Thursday, May 31, 2012
Detroit Tigers Avoid Four-Game Sweep By The Red Sox Thanks To Josh Beckett's Dud
It marked the second time (White Sox, April 29) this season that Beckett lost when the Red Sox had a chance at a four-game sweep. Boston might be safely over .500 at last but the fact that their home record (where they usually excel) is still under .500 is a troubling sign of things to come.
Beckett (4-5) went seven innings but he wasn't fooling many hitters as they touched him up for four earned runs on 10 hits with one strikeout and one walk. While I'd like to pile all the blame on the Texas Toughguy, mostly because it's so fun, the truth was that relievers Franklin Morales (1 run) and Rich Hill (2 runs) were also off their games.
Max Scherzer (5-3) won his third straight start, an adequate outing that lasted six innings. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
It should come as no surprise that a makeshift Red Sox lineup (hello Scott Podsednik leading off) without Dustin Pedroia (injured thumb) and Will Middlebrooks (not in the lineup, don't ask me why) struggled to produce much offense. In fact, the Tigers doubled up (14-7) the Red Sox in total hits.
Quintin Berry (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 stolen bases, RBI), Delmon Young (3 hits, 2 RBIs, run), Prince Fielder (2 hits, 2 RBIs, run) and Miguel Cabrera (2 hits, run, RBI) all had multiple hits for Detroit. Only Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2 hits, 2 RBIs), who should get serious All-Star consideration if he keeps this up (.373, 6 HRs, 14 RBIs in his last 16 games), had more than one hit for Boston.
Detroit nearly scored in the second inning but Young was thrown out at home on a nice throw by Ryan Sweeney in right field. Not sure why they sent him since Young isn't fast and he was the last out of the frame. Dumb move.
The Red Sox grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to Salty's (10th of the season) solo homer to right center and Podsednik's RBI double.
Beckett coughed it right up as the Tigers scored three times in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Berry had an RBI single, Brennan Boesch had a sacrifice fly and Fielder plated Berry with an RBI single.
Saltalamacchia tied it at three with an RBI single in the third but Cabrera's RBI single in the fifth put Detroit ahead for good. Young (4th of the season) crushed a meatball from Morales over the Monster in the eighth.
Against Hill in the ninth, Fielder had an RBI triple (no joke) and Young ended his memorable night with an RBI single.
I'm calling it right now, June will be the toughest month of the season for the Red Sox: seven of the nine series are against teams with winning records. Boston begins that arduous task with three games in Toronto this weekend. The Blue Jays (27-24, 1 game ahead of Red Sox, 4th in AL East) took two of three from the Red Sox back on April 9-11 at Rogers Centre.
Clay Buchholz (4-2) faces Henderson Alvarez (3-4) tomorrow night (7:07 p.m., NESN) in the opener. Felix Doubront (5-2) opposes Kyle Drabek (4-5) on Saturday afternoon (1:07 p.m., NESN) and in the finale on Sunday afternoon (1:07 p.m., NESN), Daniel Bard (5-5) is against rookie Drew Hutchison (4-2).