Detroit Tigers Home Opener 2017: Seven Observations From 6-5 Win
Unfortunately, bullpen struggles are nothing new in the Motor City.
After Michael Fulmer and Justin Wilson combined for seven shutout innings, the usually reliable trio of Bruce Rondon, Alex Wilson and Francisco Rodriguez struggled.
In the eighth inning, the trio combined to get three outs while surrendering five runs.
This allowed Boston to get back into the game and potentially steal a win from the Tigers.
However, Detroit’s offense had other ideas.
The Offense Came Through in the Eighth
Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Detroit had the heart of the team’s order coming up.
Nick Castellanos, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were slated to hit against Heath Hembree.
Hembree initially struck out Castellanos and Cabrera before it all started to fall apart for him—and come together for the Tigers.
Martinez drew a walk, and was subbed out for pinch runner Andrew Romine.
Justin Upton also drew a walk before Mikie Mahtook notched his first hit with Detroit.
The outfielder connected on a pinch-hit double to score Romine. Fellow outfielder JaCoby Jones would later give the Tigers the advantage with a bases-loaded walk.
Jones, who has previously struck out at a high rate in the minors, turned in an excellent at-bat to draw a walk to give the Detroit Tigers a 6-5 lead.
K-Rod Hangs on
The veteran closer initially surrendered the lead in the eighth inning, but stuck around for the ninth.
Rodriguez picked up the win as he kept the Red Sox off the board.
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