Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 5, Tigers 3
June, 8, 2014
By Paul Harris, Special to ESPNBoston.com
DETROIT -- David Ortiz's three-run homer in the top of the ninth turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead and the Red Sox held on for the win at Comerica Park on Sunday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.
Ortiz drove a 1-1 pitch from familiar foe Joba Chamberlain deep into the right-field stands with one out in the ninth.
The win averts a sweep in the three-game series and a sweep in the season series against the Tigers, who won the first five meetings.
A bulldog as usual: John Lackey (7-4) pitched eight innings to earn the win. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits. He walked one and struck out five. Lackey threw 112 pitches, 74 for strikes. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 12th save. Chamberlain (1-3) took the loss.
Napoli's back: Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, who returned on Sunday after being on the disabled list since late May due to a sprained finger on his left hand, made an immediate impact. His line-drive homer into the right-field seats leading off the sixth inning tied the game 2-2. It was Napoli's sixth homer of the season, and the first home run off Sanchez since Napoli hit one against him at Comerica Park in last season's American League Championship Series. Napoli was 2-for-3 after walking on a 3-2 pitch in his first at-bat back and even stole his first base of the season.
Suarez comes through again: Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez, who recently was called up from Triple-A Toledo, put the Tigers ahead 3-2 with a seventh-inning single after tying the game at 1-1 with an RBI single in the third. He homered on Saturday night for his first major league hit.
This left-field stuff is easy: Brock Holt, who was playing the first game of his professional career in the outfield, made an outstanding running, twisting catch in left of Ian Kinsler's long drive to end the third inning. Holt made the catch on the warning track near the fence while running toward the fence and the left-field line. Holt also was 4-for-5 at the plate.
Cabrera leaves game: After a two-out single in the sixth inning, Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera was removed from the game with left hamstring tightness and replaced with Don Kelly. Cabrera appeared to be laboring while legging out a double and then scoring from second on Victor Martinez's single in the fourth. Cabrera is day-to-day.
Wasted opportunities: The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the third against Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, but got only one run out of it. That came on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly that gave Boston a 1-0 lead. Ortiz ended the inning by striking out on a 3-2 pitch. The Sox missed out on another opportunity in the fourth with runners on first and third with one out. Sanchez struck out Stephen Drew and Jackie Bradley Jr. to get out of it.
Boston had a chance to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh after Holt's one-out triple. But with the infield pulled in, third baseman Nick Castellanos made a diving stop on Xander Bogaerts' grounder and threw him out at first. Ortiz then flied deep to center against lefty reliever Phil Coke, who was brought in to face Ortiz (now 2-for-19 against Coke). Coke struck out Bradley to end the eighth with runners on first and second.
High pitch count: Despite getting only two runs and six hits in six innings off Sanchez, the Red Sox made him throw 112 pitches. He walked two and struck out seven.