When the Detroit Tigers headed off to Cleveland, they were in first place, winners of 13 of their last 15 games, and on a five game win streak. With the Tigers red hot, you would expect them to continue playing well and take a few series. Did that happen? No.
Rick Porcello was sharp early. Striking out four Red Sox’s batters by the end of the second inning. Porcello’s good work would carry over until the sixth inning. Dustin Pedoria lead off the inning with a single; Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross would follow suit with a pair of singles of their own.
After a big double play, it seemed like Porcello was going to able to work out of the jam with minimal damage. But Will Middlebrooks would put the finishing touches on Porcello’s night with the fourth Boston single of the inning. Phil Coke would relieve Porcello and allow one more run before the sixth inning would end. But the damage was done. It went from a five run lead at the start of the inning, to a two run lead.
The Tigers’ offense was in full swing, hitting three home runs. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder went back-to-back in the fifth inning for the second time this road trip, and for the third time this year.
It was a breath of fresh air seeing the Tigers’ offense finally hit. After hitting .265 during their 7-1 home stand, the Tigers only hit .218 over the road trip and averaged 2.8 runs a game.
Carl Crawford led off the seventh inning with a solo home run, making it a one run game and ended Coke’s terrible night on the mound. The Tigers would answer right back with a solo home run by Delmon Young. Making the lead two once more.
After a perfect inning pitched by Joaquin Benoit, Jose Valverde would set down the Red Sox in order in the bottom of the ninth, securing a Tigers’ win.
The Tigers will open up a seven game home stand on Friday, starting with the Indians. They will be looking for some payback after taking only one game in Cleveland.
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