck trying to get back to first, ending the inning.
Torkelson, already with two nice lined singled, then turned on a Bernardino sinker right down the middle and blasted it on top of the Monster in left center field for his 18th homer of the year. 5-1 Tigers.
Have a day, Spencer.
McKinstry struck out, and the Red Sox brought in Mauricio Llovera, a right-hander who had no trouble punching out Ibáñez and Maton.
Yoshida lined a single to open the bottom of the sixth, and Manning’s pitch count climbed over 90 pitches with the bullpen warming. Justin Turner flew out to left, and that was the end of the day as Tyler Holton came on to tackle Rafael Devers and Triston Casas.
Can’t complain about Manning’s line: 5.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, K overall. Should have been a scoreless outing. Still, the ongoing mediocrity of Manning’s slider and inability to get whiffs and strikeouts is a problem.
There were reasons not to worry much about that coming into this season, but he’s had no arm issues and is pretty fresh at this point due to the broken toe giving him a long layoff in May and June. Something has to give next year, and it would behoove Manning to figure it out or he’s going to look more like a Jason Foley style reliever who just airs out the heater from the pen. We’ll see. Hard to be more than a fifth starter without a major league amount of whiffs and strikeouts.
As perhaps the longest suffering captain of the Manning bandwagon, I apologize for this wet blanket.
Holton allowed a single to Devers, moving Yoshida to second. However, he bounced back to get Casas on a deep fly ball to straightaway center, and Reyes grounded out to Maton at third to end the inning.
Old friend, and huge missed opportunity, John Schreiber took over in the seventh and carved right through Haase, Baddoo, and Greene to strike out the side.
Beau Brieske took over from Holton in the bottom of the seventh and got Rob Refsnyder, pinch hitting for Duran, to ground out. Reese McGuire drove a double to center field, but Urias grounded out. That left it up to Verdugo to get McGuire home from second. Brieske got ahead with a 99 mph heater than got fouled off, then mixed in three changeups as Verdugo worked the count to 2-2. Another 98 mph heater up and on the inner third got Verdugo to pop out to center field, and we were on to the eighth.
The Tigers got Kyle Barraclough in the eighth for the second straight day. Vierling popped out, but Carpenter stepped to the dish and again went deep. He got a middle-middle fastball and tucked it just inside the left field foul pole. Love that opposite field approach and seeing him tag lefties. Can’t take him out of the lineup.
Torkelson followed with a screaming double to center for his fourth hit of the game. With two solid singles and a homer, Tork was now a triple short of the cycle, though highly unlikely to get it in Fenway.
McKinstry grounded out, and Ibáñez lifted a fly ball to left to end the frame, but it was now a 6-1 lead, and Torkelson and Carpenter were going off. Love to see it.
Brieske keep going in the bottom of the eighth, popping up Yoshida for the first out. Justin Turner turned and launched one over the Monster to make it 6-2 Tigers. Devers worked a 3-2 count and then ripped a single to center field to bring Casas to the plate, and Chris Fetter out to the mound.
Brieske made some good pitches that Casas fouled off to stay alive, and eventually got a changeup that hung up and blooped it to right field. Carpenter didn’t get a good jump on it and should have made the play, but it dropped in, moving Devers to second. That was all for Brieske as Hinch went directly to Jason Foley needing five outs to secure the win.
Foley got Reyes to ground into a force at second, with Devers taking third. Refsnyder was pulled in favor of pinch-hitter Adam Duvall, so there was another conference at the mound. Foley got Duvall to pop out, and we were on to the ninth.
The Tigers went in order, and with only eight pitches thrown, it was Foley’s game to finish. Hinch moved McKinstry to third, pulling Maton, and put Zack Short in at shortstop for the ninth inning. Foley allowed a McGuire lead off single, but Connor Wong grounded into a force at second that could’ve been a double play had Short not had a little trouble getting it out of his glove. No matter, as Foley got Verdugo to ground to Ibáñez, and he turned the double play 4-6-3 to end it.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez will take on RHP Kutter Crawford, who is having a nice debut season, on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. ET. It’s a Peacock broadcast, however.
In Miguel Cabrera retirement gift news, the Red Sox presented him with the number 24 off the most famous scoreboard in the game. Kind of a cool idea. Chris Sale has repeatedly, and kindly, cited the amount of help he gave Cabrera over their lost history together, and was a part of the presentation ceremony.
The Red Sox gave Miguel Cabrera a No. 24 off the Fenway Park scoreboard as a retirement gift pic.twitter.com/Db39nLLexb— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) August 12, 2023
With his two homers today, Kerry Carpenter became the 17th different Tigers player (25th instance overall) to have a multi-homer game at Fenway Park.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) August 12, 2023
Prior to today, the last Tigers player to do so was Jhonny Peralta on July 30, 2010.