The Detroit Tigers completed the process of utterly wiping out any progress they made in their three game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend by losing to the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Wednesday to extend their losing streak to three in a row.
It was a disastrous day for the Tigers as they demoted Ryan Raburn finally, but couldn’t find anyone legitimate to replace him with, so the team called another catcher in Omir Santos. Then a few hours later learned Doug Fister was going on the disabled list again and to top it all off found out Andy Dirks’ achilles is bothering him hours after that. To say this team needed a win as a little “pick-me-up” is an understatement. Yet again though, despite leading early and for most of the contest, the Tigers found a way to lose the game.
With young lefty Drew Smyly on the mound, it was clear the Tigers were going to have to get some offense going early if they wanted give him any shot of winning. The team needed offense and that is exactly what they gave him, scoring three runs in the first three innings on RBIs from Delmon Young, Danny Worth and Prince Fielder.
The three run lead looked like it would be impenetrable too, as Smyly was dominant for the first three innings. Even though he was mowing hitters down early, Smyly unraveled in the fourth inning giving up two two-run bombs to David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks. In the blink of an eye, the Tigers’ lead was gone and so was any sense of confidence.
By the time the Red Sox had wrestled the lead away from Detroit, starter Jon Lester had settled in and managed to work 6.2 innings of solid baseball. He gave up 10 hits, but only surrendered four runs and didn’t walk a single Tigers batter. Despite his strong outing though, it was the fourth, game tying run he gave up in the seventh inning that gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope.
After Alex Avila was sent to second base on what was nothing more than a long, loud single and was called out, Gerald Laird managed to get on as the tying run. Two batters later, Miguel Cabrera hit what should have been an easy pop-fly to the tricky part of Fenway Park’s right field, where Adrian Gonzalez had a hard time handling it and dropped it. The error allowed Laird to score and the Tigers to tie the game up.
Too bad the Detroit bullpen again collapsed in the heat of battle and lost another game for the Tigers. Jim Leyland pulled Octavio Dotel after he walked Daniel Nava and gave up a single to Mike Aviles with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The skipper brought in Phil Coke to face the left handed Gonzalez with the hope of getting the final out of the inning. Coke did the exact opposite of getting the final out, giving up a ground-rule double and the lead to Boston.
Detroit would only get on base one more time, a Laird walk in the eighth, and the Sox would add another run on a Kevin Youkillis homer to finish the scoring and seal a 6-4 Red Sox win.
Tigers’ MVP: Cabrera, despite Fenway being a park he struggles in, was on another planet on Wednesday. He went 4-5 from the plate with an RBI and one run scored. He was also a key cog in the machine that built an early lead.
Tigers’ Goat: Phil Coke has one job, get lefties out. Well, he failed at that on Wednesday and it ultimately cost his team the game.