Tuesday night proved to be a shootout between the Tigers and Red Sox, which the Tigers outlasted, 9-8.
The Tigers (53-48) scored two in the first and second innings, but the Red Sox (55-43) answered right back with three in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth, to take a 5-4 lead. The Tigers responded with four in the fifth to retake the lead. The Sox scored three in the sixth, but the Tigers got one back in the seventh to go ahead for the final time.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox had a possible rally going. David Ortiz grounded into the game-ending 4-6-3 double play, securing the win for the Tigers.
Mike Pelfrey started for the Tigers, going five innings and allowing five runs on six hits while striking out one and walking two, but getting a no decision. Alex Wilson (1-0) earned the win, despite allowing two inherited runners to score. Francisco Rodriguez (29) threw a scoreless ninth for the save.
American League All-Star Steven Wright started for the Red Sox, and got rocked. He went 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking three. Robbie Ross (1-2) took the loss, going two innings and allowing a run on two hits.
Former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 3-for-4, while Jose Iglesias and Mike Aviles — also former Red Sox players — had two hits for the Tigers.
David Ortiz (3-run) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (solo) hit home runs for the Red Sox.
The two teams wrap up their three-game set tomorrow at 1:10. Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.41 ERA) will pitch for the Tigers while Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4, 6.70 ERA) will go for the Red Sox.
Top 9th: No extra runs for K-Rod
Left-hander Tommy Layne took the mound for the Red Sox in the top of the ninth, giving up a double off the Green Monster to Justin Upton. Upton was then thrown out trying to reach third base on a missed bunt by Mike Aviles -- who grounded out on the next pitch, for the second out. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a two-out single -- his third hit of the night. Tyler Collins grounded out to Dustin Pedroia, who made a great snag at second base. Going to the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers lead 9-8. Closer Francisco Rodriguez will face Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth.
Bottom 8th: Greene blanks Sox
Tigers set up man Shane Greene took the mound in the bottom of the eighth, and worked quickly, setting the Red Sox down 1-2-3. He got Sandy Leon and Brock Holt to ground out, before Mookie Betts lined out to second base. Justin Upton, Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will bat for the Tigers, who lead 9-8 after eight.
Top 8th: Tazawa strands walk
The Red Sox sent out right-hander Junichi Tazawa to pitch the eighth inning. He got two quick outs, when Jose Iglesias and Miguel Cabrera grounded out. Victor Martinez then drew a two-out walk. Nick Castellanos stranded Martinez when he flew out to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the eighth, Tigers righty Shane Greene will take the mound with a 9-8 lead.
Bottom 7th: Rondon tosses perfect 7th
Bruce Rondon entered for the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh and pitched a perfect inning, striking out two. The Tigers send Jose Iglesias, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to the plate in the top of the eighth, with a 9-8 lead.
Alex Wilson went 2/3 of an inning, giving up a hit and walking a batter. However, he allowed both of his inherited runners to score.
Top 7th: Tigers load bases, score one
Victor Martinez struck out and Nick Castellanos grounded out to start the seventh inning against Red Sox lefty Robbie Ross -- entering his second full inning of work after getting the last out of the fifth inning. Ross then hit Justin Upton before giving up a single to Mike Aviles, to put two on with two outs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then walked, loading the bases. Tyler Collins walked to score Upton, giving the Tigers the lead again. Joe Kelly entered, needing only one pitch to retire Ian Kinsler and hold the Tigers to a run. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers have a 9-8 lead.
Ross went two innings, allowing a run on two hits, while striking out one and walking two.
Bottom 6th: Sox get to bullpen
The Tigers bullpen got the call for the bottom of the sixth, and left much to be desired. Left-handed reliever Kyle Ryan came out to start the bottom of the sixth for the Tigers, and immediately allowed a solo home run to Jackie Bradley Jr. Ryan responded by striking out Travis Shaw, but then hit Sandy Leon on the right foot. Ian Kinsler then made a throwing error on a Brock Holt fielder’s choice, which allowed Leon to reach third safely. That chased Ryan, who gave way to righty Alex Wilson. Wilson walked Mookie Betts to load the bases with one out before giving up an RBI single to Dustin Pedroia -- cutting the Tigers lead back to one. Xander Bogaerts then grounded into a fielder's choice that was nearly a double play, scoring Holt and tying the game. David Ortiz flew out to Tyler Collins in center field, to stop the bleeding. After six, the game is tied, 8-8.
Pelfrey went five innings, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out two and walking one. Ryan went 1/3 of an inning, allowing three runs on one hit while striking out one.
Top 6th: Tigers go blank
The Tigers did not score on Red Sox reliever Robbie Ross in the sixth inning. Ian Kinsler hit a leadoff single before Jose Iglesias followed with a fielder’s choice, on a good play from Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, flipping to shortstop Xander Bogaerts to get Kinsler at second. Miguel Cabrera grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers lead 8-5.
Bottom 5th: Pelfrey in line for win
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey, in likely his last inning of work, benefitted from some defense in the bottom of the fifth. After Pelfrey walked Xander Bogaerts to start the inning, he got David Ortiz to swing at a 2-0 pitch to ground into a 3-6-3 double play. Hanley Ramirez popped out to Jose Iglesias at shortstop to end the inning. After five, Pelfrey is in line for the win as the Tigers lead 8-5.
Top 5th: Tigers retake lead
Red Sox starter Steven Wright walked Jose Iglesias and Miguel Cabrera to start the fifth. Victor Martinez singled in Iglesias to tie the game. Nick Castellanos singled to load the bases, still with nobody out. Justin Upton smacked a line drive off the glove of Hanley Ramirez at first base, which Ramirez was able to recover and flip to Wright at first to get Upton, but not before Cabrera was able to score, to give the Tigers back the lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed with a 2-run single, adding to the lead and chasing Wright. Lefty Robbie Ross replaced him, getting Tyler Collins to ground out to stop the bleeding. Going to the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers lead 8-5.
Wright went 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking three.
Bottom 4th: Sox take lead
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey got himself into another jam in the bottom of the fourth. He walked Jackie Bradley Jr. and gave up a single to Travis Shaw to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Sandy Leon then sacrificed Bradley Jr. to third, for the first out. Brock Holt grounded into the game-tying fielder's choice. Ian Kinsler attempted to tag Shaw before throwing to first base to get Holt. Mookie Betts then doubled in Shaw, giving the Red Sox the lead. After four, the Red Sox lead 5-4.
Top 4th: Tigers strand Salty single
Mike Aviles flew out to center field to lead off the inning. Switch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled to left - - batting from the right side against the righty Wright for the second straight at-bat. Tyler Collins struck out before Ian Kinsler flew out to center field to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers remain ahead 4-3.
Bottom 3rd: Papi goes yard
The game got a lot closer in the bottom of the third. Brock Holt hit a line drive right to Miguel Cabrera at first to lead off the inning. Mookie Betts then smacked a double to the gap in right center, before Dustin Pedroia moved him to third base on a ground out. Pelfrey then hit Xander Bogaerts on a two-seam fastball that missed inside, putting runners at the corners with two outs. David Ortiz - - who Pelfrey struck out in the first - - smacked a three-run home run over the wall in right field, cutting the Tigers lead to one. After three, the Tigers are up 4-3.
Top 3rd: Tigers go in order
Red Sox starter Steven Wright worked a 1-2-3 top of the third inning. He struck Victor Martinez out to lead off the third inning. Nick Castellanos then flew out to right fielder Mookie Betts before Justin Upton grounded to Wright to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the third, the Tigers are on top, 4-0.
Bottom 2nd: Sox put two on, strand both
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey continues to pitch well early in this game. He struck out David Ortiz on a 96-mph two-seam fastball, freezing the Red Sox’s best hitter to lead off the half inning. Pelfrey then got Hanley Ramirez to ground out to second base before Jackie Bradley Jr. got the first hit of the night for the Red Sox -- a single to right field. Travis Shaw then singled off the glove of a leaping Nick Castellanos at third base, putting two on with two out. Sandy Leon flew out to Justin Upton, to strand the runners at first and second. After two, the Tigers lead 4-0.
Top 2nd: Tigers get two more
The Tigers added to their lead in the top of the second. Mike Aviles led off the inning with a single. He took second on a wild pitch by Red Sox starter Steven Wright, and moved to third on a ground out by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Aviles scored on a single by Tyler Collins -- who stole second on a bad pickoff throw from Wright. Ian Kinsler sacrificed Collins to third when he flew out to right field for the second out. Jose Iglesias then got his second hit -- an RBI single to score Collins and extend the inning. Iglesias is 4-for-6 in the series and 5-for-10 since Sunday. Going to the bottom of the second, the Tigers are on top, 4-0.
Bottom 1st: Pelfrey works quickly
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey benefitted from strong fielding by his infield in the bottom of the first inning. He set the Red Sox down in order on three ground balls. The leadoff hitter, Mookie Betts grounded to Nick Castellanos -- who made a good play at third base to get the speedy right fielder for the second time in as many nights to lead off the game. Dustin Pedroia then grounded out to Jose Iglesias at short, who made a routine play to get the second baseman, before Xander Bogaerts hit a grounder to Ian Kinsler who made an off-balance throw to get the shortstop by less than a step for the third out. After one, the Tigers are up 2-0.
Top 1st: Tigers prounce on Wright, Sox
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead over the Red Sox and All-Star right-hander Steven Wright. Ian Kinsler popped out to catcher Sandy Leon -- who was added to the lineup late Tuesday afternoon, in the place of Ryan Hanigan (flu-like symptoms) -- for the first out. Jose Iglesias followed with a single, making him 4-for-9 in the 2-hole since Sunday. The third batter, Miguel Cabrera, hit a two-run home run off of the knuckleballer, putting the Tigers on the board. Two batters later, Nick Castellanos walked, before Justin Upton flew out to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the first, Mike Pelfrey takes the mound with a 2-0 lead.
How to watch: Tigers at Red Sox
The Tigers will try to inch closer to the first-place Indians on Tuesday in the second game of their three-game series in Boston. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.
The Tigers trail Cleveland by 5.5 games heading into Tuesday’s action.
Justin Verlander won his 10th game in the series opener on Monday night, 4-2 over the Red Sox. Verlander has won 10 or more games in 10 seasons to tie Tommy Bridges for fifth-most 10-win seasons in Tigers history.
New Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski says he had a good run during his 14 years with the Tigers, “and that’s the best way to look at it.”
Justin Upton’s stats are gradually improving. “I’ve been seeing better pitches and squaring them up more,” he says.
Cameron Maybin (back) is out again Tuesday. He missed the last game of the series against the White Sox, and did not play yesterday. He is listed as day-to-day. Tyler Collins will start in his place, batting ninth. Jose Iglesias will bat second, where he hit his first home run at Fenway Park last night.
TIGERS BATTING ORDER
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Jose Iglesias, SS
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Victor Martinez, DH
5. Nick Castellanos, 3B
6. Justin Upton, LF
7. Mike Aviles, RF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Tyler Collins, CF
Mike Pelfrey, RHP
RED SOX BATTING ORDER
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
6. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
7. Travis Shaw, 3B
8. Sandy Leon, C
9. Brock Holt, LF
Steven Wright, RHP
TIGERS VS. RED SOX
When: Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.
Where: Fenway Park Boston
Pitching matchup: RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78) vs. RHP Steven Wright (12-5, 2.67)
Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit
National TV: None
Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)
Local radio: 97.1 FM
Satellite radio: SIRI Internet 849