Red Sox - 000 000 002 - 2 5 0 Tigers - 000 000 111 - 3 10 1Closer candidates Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon could not hold off the Tigers after the Red Sox had rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth.
Verlander (8-2-0-1-7, 105) was in complete control, but Jose Valverde was called upon for the ninth. Pedroia whacked a high fastball to right-center for a double and took third on Gonzalez's opposite field single. Ortiz's sac fly to center scored FY and Sweeney's triple to the right field corner scored pinch-runner Darnell McDonald. Those runs got Lester (7-6-1-3-4, 107), who was helped out by three double plays in the first six innings, off the hook.
Ryan Rathburn began the ninth against Melancon with a deep fly ball to the track in right field. Jhonny Peralta dumped a single into right (his third hit of the afternoon) and Alex Avila (who drove in the Tigers' first run with a double) flicked a single to left. Aceves came in and hit Ramon Santiago in the (left) back foot - he barely checked his swing on the pitch - to load the bases. Austin Jackson slapped a hard single down the left field line, past Nick Punto's dive at third, and the game was lost.
Melancon's pitches in the inning were up, but he said the hook "felt a little quick. But that's not my job. My job is to get outs and I didn't do that. I'm not going to think any more about that."
Jon Lester / Justin Verlander
Boston Red Sox Detroit Tigers Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Austin Jackson, CF Dustin Pedroia, 2B Brennan Boesch, RF Adrian Gonzalez, 1B Miguel Cabrera, 3B David Ortiz, DH Prince Fielder, 1B Kevin Youkilis, 3B Delmon Young, LF Ryan Sweeney, RF Ryan Raburn, DH Cody Ross, LF Jhonny Peralta, SS Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Alex Avila, C Mike Aviles, SS Ramon Santiago, 2B
W L GB Red Sox 0 0 -- Rays 0 0 -- Blue Jays 0 0 -- Orioles 0 0 -- Yankees 0 0 --WEEI's Full Count game preview is here.
Tim Britton (ProJo)'s Opening Day Dictionary is well worth reading. I appreciate his simple, logical explanation of some detailed stats.
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And now (at long last!) the snow is gone, the sun is out, and it's time to ...