The Detroit Tigers continued their dominance over the reigning World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, beating them 8-6. Max Scherzer(W, 7-2, 3.38 ERA) was much closer to his Cy Young form and went to work against Boston hitters, striking out 9 and pitching 6.2 innings. Unlike his recent starts, Max was dealing. His pitch count was kept manageable and he was hitting his spots, keeping innings short, especially early in the game.
Scherzer was aided by his infielders in the third inning, particularly rookie Eugenio Suarez in his MLB debut, showing off a cannon arm on a close play on a David Ross ground out in the third. He gave up a home run to Dustin Pedroia in the fourth and got into trouble with a two out double by David Ross in the fifth inning. Ross scored on a single by Jackie Bradley Jr. and the inning was kept going by an infield single by Brock Holt. Scherzer was able to stop the scoring at only one run by striking out Xander Bogaerts.
Max had trouble again in the sixth, allowing three singles that resulted in a run, cutting the Tigers’ lead, and he again got into trouble with two outs in the seventh and gave up a run on a David Ortiz single and was pulled from the game for Al Alburquerque. His final line: 6.2IP, 11H, 4R/ER, 1BB, 9K, Alburquerque had a solid performance and retired the only batter he faced.
Joba Chamberlain pitched the eight, hitting lead off man Daniel Nava with a pitch, but pulling it together and retiring the next three batters without allowing a real scoring opportunity.
Joe Nathan came in to close the game with a four run lead, and gave up back to back singles to Holt and Bogaerts, and then both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Holt scored on a Pedroia sacrifice fly, and Bogaerts advanced to third when Castellanos made the rookie mistake of moving his position into the shift without calling time out. Ortiz ground out to Kinsler, which scored Bogaerts, cutting the lead to 2, and Nathan gave up base hits to both Grady Sizemore and Daniel Nave, bringing the go ahead run to the plate in the form of Stephen Drew. Drew, however was not meant to be the hero and flied out to end the game.
The Tigers offense was off and rolling in the first inning. After Boston starter John Lester(L, 6-7, 3.52 ERA) quickly retired Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera doubled and then scored when Victor Martinez followed with a double of his own and scored on a Torii Hunter single before Nick Castellanos lined out to Pedroia to end the inning.
Tigers’ hitters continued their success against Lester in the second inning. Austin Jackson led off with a single, and Bryan Holaday was able to escape a tag on a bunt and turn it into a base hit. Davis singled to score Austin Jackson and Cabrera walked to load the bases with VMart at the plate, but Victor hit a shallow fly ball to end the inning. Castellanos added another run for the Tigs with a solo shot in the third.
Suarez continued to be impressive in his first start, getting his first major league home run on his first major league hit to extend the Tigers’ lead in the fourth inning.
The bats were out in force again in the sixth inning, with Suarez leading off with a walk and scoring on an Kinsler triple. Cabrera plated Kinsler with a single before Martinez ground into a double play to end the inning.
The Tigers loaded the bases twice in the seventh inning, but were only able to score one run, on a Bryan Holaday sacrifice fly.
The Tigers finish their season series with the Red Sox tomorrow at 8:07pm with John Lackey(6-4. 3.28ERA) facing off against Anibal Sanchez(2-2, 2.15ERA) .