Detroit 5, Boston 7 (box)
Let’s start with the game, then we’ll move on to the good stuff. Mike Lowell belted two no-doubt home runs off rookie Chris Lambert. The first, a solo shot in the third, gave the Sox the lead, the second, a two-run bomb, pushed the game ultimately out of reach. The game was delayed for over an hour and twenty minutes due to rain, but all the real action had already occurred.
The Tigers pounced early on Junichi Tazawa, taking a three run lead after one inning. After that, they managed just two hits total in innings two through eight, before a double by Alex Avila and a Curtis Granderson home run in the ninth. In between, the game was all Boston.
Chris Lambert took the loss for Detroit, allowing three home runs in five innings of relief. He was charged with five runs allowed on five hits and four walks. Ryan Perry balked in a run in the seventh, pushing the Red Sox lead to four.
Lambert was working early in this game thanks to Kevin Youkilis. After Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch in the first, his second HBP in this series, Tigers’ starter Rick Porcello followed suit and drilled Youkilis in the ribs, just as had happened in the series opener. This time, Youkilis decided that he had had enough and went charging out to the mound.
Porcello looked more annoyed than anything about Youkilis coming out, and he drifted towards the first base bag as Youkilis flung his helmet at the pitcher. Upon his arrival, Youkilis was greeted by a hip-toss from Porcello and both teams swarmed over the two players. Eventually the teams returned to their respective places. Youkilis and Porcello were both ejected for the fight.
- Porcello- the young man accounted for himself very nicely. He only threw 15 pitches, but appeared to have his good stuff before the ejection. His throwing of Youkilis to the ground may have just replaced “the catch” as my favorite Tiger highlight of the season.
- Granderson- Hit two-run blast off Jonathan Papelbon was his only hit, but he saw 32 pitches in his five at bats.
- Avila- I think it’s safe to say that the kid can hit. Maybe the league just hasn’t figured him out yet, but starting your career with six hits in 11 at bats, including four doubles and a home run is tremendous. Two of those doubles came last night, as he was the only Tiger with a multi-hit game. It was his third such game in the three games he has played.
- Youkilis- Seriously, this is how it works, Kevin. You hit our guy, we hit yours. The pitches that hit Youkilis were not anywhere near his head, he had no reason to go to the mound. Once he decided to go, he threw his helmet at the pitcher, clearly demonstrating the fear coursing through his veins as he made his ill-fated stampede. Again, no reason to go out there, but if you’re gonna go, you had better account better for yourself when you get there. The hip-toss wasn’t Nolan Ryan/Robin Ventura bad, but still, Porcello made him look foolish for charging the mound.
- Lambert- What can be said? His outing was not good. He comes into the game with a three run lead and immediately give it back on a three run bomb by Jason Bay. Two more homers go to Lowell, and the Tigers drop the first two games of the set. Lambert has an ERA of over 14, which is actually lower than when the game began. Lambert was optioned out to Toledo after the game. Freddy Dolsi recalled.
What’s on tap
I assume Youkilis will be suspended for at least five games, and with Boston’s depth, I doubt he appeals. Porcello could get a game as well, but I don’t think he deserves one.
The Tigers will probably sent Armando Galarraga to the mound opposite Josh Beckett for game three. Galarraga has been battling the flu over the past two days, and has been battling ineffectiveness over the past several months. Lambert was a candidate to start this game, but his five inning relief role takes him out of that spot. I’m not certain if that news is good or bad. I hope Jim Leyland decides to send Zach Miner out there instead, I’m tired of watching Galarraga.
The White Sox beat the Mariners in Seattle last night to cut the Tigers’ lead down to two games, the Twins still sit five games back after a home loss to Kansas City.