Rapid Reaction: Tigers 8, Red Sox 6
June, 7, 2014
By Paul Harris | Special to ESPNBoston.com
DETROIT -- What was anticipated as a pitcher's duel between Jon Lester and last season's Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer, didn't turn out that way on Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Lester was never a mystery to Tigers batters and Scherzer pitched well enough to win with outstanding run support.
The Red Sox lost their fifth straight overall and their fifth consecutive game to Detroit this season.
Odd steal but comeback falls short: Xander Bogaerts stole third in a bizarre fashion with David Ortiz at bat with one out in the ninth. When third baseman Nick Castellanos ran to the right side of the infield for the shift and left third uncovered, Bogaerts took off from second and beat pitcher Joe Nathan to the bag. Boston had already scored in the inning on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly and Ortiz then drove in Bogaerts with a ground out. That brought the Red Sox to within two. Grady Sizemore and Daniel Nava followed with singles but Stephen Drew ended the game with a flyout.
Lester didn't have it: Lester (6-7) retired the game's first two batters easily. But back-to-back doubles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter's RBI single put the Red Sox behind 2-0 in the first inning. Pedroia made a leaping catch of Nick Castellanos' line drive at second to end the inning. Lester went on to allow single runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings (he gave up solo homers in the third and fourth) and was replaced by Craig Breslow with runners on first and second and one out in the fifth. Breslow got a double-play grounder to end the inning. Lester gave up five runs on 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings with a walk and he didn't strike out a batter. He threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Scherzer good enough: Scherzer (7-2) wasn't great late but he was dominant in the first three innings and had his strikeout pitch working the whole time. After allowing one hit and striking out five in the first, second and third, he allowed single runs in each of the next four innings. He wound up allowing four runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking a batter and striking out nine. He threw 115 pitches, 78 for strikes.
Consistent offense: The Tigers scored in six of the eight innings in which they batted. They failed to cross the plate in the fifth and the eighth.
Pedroia long ball: Pedroia put Boston on the scoreboard with a one-out home run in the fourth. It was his third of the season and made it 4-1.
Major league first: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez got his first major league hit, leading off the fourth inning, and it went over the fence. His first career homer came on Lester's first pitch. That stretched the Tigers' lead to 5-1.
Rookie distinction: Castellanos was 3-for-4, including a solo home run. It was his third consecutive three-hit game. He is the first Detroit rookie to have three hits in three straight games since 1980, according to baseballreference.com.
Bradley Jr. comes through with RISP ... again: Red Sox Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s batting average may be hovering around the Mendoza line, but he's been pretty good with runners in scoring position this season. His two-out RBI single in the fifth, which pulled Boston to within 5-2, gave him a RISP average of .300 (15-for-50). Among Boston regulars who have played the entire season, that mark is second only to catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who is at .333 (16-for-48).
Drew contributes offensively: Drew got his first hit and first RBI in his return to the Red Sox with a two-out run-scoring single in the sixth.