Miguel Cabrera's return to the lineup did little to ignite Detroit's offense, and now the Tigers will be without their slugger again.
The Boston Red Sox hope getting Jacoby Ellsbury back at the top of their batting order can provide a spark.The Tigers and Red Sox meet Wednesday night at Fenway Park to conclude a series between baseball's top two offenses that has been dominated by pitchers.After dropping Monday's opener 3-0, Boston (83-57) retook a 1 1/2-game lead over Detroit (81-58) for the AL's best record with a 2-1 victory Tuesday. The teams have combined for 29 hits in 129 at-bats for a .225 average -- a feeble display for these two potent offenses.Tuesday's game, however, had a stellar pitching matchup. Jon Lester outdueled Max Scherzer, denying him a chance to become the second pitcher to open a season with a 20-1 record."We've got two of the top teams in the American League. We've got great pitchers on both sides going at it. This is what's going to happen," Scherzer said.The game featured the return of Cabrera, who missed three contests with abdominal and groin problems, but Cabrera wasn't in the starting lineup for Wednesday's contest. Manager Jim Leyland told reporters "he's a little sore" before the lineup was posted in the locker room.The Red Sox expect Ellsbury to return after he sat out Tuesday because of a sore left thumb. Manager John Farrell had said his leadoff hitter is likely going to have to deal with the soreness for the remainder of the season, and he'll be given occasional days off to rest."Everyday players at this time of the year are going to be dealing with certain things," Farrell told the Red Sox's official website. "His happens to be in his left hand."Ellsbury has played a big part in Boston's success, batting .379 with four stolen bases and eight runs in the last seven games, and the club is 15-3 when he scores a run since the All-Star break.Getting him back for the finale seems like a good plan considering he has routinely frustrated scheduled starter Rick Porcello, going 6 for 7 with a homer and double.Porcello (11-7, 4.44 ERA) allowed two runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings in Friday's 7-2 win over Cleveland. It was the 10th time in 11 starts the right-hander yielded three runs or less.Porcello has been at his best on the road, going 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA in his last five outings away from Detroit.He has struggled in his last two starts against the Red Sox, posting a 10.38 ERA, but has yet to face them in 2013.Boston's turns to Ryan Dempster (7-9, 4.75), which could help both team's offenses come around.Dempster has a 6.45 ERA in his last eight starts, but the Red Sox have won seven of them, backing the right-hander with an average of 6.9 runs of support.Dempster pitched well enough to win on his own against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, permitting three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 4-3 victory. It was his first start following a five-game suspension for hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch on Aug. 18."I'm glad I could just slide in and do a little bit of my part," he saidDempster isn't too familiar with the Tigers, against whom he has not started since 2002 and faced since 2006.Torii Hunter, though, is 6 for 9 lifetime against him, but 4 for 21 (.190) with no walks in his last five games.
David Ortiz became the 39th player in Major League Baseball history with at least 2,000 hits, 400 HR, and 1,400 RBI.
He is only the 3rd active player to reach those numbers, along with Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols.
Prince Fielder's two-run homer against the Red Sox was the 282nd of his big-league career. He is now tied with Ken Boyer, Eric Davis, and Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg for 159th on the all-time list.
Entering tonight, the Tigers led the majors with +167 run differential; Red Sox were at +138. With a 19-4 lead in 8th inning, Boston has currently overtaken the MLB lead.
¿ Daniel Nava hit his 11th home run of the season tonight, after going homerless in his previous 49 games (he hit his 10th on June 18). According to Elias, only one other player in 2013 has had as long a homerless streak after reaching double-digits. Vernon Wells went 64 games between #10 (May 15) and #11 (August 13).
The Detroit Tigers allowed 8 HR in a game for the first time in FRANCHISE HISTORY.
Previous record was 7 against the Indians on July 17, 1966 and vs the Red Sox on July 24, 1999.
The Tigers have allowed 16 runs tonight at Red Sox, the most runs allowed by Detroit since June 29, 2011.
The Tigers haven't allowed 17+ runs since allowing 26 runs vs Royals on Sept. 9, 2004.
The Red Sox scored 20 runs Wednesday, the most runs in any game in the majors this season.
The 20 runs are the Red Sox most in the last 10 seasons and their second-most runs against the Tigers in the live-ball era (since 1920).
David Ortiz connected on his 25th home run of the season tonight against the Tigers. This is Ortiz's ninth 25-home run season as a member of the Red Sox. That's second most in franchise history behind Ted Williams (14).
Ortiz also tied Hall of Famer Billy Williams for 47th on the all-time home run list at 426.