Live Tigers blog: Fulmer, Cabrera lead Tigers to 4-3 win

Al Willman
The Detroit News

While Tuesday’s game between the Tigers and Red Sox was nothing short of a shootout, Wednesday’s was back-and-forth, with not as much frequent offense, but definitely clutch offense.

The Tigers won, 4-3, securing the three-game sweep in Boston.

Michael Fulmer started for the Tigers (54-48). He went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out three and issuing no walks. Bruce Rondon (4-2) got the final out of the eighth, striking out one. Justin Wilson (1) threw a perfect ninth, earning the save.

Victor Martinez was 4-for-4 for the Tigers — his first four-hit game since May 10 against the Nationals.

Miguel Cabrera and James McCann each hit solo home runs. Cabrera’s gave the Tigers the lead in the top of the ninth.

Eduardo Rodriguez started for the Red Sox (55-44). He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking three. Brad Ziegler (0-1), who allowed the home run to Cabrera in the ninth, took the loss.

Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts had home runs for the Red Sox.

In the bottom of the third, Tyler Collins made a stellar play in center field, saving a run. With one out, Mookie Betts flew out to center field. Collins made the catch and threw home, getting Sandy Leon, who was tagging from third.

The Tigers are off tomorrow. They return home Friday for the start of a three-game weekend series against the Astros. Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63 ERA) will go for the Tigers at 7:10 on Friday, while the Astros counter with Collin McHugh (7-6, 4.18 ERA).

Top 9th: Miggy goes opposite field

With two outs, Miguel Cabrera went opposite field for his 21st home run of the year, giving the Tigers back the lead on Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler. Victor Martinez then walked, to extend the inning. Nick Castellanos grounded into a force, but going to the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers have a 4-3 lead.

Bottom 8th: Sox tie game

Travis Shaw led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. He took second on a sacrifice, and moved to third on a fielder's choice. With two outs, Mookie Betts tripled in Shaw, tying the game and chasing Tigers ace Michael Fulmer. Bruce Rondon entered, striking out Dustin Pedroia to end the inning. After eight, the Tigers and Red Sox are tied, 3-3.

Fulmer went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out three and issuing no walks.

Top 8th: Tigers go in order

The Tigers went 1-2-3 against Red Sox reliever Clay Buchholz in the top of the eighth. Mike Aviles and James McCann flew out, before Tyler Collins grounded out to catcher Sandy Leon. Going to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers are ahead 3-2.

Bottom 7th: Sox get one back

In the bottom of the seventh, Tigers ace Michael Fulmer gave up a leadoff home run to Xander Bogaerts that went over the Green Monster, cutting the Tigers lead to one. He responded by getting David Ortiz to pop out to Nick Castellanos — in shallow right field — for the first out. Jackie Bradley Jr. lined out to Jose Iglesias at shortstop — on a ball that went off Fulmer’s right shoulder. Aaron Hill grounded out to third to end the inning. After seven, the Tigers lead 3-2.

Top 7th: V-Mart collects 4th hit

After Miguel Cabrera flew out about six inches from the Green Monster to lead off the inning, Victor Martinez (4-for-4) singled off of it. It’s only his third four-hit game of the year — with the last on May 10 against the Nationals. Nick Castellanos, the next batter, struck out for the third time. Justin Upton grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Going to the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers are up 3-1.

Bottom 6th: Tigers middle infield rolls

After Brock Holt led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, the Tigers middle infield went to work. Tigers ace Michael Fulmer got Mookie Betts to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, on his 68th pitch of the afternoon. Fulmer then got Dustin Pedroia to ground to Ian Kinsler at second to end the inning. After six, the Tigers lead the Red Sox, 3-1.

Top 6th: McCann starting to bust slump

Tigers catcher James McCann looked to be breaking out of his slump in the top of the sixth inning, sending the 1-0 pitch from Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez to the seats on top of the Green Monster — his sixth home run of the year — adding to the Tigers lead. After Rodriguez walked Tyler Collins on his 100th pitch, he was lifted for right-hander Matt Barnes — who got Ian Kinsler to fly out to right field. Jose Iglesias grounded out to second to end the inning, but going to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers lead 3-1.

Rodriguez went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out six and walking three.

Bottom 5th: Fulmer dealing

Tigers ace Michael Fulmer continued his strong start in the fifth. With one out, Aaron Hill doubled to the right field corner, putting a runner in scoring position for the Red Sox. Fulmer responded by striking out Travis Shaw, before inducing the inning-ending ground out from Sandy Leon. After five, the Tigers are still on top, 2-1.

Top 5th: Tigers strand two

The Tigers got a little more offense against Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez, but were unable to do anything with it. After Jose Iglesias flew out to lead off the fifth inning, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez followed with back-to-back singles for the Tigers. Martinez, who is now 3-for-3, has not had a three hit day since June 16, when the Tigers beat the Royals 10-4 — the day J.D. Martinez injured his right elbow. The Tigers were unable to capitalize, and going to the bottom of the fifth they lead 2-1.

Bottom 4th: Castellanos amends for error

Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos made an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth, allowing Dustin Pedroia to reach. Castellanos then redeemed himself by starting a 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Xander Bogaerts, the second batter of the inning. Tigers ace then struck out David Ortiz to keep the game 2-1 after four.

Top 4th: Tigers offense sluggish, not slugging

The Tigers continued to work slowly against Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in the fourth inning. Mike Aviles lined out to first baseman Travis Shaw to lead off inning. After James McCann walked with one out, Tyler Collins struck out for the second time. Ian Kinsler popped out to shortstop to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers are ahead 2-1.

Bottom 3rd: Collins shows defense

Sandy Leon hit a ground-rule double to right field to lead off the inning, before moving to third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brock Holt. But, that’s when Tyler Collins came to play. Mookie Betts flew out to Collins, who made a perfect throw home to get Leon, who was tagging. After three, the Tigers are holding on to a 2-1 lead.

Top 3rd: Tigers take lead

Tyler Collins — also struggling at the plate — struck out to lead off the inning. Ian Kinsler followed with a single that dribbled down the third base line before Jose Iglesias doubled off the Green Monster — his fifth hit of the series and sixth in 13 at-bats since Sunday, all in the two-hole. After an intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez hit a two-run single, to put the Tigers ahead. Nick Castellanos and Justin Upton struck out — for the second time each — to end the half inning. Going to the bottom of the third, the Tigers lead 2-1.

Bottom 2nd: Fulmer bounces back

Michael Fulmer bounced back from his rough first inning by setting the Red Sox down in order. He got Jackie Bradley Jr. to ground out to second base to start the bottom of the second. The next batter, Aaron Hill, grounded to third. Travis Shaw then grounded out to second to end the inning. After two, the Red Sox are still ahead, 1-0.

Top 2nd: McCann’s struggles continue

The offense for the Tigers couldn’t get rolling on Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez in the second. Justin Upton struck out looking to lead off the inning. Mike Aviles then singled off the Green Monster before being erased on an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play off the bat of James McCann, who continues to struggle at the plate — batting .194 this season. Going to the bottom of the second, the Red Sox lead the Tigers, 1-0.

Bottom 1st: Sox strike first

Dustin Pedroia crushed a one-out home run to dead center field to put the Red Sox up early. The Red Sox were unable to muster any more offense on Tigers ace Michael Fulmer, who struck out Mookie Betts to lead off the bottom of the first. After one, the Red Sox lead 1-0.

Top 1st: Tigers strand early singles

Ian Kinsler flew out to the warning track in center field to lead off the game. Jose Iglesias then hit a line drive to right fielder Mookie Betts for the second out. Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each singled with two outs to extend the inning for the Tigers. Nick Castellanos struck out to leave the runners stranded. Going to the bottom of the first, the game is scoreless.

How to watch: Tigers at Red Sox

The Tigers go for a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday at 1:35 p.m.

Nine-game winner Michael Fulmer gets the start for the Tigers and he will be opposed by left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

The Tigers are coming off a 9-8 victory over the Red Sox last night.

Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run home run, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Tyler Collins each had a pair of RBIs and the Tigers roughed up knuckleballer Steven Wright.

With the game tied in the sixth, Collins drew a bases-loaded two-out walk, which allowed Justin Upton to score the decisive run.

Detroit and Boston combined for 22 hits as both starting pitchers struggled to string together outs throughout the evening.

“With all the offense from both sides, it’s kind of ironic that a walk is the difference,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, had three hits after choosing to hit right handed against Wright. It was the first time he’s hit from that side of the plate against a right-handed pitcher in his major league career.

“Not since Little League,” he said with a chuckle.

Alex Wilson (1-0) got the victory, and Francisco Rodriguez closed for his 29th save. Detroit won the series opener 4-2 on Monday night.

David Ortiz had a three-run home run, but Boston’s offense didn’t have enough to offset a rare poor outing by Wright, who gave up nine hits and eight runs over 4 2/3 innings. Wright was leading the AL in ERA entering Tuesday.

“It’s tough to keep asking the offense to keep carrying us like that,” Wright said.

Here's Lynn Henning's stories from last night.

Tigers going for Fenway sweep

Rondon's heat reminds Tigers why they kept him

Ripple of success has Tigers' Lowe riding wave of hope

Tigers patchwork OF sees Collins, Aviles start


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. James McCann, C

9. Tyler Collins, CF

Michael Fulmer


1. Mookie Betts, RF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS

4. David Ortiz, DH

5. Jackie Bradley, CF

6. Aaron Hill, 3B

7. Travis Shaw, 1B

8. Sandy Leon, C

9. Brock Holt, LF

Eduardo Rodriquez


When: Wednesday, 1:35 p.m.

Where: Fenway Park Boston

Pitching matchup: RHP Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.41) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4, 6.70)

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