Andrew Bailey blew his third save in his last five attempts, allowing a 2-run, walk off home run to Jhonny Peralta in the ninth inning as the Detroit Tigers stunned the Red Sox 4-3 at Comerica Park in the opener of an interesting four game weekend series between the leaders of the AL East and AL Central.
Bailey entered for the save and promptly walked Victor Martinez to lead off the ninth. Next up was Peralta who hit a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left to win it. This was the fourth straight appearance where Bailey allowed the lead off man to reach.
Ortiz’ solo shot to lead off the top of the fourth inning put the Sox up 1-0. The Tigers tried to answer in the bottom of the inning as Miguel Cabrera doubled with one out but Lackey left him stranded at third.
Hunter came through to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth as he blooped a two-run single to right in front of Shane Victorino with the bases loaded. Lackey then struck out Cabrera with two on to limit the damage and end the inning.
It stayed tied until Ortiz struck again in the eighth as he drove in Victorino, who had walked, with an RBI single to right off Phil Coke to put Boston ahead 3-2. But that was all the Sox got as Drew Smyly entered and retired the side in order after the first three reached. That would prove to be crucial as the Sox could have gotten more insurance to pad their lead and perhaps taken Bailey out of the equation.
The silver lining for the Red Sox in this one was Lackey, who is now starting to give the Red Sox some length as he builds up innings. This will be key for them later in the season. He certainly deserved better in this game.