Jon Lester simply did not have it tonight, the usually reliable Red Sox bullpen was not effective, and the Detroit Tigers took advantage. The Red Sox rallied in the ninth inning, but fell short, 8-6. Lester was not able to put away the Tigers’ big three, of Miguel Cabrera (double), Victor Martinez (double) and Torii Hunter (single), in the first inning, allowing hits to all three after two outs and two strikes on each hitter.
The first inning pushed to the score to 2-0. The next inning Rajai Davis’ groundball single plated another run, which made it 3-0. Rookie Nick Castellanos kept piling on in the third inning with a towering home run to left field for the fourth run.
Dustin Pedroia homered to start the fourth inning to get the team on the board. Rookie Eugenio Suarez made it four straight innings in which Lester gave up a run, with a solo home run to push the lead back to four, 5-1. The Red Sox weren’t ready to lay down yet. In the fifth, a two out double by David Ross, was followed by a run scoring single by Jackie Bradley, Jr. to make the score, 5-2. Holt beat out a slow roller up the middle and suddenly the red hot Xander Bogaerts came up as the tying run. Bogaerts struck out on an off speed pitch, though, ending the threat.
Manager John Farrell came to get Lester in the fifth after the Tigers put runners on first and second but Craig Breslow came on to induce a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The Red Sox further trimmed the lead in the 6th. Pedroia, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley, Jr., andStephen Drew each singled to bring home a run, to make it 5-3. Once again, the Red Sox could not add on, as Ross struck out to end the threat.
The Tigers broke the Red Sox momentum in the 6th. Farrell brought on the usually reliable Junichi Tazawa with a runner on first and one out. The move completely backfired as Ian Kinsler tripled and Cabrera singled him in. Within four pitches, the Tigers restored a four run lead that had taken the Red Sox two innings to reduce to two. The Red Sox trimmed the lead again in the 7th, on a David Ortiz double. Once again the Red Sox gave it back in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of Andrew Miller allowing two singles and two walks in his one inning of work.
The Red Sox made things interesting in the 9th against a struggling Joe Nathan Two singles, a wild pitch and a sac fly made it 8-5. An Ortiz groundout made it, 8-6. Sizemore and Nava singled with two outs. With a chance to tie the game Stephen Drew could manage only a lazy fly to center field to end the game.
The Red Sox showed a lot of fight tonight, scoring six runs on fifteen hits, but they could not get multiple runs until the ninth inning when it was too little, too late. When you have lost fifteen of twenty-two like this team, moral victories don’t mean very much. The Red Sox try again tomorrow night as John Lackey (6-4, 3.28) faces Anibal Sanchez (2-2, 2.15) at 8 p.m
Notes: Daniel Nava may be starting to hit. He singled three times, raising his average to .163, and perhaps earning a higher spot in the batting order. Tazawa entered the game with one out in the sixth inning, the earliest he has entered a game all season. Considering the result, he may not do it again. The Tigers scored in six of their eight at-bats. The Red Sox scored single runs in four straight innings. The Red Sox are 11-5 in games in which they score at least six runs.