Final: The Red Sox went in order and dropped back to one game above the .500 mark after falling to 26-25 with a 7-3 defeat by the Detroit Tigers Thursday night before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,629.
The Sox left six men on base. Three late runs by the Tigers killed any real chance of a come back.
Josh Beckett took the loss (4-5), while Scherzer (4-4) won his fourth straight decision.
Top of 9th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 3 After retiring Berry and Boesch, Hill ran into trouble.
Miguel Cabrera singled, stole second (his third theft of the season), and then advanced to third on Salty’s second throwing error of the night. Although, the throw probably could have been handled by Aviles.
Fielder then ripped an RBI triple to right that bounced off the glove of a diving Ryan Sweeney – forcing you to wonder if his recent concussion, suffered on a similar type of play, was still in the back of his mind. Fielder then came in to score on Delmon Young’s third hit of the night. Laird grounded out to Youkilis to end the inning.
Despite the four-run lead, Jose Valderde is still on his way to the mound for the Tigers.
Bottom of 8th: Tigers 5, Red Sox 3 Coke stayed in to get Ortiz to fly to left. He was then replaced by Joaquin Benoit, who got Youkilis to strikeout for the third time tonight. Saltalamacchia ended the inning with a pop out to third.
The Sox are 2-20 when trailing after eight this season.
LHP Rich Hill is on his way in to start the ninth for the Sox.
Top of 8th: Tigers 5, Red Sox 3 Franklin Morales took over for Beckett to start the inning and after getting Fielder to ground out to short, control became an issue.
Delmon Young followed up Fielder by hitting one over the monster to give the Tigers a two-run cushion. Morales then walked Peralta and Kelly before Bobby Valentine had seen enough.
In came Matt Albers, who K’d Worth to end the inning.
Beckett’s final line: 7 innings, 10 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 1 BB, 1 K, 102 pitches (67 for strikes). He can’t get the win, but his outing tonight went significantly better than his last time out against the Tigers, where he was tagged for five home runs.
Bottom of 7th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Scherzer walked Punto to begin the inning and was given the hook by Detroit manager Jim Leyland. After a shaky start, Scherzer -- who retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced -- has a chance to pick up his fourth consecutive win for the Tigers.
Scherzer’s final line: 6-plus innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 2 BB, 6 Ks, 117 pitches (76 for strikes).
Phil Coke replaced Scherzer and was greeted by Daniel Nava, who crushed a ball to center that turned into a 400-foot out, as Berry made a nice leaping play just in front of the wall.
Gonzalez (0 for 4) again failed to extend his 10-game hitting streak, flying out to left to end the inning.
Top of 7th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Beckett, who clearly doesn’t have his best stuff tonight, is really battling. He got Worth to ground to short to lead off the inning and then worked around a Berry single (his third of the game) to get Boesch to ground to Gonzalez (unassisted) and Cabrera to fly out.
Beckett has now thrown 102 pitches (67 for strikes).
Bottom of 6th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Make that nine in a row retired by Scherzer.
Saltalamacchia led off the inning by becoming the sixth Red Sox hitter to strikeout today. Sweeney fouled out to third and Aviles flied to right.
Matt Albers and Franklin Morales are warming in the Sox pen. Phil Coke is now throwing for the Tigers.
Top of 6th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Beckett responded with his first 1-2-3 inning since the first.
Laird grounded to second. Peralta went down looking on a cutter to become Beckett’s first strikeout victim of the game (causing some mock cheers throughout Fenway) and Kelly hit a nubber in front of the plate that Salty took care of to retire the side.
Note: The official report on Avila is that he was removed from the game for precautionary reasons. After being examined by the Detroit team doctors we are being told he showed no signs of a concussion.
Bottom of 5th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 Scherzer seems to be settling in. The tall righty has now retired six Sox in a row after a 1-2-3 fifth.
Gonzalez (0 for 3) flied to center. Ortiz -- who was knocked down by a pitch at his knees during the at bat -- grounded to second, and Youk went down swinging.
Scherzer’s thrown 98 pitches, but no one is warming in the Detroit pen at the moment.
Top of 5th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 The Tigers regained the lead with the help of the speedy Quinton Berry.
Detroit’s center fielder led off the inning with a bunt single, stole second (his second theft of the game and fifth of the season) and advanced to third when Saltalamacchia's throw wound up in left field.
Boesch flied to left. Then Cabrera – who had already scorched two balls today – knocked in Berry with an RBI single (his 42nd RBI of the season). Beckett then surrendered his first free pass of the game to Fielder, but got out of the inning when Young grounded into a 6-4-3 Twin killing.
Through five innings Beckett is yet to record a strikeout. He’s been right around 92 mph with his fastball all game.
Bottom of 4th: Tigers 3, Red Sox 3 Small ball didn’t exactly work out for the Sox.
Aviles led off with an infield single. Punto sacrificed him to second. Podsednik (bunting for a hit) sacrificed him to third and Nava flied to right to end the inning.
Scherzer’s line thus far: 4 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 earned, 1 BB, 4 K’s, 85 pitches (57 for strikes).
Top of 4th: Tigers 3, Red Sox 3 The slow-footed Laird led off the inning with a hard hit single off the wall in left. A broken-bat grounder by Peralta advanced Laird to second. Kelly then grounded out to Gonzalez, with the help of Beckett covering. And with two down, Worth flied out to the track in left center.
Beckett’s line thus far: 4 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 runs, no walks, no strikeouts, 54 pitches (37 for strikes).
Bottom of 3d: Tigers 3, Red Sox 3 The Sox had fun with two down in the third.
After Gonzalez (who entered the game on a 10-game hitting streak) lined to left and Ortiz grounded to first, Kevin Youkilis doubled down the left field line and scored on a two-out single by Saltalamacchia.
Note: Detroit catcher Alex Avila had to leave the game after a foul ball struck him in the mask, opening up a cut on his face. He was replaced by Gerald Laird.
Top of 3d: Tigers 3, Red Sox 2 Rough inning for Beckett, who surrendered four hits and three runs.
Both the eight and nine batters reached to lead off the inning with Don Kelly (hitting .042 in his last 10 games) singling and Danny Worth doubling to left. Berry then connected for an RBI single to put the Tigers on the board.
Next up was Boesch, who hit a sacrifice fly to left to tie the game at two. Cabrera followed with a rocket to center that Podsednick was able to track down for the second out. But before Beckett could get out of the inning, Prince Fielder singled weakly up the middle to give the Tigers a one-run lead. Young grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Bottom of 2d: Tigers 0, Red Sox 2 The Sox pushed two runs across in the frame. Saltalamacchia started the inning off with a home run into the Sox bullpen. Sweeney followed up with a single. Scherzer then recovered to get Aviles to fly to center and Nick Punto went down swinging. But before the Tigers right-hander could escape the inning he ran into the newfound power stroke of Podsednick, who doubled to center field, scoring Sweeney all the way from first. Nava K’d to end the inning.
The home run was the 10th of the season for Salty. Red Sox catchers entered tonight's game leading all AL teams with a .545 slugging percentage and tied for the ML-best with 27 extra-base hits.
Top of 2d: Tigers 0, Red Sox 0 Some slick defense by Ryan Sweeney in right got Beckett out of a jam. After Prince Fielder flied to center, Delmon Young singled and after an Alex Avila double the Tigers had runners on second and third with one down.
That’s where Sweeney came in. Jhonny Peralta hit a shallow fly towards the line in right that Sweeney caught on the run. He then fired a strike to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to get Young by a step and complete the inning-ending double-play.
Note: Detroit first base coach Tom Brookens was ejected prior to the start of the inning, apparently for arguing over Brennan Boesch’s ground out to short in the first inning. It’s the second ejection of the season for Brookens.
Bottom of 1st: Tigers 0, Red Sox 0 The Sox put two on against Scherzer but were unable to score. Scott Podsednik struck out to start the game. Daniel Nava then singled to right. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a weak pop to short. David Ortiz then worked a walk, but Scherzer, who entered the game averaging an American League best 12.0 strikeouts per nine innings, got Kevin Youkilis looking on a 3-2 pitch to put an end things.
Top of 1st: Tigers 0, Red Sox 0 Quick and easy first inning for Beckett. Quinton Berry and Brennan Boesch both grounded out to Mike Aviles at short and Miguel Cabrera flied out to Ryan Sweeney in right.
Pregame Welcome to Fenway Park where the Red Sox, now 2-1/2 games out of first place in the American League East, will look to sweep the Detroit Tigers in the final game of this four-game series.
RHP Josh Beckett (4-4, 4.15 ERA) will take the mound in opposition of RHP Max Scherzer (4-3, 5.67).
Please feel free to post your comments here. Enjoy the game.