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Monday, September 2, 2013

Tigers Completely Shut Down Red Sox 3-0 In Series Opener

John Lackey (8-12) continues to pitch very well this season but for whatever unexplainable reason, the Red Sox (82-57 overall, 45-25 home) can't ever seem to score many runs for him. This afternoon at Fenway Park, the Tigers (81-57 overall, 37-30 away) blanked Boston 3-0 thanks to seven shutout innings by Doug Fister (12-7) and just enough offense.

The Red Sox had their first two batters reach base in the first, second and seventh inning but they could never push any of them across thanks to some deft work by Fister (4 hits, 4 strikeouts, 4 walks). Lackey (7.1 innings, 3 earned runs, 7 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 walk) matched Fister for a while but Andy Dirks broke the deadlock with an RBI triple in the seventh. Detroit scored a run on a double play but Lackey was able to escape further damage.

The Tigers had the bases loaded but after Matt Thornton relieved Lackey, all he allowed was Prince Fielder's sacrifice fly in the eighth that scored Austin Jackson (2 for 4, double, stolen base). Somehow the Tigers improved to 9-2 this season with no Miguel Cabrera in their lineup.

Daniel Nava's (3 for 3, 2 doubles, walk) excellent season continued but unfortunately, he had half of Boston's hits. Fireballer Bruce Rondon who hit 102 MPH struck out two in the eighth after Phil Coke got the first out then Jose Veras recorded a scoreless ninth inning for his 21st save of the season. That number is misleading since most of those saves came in Houston; now, he's only the closer in Detroit when Joaquin Benoit needs a break.

Expect another low-scoring pitcher's duel (kiss of death) tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) as Jon Lester (12-8) faces Max Scherzer (19-1).

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