Tigers - 220 040 100 - 9 13 1 Red Sox - 003 203 000 - 8 9 0After overcoming deficits of 0-4 and 5-8, the Red Sox dropped yet another frustrating game when reliever Robbie Ross walked Detroit's #9 hitter (who had a pathetic .195 on-base percentage) with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. David Ortiz came to the plate as the potential winning run in the bottom of the ninth, but he grounded into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Steven Wright (4.2-9-8-3-2, 84) allowed a two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera in the first inning and surrendered two more runs in the second. Boston closed the gap in the third. Mookie Betts doubled and Xander Bogaerts was grazed with a pitch. Ortiz then lined a two-out, full-count pitch over the fence in right-center for a three-run homer.
The Red Sox took a 5-4 lead in the fourth. Jackie Bradley walked and Travis Shaw singled. Bradley took third on Sandy Leon's fly to center and scored on Brock Holt grounder. Betts then smoked his second double, this one sailing over the head of Justin Upton in left to bring home Shaw. Betts now has 43 multi-hit games, the most of any player in either league.
After other poor starts from Wright in hot/humid weather, manager John Farrell had assured fans that he would keep a closer eye on Wright and his sweat/perspiration issues and concurrent control problems. So much for that promise. Farrell allowed Wright to face seven batters in the fifth inning (he walked the first two, then allowed two singles) and allow four runs. By the time the eagle-eyed Farrell emerged from the dugout, the Tigers led 8-5.
But the Boston bats got Wright and Farrell (somewhat) off the hook when they tied the game in the sixth. Bradley opened the inning with his 16th home run of the season. With one out, Leon was hit by a pitch and Brock Holt was safe when Ian Kinsler committed an error, trying to flip the ball to second for a force out. After a pitching change, Betts walked to load the bases. Dustin Pedroia singled in one run and Bogaerts beat out a fielder's choice to make it 8-8.
Ross relieved Wright and completed the fifth and allowed a single in the sixth. He recorded the first two outs in the seventh before hitting Upton. Mike Aviles singled and Saltalamacchia walked, loading the bases. Then Ross walked the weak-hitting Tyler Collins to bring in Detroit's ninth run.
The Red Sox went in order in the seventh and eighth innings. Bogaerts singled off Francisco Rodriguez with one out in the ninth, setting the stage for some possible heroics for Big Papi. And while the game did end with Ortiz's at-bat, it was a routine double play.
Betts, RFWright's 2.67 ERA is the best in the American League, though his ERA+ is just behind Cleveland's Danny Salazar. Wright's 1.148 WHIP is eighth in the AL and he has allowed the fifth-fewest hits per nine innings.
On the batting side, David Ortiz is third in average, third in on-base, first in slugging, first in OPS, first in doubles, first in extra-base hits, third in total bases, second in RBI, and fifth in home runs. (I wonder what is the best a player has done in MVP voting in his final season.)