The Red Sox rolled into Detroit this week licking their wounds. They were fresh off a series sweep, having been bested by division rivals the Tampa Bay Rays, who not only swept the series, but also reclaimed first place in the AL East from the Sox. Not a great weekend for Boston.
So certainly, they were looking forward to a series against the Tigers, assuming that a third-place AL Central club still under the .500 mark might be easy fodder for some much-needed wins. As it turned out, the Tigers had no real interest in bean an easy win for anyone.
The first inning kicked off with Wily Peralta on the mound, and there were some defensive gaffes on the part of the Tigers that didn’t help their pitcher out much. Bogaerts reached on a throwing error by Candelario, then a J.D. Martinez single scored Bogaerts to give the Red Sox the early lead. Not that anyone wants to remember better days right now, but tonight also happened to be the FIVE YEAR anniversary of the iconic J.D. Martinez pinch-hit home run off of Chris Sale. Brb crying. The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, unable to chip back at the one-run lead.
Not wanting to miss the opportunity, the Red Sox got a leadoff home run thanks to Renfroe, putting the Sox up 2-0. Peralta also gave up a single to Cordero, but no additional runs scored. Leadoff home runs were, it seems, the flavor of the game, because Miguel Cabrera got one of his own at the bottom of the second, number 498 on his hunt for 500.
Bogaerts, having a hot night, got a single in the top of the third, followed by a Martinez single, but Verdugo hit into a double play to end the inning and the threat.
Derek Hill got a single in the bottom of the inning, but the Tigers needed at least one TTBDNS for the night.
In the top of the fourth Peralta gave up only a single single to Vazquez, but the Red Sox couldn’t turn a runner into a run. In the bottom of the inning the Tigers were like “hey, you know what’s fun? Not losing.” Grossman singled to lead things off, then Cabrera singled, and Candelario walked, loading the bases with no one out. Harold Castro fouled out, but it was enough to score Grossman, tying the game at 2-2.
Two back-to-back two-out walks to Bogaerts and Martinez were enough to end the game for Peralta, who finished with a line of 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR on 96 pitches (aka: not bad for Peralta!). Funkhouser came out to tidily wrap up the inning. Derek Hill walked to start the bottom of the inning, then Akil Baddoo hit a deep double, allowing Hill to score from first. Grossman drew a walk in the inning, but a double play shut down any more scoring opportunities. Still, the Tigers now had a 3-2 lead.
A Vazquez single in the top of the sixth was the only baserunner allowed by Joe Jimenez in the inning. but the Tigers were likewise only able to eke out a Haase single in the bottom of the inning, and no runs scored.
Michael Fulmer had himself a solid top of the seventh, giving up a leadoff single to Duran, who was also able to successfully steal second, but no Red Sox scored, and the single was the only mark against Fulmer on a very strong outing. In the bottom of the inning Schoop got himself a nicely placed double. Grossman singled to score Schoop. Miggy struck out to end the inning (and pushing number 500 out to another night), but the Tigers ended the inning up 4-2.
Jose Cisnero was on for the Tigers in the top of the eighth and made quick work of the Red Sox, and then the Red Sox returned the favor by shutting the Tigers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning.
Gregory Soto would be the go-to for the ninth, hoping to give the Tigers a win and hand the Red Sox another loss in their current skid. Soto allowed a two-out single to Duran, and then Soto shut it all down. Tigers win.
Final: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2