Doug Fister and John Lackey hooked up with a zero exchange a through six innings at Fenway Park, with the Tigers finally breaking the string with two runs in the seventh on their way to a 3-0 victory.
For Lackey (7.1IP, 7H, 3R, 1BB, 5K) it was an old story with the usual sad story line – no run support. Runs are about as hard to find for Lackey as the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. Labor Day was no exception. The loss leaves Lackey with a misleading 8-12 record.
Austin Jackson opened the game with a double, but Lackey retired the next three to start out his zero string. The Sox responded with a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino getting plunked. Two on for Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia put a damper on the early threat with a DP, his first of two on the day. David Ortiz then grounded out and the first inning was in the books.
In the fourth the Tigers had Prince Fielder on third via a double and a passed ball only to see Lackey get the next three. It helps to have Fielder at third and not a blazer.
The bottom of the fourth saw Boston get their first hit, a two out single by Daniel Nava. That was quickly wasted as Mike Napoli bagged his 167th strikeout of the season. Napoli has some work to do since he is now trailing Chris Carter by 15 in the all important K race.
In the seventh attrition started to become a factor as the gun showed Lackey’s velocity starting to dip. Victor Martinez led off with a single and light hitting Andy Dirks tripled to center for the Tigers first run. Omar Infante followed with a walk, Lackey’s first of the game, and Don Kelly grounded into a DP to get a run in and clear the bases. 2-0 Detroit heading into the home half of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh Fister was showing his tank was almost empty as Nava doubled and Napoli walked. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, not exactly a bunting machine, failed to move the runners along with a questionable bunt attempt. Ground outs by Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks ended the inning for the Sox and the day for Fister (7IP, 4H, 0R, 4BB, 4K). Fister now stands at 12-7 with the win.
With one gone in the eighth, Jackson and Tori Hunter singled and lackey was pulled. Matt Thorton came in to face Fielder, who responded with a sac fly or sac line shot. 3-0 Tigers.
The Sox were closed out by the occasionally erratic Jose Veras.
Boston was 0-11 with RISP.
Bruce Rondon struck out Ortiz with a 102MPH heater.
Jose Iglesias had a double in his first AB.
Boston was shutout for the 11th time. NL wins leader Atlanta has been shutdown 13 times.
The last sacrifice Saltalamacchia had was in 2009.
Nava had three of the six Boston hits.