Red Sox - 001 020 000 - 3 8 0 Tigers - 001 000 100 - 2 6 0David Ortiz (3-for-4) cranked a two-run home run to snap a 1-1 tie and the much-maligned bullpen held the line as the Red Sox kept pace with the victorious Blue Jays. Boston remains 0.5 GB Toronto in the East.
Friday's 7:10 game did not start until 8:30 because of a rain delay. There was another rain delay of just over an hour at the end of the fifth inning that brought the curtain down on Drew Pomeranz's night after only 51 pitches (5-4-1-0-3, 51).
Singles by Dustin Pedroia, Xander Boagerts, and Ortiz began the top of the third, loading the bases for Mookie Betts. Betts brought in a run, but it was on a double play grounder. The Tigers tied the game in their half on a home run by James McCann.
Bogaerts doubled to the wall in left-center to start the fifth and Ortiz followed with a high fly to right, his 29th home run of the season. The blast gave Ortiz 1,500 RBI as a Red Sock, a milestone reached by only two other franchise players: Carl Yastrzemski (1,844) and Ted Williams (1,839). Ortiz also tied the major league record for most homers hit in a season by a player after turning 40, joining Ted Williams (1960) and Raul Ibanez (2013).
After the second delay, Heath Hembree breezed through the sixth on only eight pitches. With one out in the seventh, he gave up a home run to J.D. Martinez. Manager John Farrell called on Brad Ziegler, who got a strikeout and a grounder to short.
I thought Ziegler, who had thrown only seven pitches, might start the eighth, but Farrell tapped Matt Barnes, who walked two batters while also recording two outs. Craig Kimbrel was asked to get four outs. He retired Miguel Cabrera on a liner to left to end the eighth, stranding two Tigers. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Justin Upton hit a long fly ball to center that Jackie Bradley could not catch. The ball hit near the top of the wall for a double. Kimbrel then struck out Casey McGehee to end the game.
Pedroia, 2BThe Red Sox can move into first place with a win in Detroit and a Toronto loss in Cleveland. Boston has not been atop the East in about a month (July 22).