Red Sox starter Jon Lester threw 107 pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the season-opener for both teams today at Comerica Park.
“They were all quality,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Lester’s pitches. “Giving up one run to this lineup is a very impressive situation.”
Lester dueled with Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who shut out the Sox offense and limited them to two hits in eight innings.
“Even when we lose it’s a confidence-booster to go out and go pitch-for-pitch against a great guy,” said Lester.
The Red Sox went down 2-0, but they staged a ninth-inning comeback off of Detroit closer Jose Valverde. Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia started the rally that led to Valverde’s first blown save in two seasons.
“That’s what the Red Sox do,” said Pedroia. “We’re going to fight until the end.”
Said Valentine, “They brought in their ace closer with the two-run lead. We weren’t going to give up … It looked like we were rolling, if we could have scored one more there.”
With closer Andrew Bailey sidelined for 3-4 months, Red Sox fans got a glimpse of their team’s makeshift bullpen in Game 1. Mark Melancon and closer Alfredo Aceves combined to give up the winning run to the home team in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“We were throwing strikes and they were hitting strikes,” said Valentine. “It eluded us a little.”