May 18, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox second basemanDustin Pedroia
(15) throws to first base as Detroit Tigers second basemanIan Kinsler
(3) slides during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Tigers (31-25) vs. Boston Red Sox (27-32) — 7:08 PM EDT
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 78 degrees, mostly cloudy
So we’re sort of running out of ways to diagnose what is wrong with the Detroit Tigers and when they might start to turn things around. They were utterly humiliated at home by the surging Toronto Blue Jays and hope their fortunes can change against the struggling Boston Red Sox. The ALCS combatants from a year ago face off once again and the Tigers can only hope they can re-capture the magic that they apparently lost after leaving Fenway Park 17 games ago.
The series will be all night games with the two teams facing off on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball for the second time in three weeks in the series finale.
When We Last Met
The Tigers were on pace to win about 110 games when they left Boston after sweeping the Red Sox at Fenway for the first time since 1984. They were 27-12, held the best record in baseball, and donned tiger-stripped Zubaz suits in triumph. Then their plane broke and all Hell broke loose. In the 17 games since leaving Boston, Detroit is 4-13, including losing five straight games. The Red Sox, meanwhile, haven’t fared much better. The Tigers sent them on their way to a 10-game losing streak. They righted the ship briefly, but were swept by the Cleveland Indians earlier this week.
Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Drew Smyly (2-4, 4.10) heads to the mound looking for his first victory since May 3. In that time he has two no-decisions, two losses, and one relief appearance. Smyly’s move from the bullpen this season has been far from a success story. Both the starting staff and bullpen have been struggling and Smyly’s outings have not helped either’s cause. He has not gone more than five innings since May 13, and hasn’t pitched at least seven innings since his last win on May 3.
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Prized prospect Rubby De La Rosa (1-0, 0.00) returned to the Red Sox rotation for the first time since 2010 when he was brilliant against Tampa Bay last Saturday. He allowed four hits and no runs over seven innings. Bad news for the sputtering Tigers’ offense, the young righty is a strikeout pitcher, fanning eight Rays in the 7-1 Boston victory.
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- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- Alex Avila-C
- Austin Jackson-CF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Eugenio Suarez – day-to-day
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – Out for season
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season
Boston Red Sox