Game over: Tigers 13, Red Sox 12 Unreal. Alex Avila belted a two-run homer with two outs to win the game as the Tigers scored three runs off Mark Melancon.
Boesch grounded to second. Cabrera singled to right. Fielder was next and the Red Sox shifted their infield to the right side, moving Punto near second base. Fielder, of course, bounced a ground ball right to where Punto would have been standing at third base.
A wild pitch pushed Cabrera to third. Young flied to center and Cabrera scored. Avila then homered to right, the ball just clearing the fence.
The Red Sox and Yankees are both 0-3 for the first time since 1966.
Middle of the 11th: Red Sox 12, Tigers 10: Gonzalez struck out facing Duane Below, the eighth Detroit pitcher.
Now Mark Melancon will try and nail this game down. Hold on to your hats. Or Easter bonnets.
Top of the 11th: Red Sox 12, Tigers 10: Ross walked and went to third on a single by Aviles. Saltalamacchia pinch hit and whiffed. But scrappy, gritty, gutty Nick Punto blooped in a single. Ellsbury struck out but Pedroia had an RBI single to drive Benoit out of the game.
It’s really quite hilarious that so many people were up and arms over Punto hitting leadoff and he has three hits and three RBIs.
Top of the 11th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 10: Solid work for Franklin Morales, who worked around a one-out single by pinch hitter Danny Werth.
With Boesch, Cabrera, and Fielder coming up for the Tigers in the 11th inning, the Sox would be wise to score a few runs this inning. Like four.
Middle of the 10th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 10: Pedroia walked. Gonzalez and Ortiz popped to center before McDonald struck out.
Morales staying in.
Top of the 10th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 10: There was your miracle. Fielder struck out swinging. Young grounded to third and Avila flied to left. Bonus holiday baseball.
Bottom of the 9th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 10: Well that was brutal. Jackson singled before Boesch grounded a ball up the middle. Pedroia stopped it but couldn’t find the handle to get an out. It went for a single.
Cabrera then launched a first-pitch fastball into the stands in left. It was right down the middle. Three batters, seven pitches, three runs. Aceves has faced five batters in two appearances, Sunday’s a save situation, and has not retired any of them.
Valentine yanked Aceves to bring in Franklin Morales. It’ll be a miracle if the Sox don’t get walked-off at this point.
Middle of the 9th: Red Sox 10, Tigers 7: McDonald singled as did pinch hitter Cody Ross (albeit on a pop-up that should have been caught by Raburn). Aviles bunted the runners over. The Tigers called in righty Octavio Dotel. Shoppach was allowed to hit and, predictably, struck out on a breaking ball. But scrappy, gritty Nick Punto reached on an infield single to drive in a run.
Punto, McDonald, and Shoppach were 3 for 12 with 3 runs scored, a sacrifice fly, two HBPs, a walk and two RBIs. They helped the cause. You have to give that to Valentine.
Aceves coming in for Padilla.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: 1-2-3 inning for Padilla, who has been brilliant in his four innings. This is his longest relief appearance since he went five innings for the Phillies on Sept. 2, 2001.
Padilla so far: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He has thrown 51 pitches.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: Punto doubled and took third when Ellsbury grounded to first. Facing Brayan Villareal, Pedroia grounded to shortstop and Punto got caught in a rundown. Lefty Phil Coke came in and hit Gonzalez.
Given that Gonzalez had homered his last time up, Valentine came out to complain. Umpire Dan Iassogna agreed and warned both teams. Valentine came back out. But there is no warning one team.
Ortiz struck out to end the inning. Padilla is back for more.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: Padilla has shut the Tigers down. He allowed an infield single by Young but that was it.
Fascinating sequence to Fielder as Padilla threw him back-to-back slow curves (53 and 54 m.p.h.) then came back with 93-m.p.h. heat twice in a row. Fielder hit the second fastball to left field and McDonald gathered it in.
Middle of the 7th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: Schlereth retired the Sox in order. Padilla back out for a third inning. Might as well go with him as long as he can go at this point.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: Another nice inning for Padilla, who struck out the side after allowing a leadoff single by Dirks.
Can the bullpen get nine more outs?
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 9, Tigers 7: Ellsbury doubled and tagged up on a fly ball to right by Pedroia. Leyland came and got Balester in favor of Daniel Schlereth. Gonzalez hopped on a sinker that didn’t much sink and crushed it halfway up the stands in right field.
First home run of the season for the Red Sox. Gonzo has not homered in spring training. So much for that.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 7: Padilla throws a 1-2-3 inning. That hasn’t happened since the second inning on Saturday. Sox have Ellsbury, Pedroia and Gonzo coming up.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 7: This Collin Balester fellow has quieted the Red Sox bats. He retired the side in order.
Buchholz is done as Padilla jogs in from the bullpen. Buchholz had gone 42 straight games without allowing more than five earned runs.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 7: The good times lasted one inning for Buchholz. Singles by Raburn, Jackson and Boesch scored a run. Cabrera then bounced into a double play as a run scorer. Fielder then grounded into the shift to end the inning.
Middle of the 4th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5: Ortiz singled (3 for 3 today) but that was it for the Sox.
Top of the 4th: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5: Buchholz walked Avila but otherwise handled the Tigers.
The first three innings took 1:37.
Middle of the 3rd: Red Sox 7, Tigers 5: The Sox were fortunate to have Max Scherzer in their Easter Basket.
Gonzalez singled and scored on a double by Ortiz. Sweeney singled with one out as did Aviles. Shoppach was then hit (again) to load the bases. Punto hit a fly ball to shallow center. Sweeney tagged up and beat the throw from Jackson. A balk then scored Aviles. Ellsbury’s first hit of the season scored Shoppach and Scherzer was finally yanked after 80 pitches.
His career line against the Sox: 16 IP, 30 H, 21 ER.
By the way, Punto, McDonald, and Shoppach have been on base three times, scored two runs and driven in another. Bobby V is some kind of genius.
Top of the 3rd: Tigers 5, Red Sox 2: Buchholz hit Raburn, the No. 9 hitter. Jackson followed with a grounder deep in the shortstop hole. Aviles threw to first — too late to nab the speedy Jackson — and Raburn went to third. The throw from Gonzalez bounced away but there was no advance. Buchholz struck out Boesch before Cabrera lined to center. Ellsbury made a diving catch as Raburn tagged up and scored. Fielder then flied to center.
Buchholz has thrown 48 pitches in two innings. Padilla was warming up.
Middle of the 2nd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 2: The Sox ain’t dead. Ortiz singled through the shift. McDonald then walked (really, Max Scherzer?). Sweeney fouled out but Aviles roped a two-run double to the gap in right center. Sparky Punto popped to short before Ellsbury walked to load the bases. Pedroia then struck out.
Top of the 2nd: Tigers 4, Red Sox 0: Winning that first game is not going to be easy it seems.
Buchholz allowed four runs on four hits and a walk in a 31-pitch nightmare. Jackson started it with a double to left on an 0-and-2 pitch as Buchholz left a changeup where he could get it. Boesh flied to left and an alert Jackson tagged up and beat the throw. Cabrera followed with an RBI single to right, the ball grounded into the hole. Fielder then did the exact same thing. Avila walked to load the bases. Peralta, who has hit Buchholz well in the last, blasted an 0-and-2 changeup to center. Ellsbury raced back and had the ball in his glove but dropped it before he slid into the wall. Three runs scored. Raburn and Dirks flied to left.
The Sox have yet to have a lead this season and have been outscored, 17-2.
Middle of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Sparky Punto lined to short. Ellsbury struck out swinging. Pedroia singled to left and Gonzalez flied to left.
Pregame: Good afternoon from Detroit and another sunny day at Comerica Park. It’ll be Clay Buchholz against Max Scherzer as the Red Sox seek their first win.
If you’re celebrating Easter or Passover, hope you’re enjoying some time with your family.
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