Detroit 5, Boston 6 (box)
The evening began poorly for the Tigers last night at Fenway Park. Edwin Jackson served up a two-run homer to reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia. Jackson and the Tigers trailed 2-0 before the first Red Sox player had made an out. The Sox would go on to load the bases in the first before Jackson wiggled out of the jam. It was going to be one of those games.
Jackson brought a string of 16 straight starts where he had allowed three runs or fewer into the contest last night, but by the second inning, that streak had ended. The Tigers trailed 4-0 after two frames. Jackson would work just four innings for the second time in his past three starts, as his pitch count ballooned to over 100 by the time he recorded the 12th out.
But the Tigers would not go gently into that good night. Showing a moxie they haven’t had on the road in a long time, Detroit battled back to make the score 4-3 before a Jason Bay home run pushed the lead back to two. Bay’s homer was the epitome of a Fenway home run. Tigers’ reliever Fu-Te Ni jammed Bay with a fastball on his hands, and Bay lifted a towering fly ball down the left field line. In every other park in baseball, that ball is caught well in front of the warning track, in Boston, it was Bay’s 22nd bomb of the season.
Again, the Tigers clawed back, this time tying the score at five with a pair of two-out RBI, one each from Placido Polanco and Marcus Thames. But the ‘pen couldn’t hold the game there as Boston re-took the lead on a Nick Green sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, and held on for the win.
- Placido Polanco- three more hits moved his average up to .280. He has been on a tear of late.
- Magglio Ordonez- speaking of a tear. Maggs had three hits, all for extra bases with two doubles and a triple. It’s looking like he’ll be a tiger next year after all, andI’m just fine with that so long as he’s hitting the rest of this year.
- Fu-Te Ni- the only blemish in his two innings was the Bay pop-up that left the yard. Hard to blame him for that.
- Edwin Jackson- not often you will see his name here, but Jackson didn’t have it in this game. He has yet to solve the Sox over the course of his career.
- Zach Miner- for handing the lead back as soon as the Tigers tied it up. Miner has been losing my confidence quickly of late.
- Carlos Guillen- for failing to come through after walks to Miguel Cabrera. Boston will keep pitching around Cabrera if Guillen can’t make them pay.
What’s on tap
Rick Porcello takes the hill looking to continue his run of good performances. He carries a 1.98 ERA over his last two starts. He will be opposed by rookie Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa is making his first major league start, taking the place of recently DFA’d John Smoltz. Porcello took the loss in a 5-1 decision against the Red Sox on June 2, while Tazawa enters the game with an 0-1 record in one big league appearance, a relief outing last Friday at New York. He allowed two runs over 1.2 innings in that game. The Tigers have dropped all four meetings with Boston this year, but the White Sox fell to the Mariners last night, so the lead remains at three games.