Rapid Reaction: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3
June, 20, 2013
By Chuck Pleiness, Special to ESPNBoston.com
DETROIT -- The Boston Red Sox’s closer role continues to be an issue.
Jhonny Peralta homered on a 1-2 pitch off closer Andrew Bailey to score pinch runner Don Kelly to give the Tigers a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Comerica Park.
Bailey grooved a pitch down the middle and Peralta clubbed it over the left-field fence.
Bailey walked Victor Martinez to start the inning.
It had looked like David Ortiz would be the hero after making the Tigers pay for two walks to start the eighth inning to plate the go-ahead run.
Ortiz, who came in 1-for-15 lifetime against Tigers reliever Phil Coke, snuck a ground ball under the glove of Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder to score Shane Victorino to give the Sox a 3-2 lead.
Victorino and Dustin Pedroia each watched four straight pitches out of the strike zone and after Ortiz witnessed a ninth straight ball from Coke, he clubbed the next pitch for a single.
Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara shut the door on the heart of the Tigers’ batting order -- Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. He induced a ground ball out of Hunter, fanned Cabrera and got a fly out on the warning track in center field by Fielder.
The blown save wasted a strong performance by John Lackey.
In three of Lackey’s seven innings, he faced the minimum three batters, aided by double plays in the second and six innings.
He nearly pitched to just three batters in the seventh after a lead-off base hit by Andy Dirks, but Brayan Pena beat out what would have been an inning-ending double play. But Lackey ended the inning with a strikeout of Austin Jackson.
It wasn’t the Tigers’ power-hitting bats that got to Lackey in the fifth inning, when Detroit tied the game. With two on and two outs, Austin Jackson had a swinging infield single that loaded the bases for Hunter’s bloop single over second base to score two runs.
Boston’s Jose Iglesias led off the fifth with a triple and didn’t take long to come around to score after a base hit to center field by Jacoby Ellsbury.
Ortiz opened the scoring with a bomb, off a pitch at his knees, over the right-field fence off the first pitch he saw in the top of the fourth inning. It was his 15th dinger of the season and team-leading 17th he’s hit out at Comerica Park in his career.
Boston loaded up the bases in the third with two outs. After back-to-back walks to Iglesias and Ellsbury, which was followed by Victorino getting hit by a pitch, Dustin Pedroia flew out to right field to end the threat.
Next up: Friday’s pitching matchup is scheduled to be Boston’s Jon Lester (6-4, 4.37) opposed by Detroit’s Doug Fister (6-4, 3.21).