Last Sunday, in Baltimore, Daniel Norris went 7 1/3 innings, struck out five, and allowed just one run in his debut with the Detroit Tigers.
Friday night, Norris was not as sharp.
From the outset, it was clear that Detroit’s young left-hander was off his game. An early double by Hanley Ramirez put the Tigers down two runs early, and things only got worse as the night went on.
Norris managed to bounce back after his difficult first inning and throw a scoreless frame, but in the top of the third, David Ortiz hit his 22nd home-run of the season, and put Boston up by four. It was the 20th for Ortiz in his career at Comerica, which is the most for any opponent.
Despite the early deficit, and a high pitch count, manager Brad Ausmus allowed Norris to take the mound to start the fourth inning.
It proved to be a costly decision.
The Tigers’ starter continued to struggle and the Red Sox put runners on first and third before Ausmus finally pulled the plug. Detroit’s skipper brought in Buck Farmer, who limited the damage, but could not keep the inherited runner on third from scoring.
Farmer would eventually allow two more runs of his own to score, but the eventual final score was overshadowed when tension in the Detroit dugout boiled over. After a ground-ball skipped by Jose Iglesias in the field, the Tigers’ young catcher James McCann appeared to confront Iglesias over his lack of hustle, which lead to a public shoving match.
However, it was not all bleak for Detroit. J.D. Martinez hit his 30th home-run for the Tigers which represented the only runs for Detroit Friday evening, and a bright future in 2016. The mammoth blast helped Martinez reach 30 home-runs for the first time in his career.
Beyond that, Martinez’s bomb scored Ian Kinsler who has been one of the few bright spots for the team in recent weeks. After the second baseman saw his average dip to .257 earlier in the year, Kinsler has since recovered and is now hitting .298 with six home-runs and 50 RBI.
Kinsler, Martinez, and the rest of the Tigers will look to bounce back against the Red Sox when they face Boston in the second of three games at Comerica. The matchup will pit Alfredo Simon against Wade Miley. Simon, is 10-6 with a 4.55 ERA in his first season with Detroit, and Miley is 8-9 with a matching 4.55 ERA in his first season with Boston. The game will take place at 7:08 and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit as well as 97.1 The Ticket.