Final: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Cook pitched well for the first four innings, getting grounder after grounder with his sinker, but unraveled in the fifth to the tune of back-to-back homers from Cabrera and Fielder.
The Sox eventually clawed their way back into it with a five-hit, three-run sixth that chased Porcello, and Crawford pulled them within one with a solo homer in the seventh, but Young’s solo shot off the usually reliable Miller in the eighth provided the final margin.
So Boston takes two of three from Detroit, missing out on extending the winning streak with the hapless Twins coming to town tomorrow, and the Tigers avoid the sweep.
Postgame notes to follow. Thanks for reading, folks. Enjoy your night.
Bottom 9th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Ciriaco struck out swinging, Ellsbury narrowly was called out on a grounder to short, and Crawford went down swinging on a 94-mph fastball.
Game over. Tigers win.
Top 9th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Tazawa struck out Santiago swinging, got Jackson to fly out to right and, after a Berry single, worked a 10-pitch at bat against Cabrera and dialed up a fastball to 96 mph to strike him out swinging.
Bottom 8th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: With Benoit on the mound, Salty struck out for the second time tonight, this time getting caught looking at a 95-mph fastball. Middlebrooks popped out to Fielder in foul territory. Kalish grounded out to the mound.
Top 8th: Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Detroit pumped the lead back up to two runs after Young hooked a homer around Pesky’s Pole. Miller then struck Avila out looking and got pulled for Tazawa, who got Peralta on a grounder to end things.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 5: Crawford atones for three subpar at bats earlier tonight with a solo shot in the Sox bullpen. Dotel then came on in relief, and struck out Pedroia, got Gonzalez on a flyout to left, and Ross to sky a popout to second.
Top 7th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 4: Melancon walked Jackson to lead off the inning, and he moved to third on groundouts from Berry and Cabrera. With Fielder due up, Bobby V summoned Andrew Miller for the lefty-on-lefty matchup, and Fielder (2 for 3 with HR and 2B tonight entering the at bat) whiffed on three straight curveballs.
Bottom 6th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 4: Slowly but surely, the Sox clawed their way back for a few runs this inning. Pedroia, Gonzalez, and Ross all strung together consecutive singles. Salty grounded into a run-scoring double play, and Middlebrooks singled home Ross to bring Boston within three, chasing Porcello from the game in the process.
Reliever Phil Coke then walked Kalish, and Ciriaco lined an RBI single to right. Ellsbury then struck out on a slider to strand runners on the corners.
Melancon on for the Sox.
Porcello’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 88 pitches, 55 strikes.
Top 6th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 1: Young led off with a single, but Breslow got Avila swinging on a fastball, Peralta to fly out to right (aided in no small part by Kalish, who flashed some leather on a nice sliding catch), and, after Young moved up on a wild pitch, Santiago to pop out to Gonzalez by the mound.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 1: Kalish singled and moved up on a Ciriaco bunt. Ellsbury then walked on four straight pitches. Crawford then swung at the first pitch, grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Top 5th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 1: Detroit took the lead after Avila and Peralta strung together consecutive singles and got moved over on a Santiago bunt. Jackson then hit a grounder through the hole between short and third for an RBI single. Peralta also scored on a Berry groundout to second.
Jackson moved to third on a wild pitch, and Cabrera demolished a hanging curveball well over the Monster. For some reason, Cook went back to the curve, and Fielder hammered it to deep, deep center, chasing Cook from the game. It’s the fifth time this season Detroit has gone back to back.
Craig Breslow, fresh off the plane at Logan, entered for his first appearance with the Sox since 2006, and got Boesch swinging on three pitches.
Cook’s line: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2 HR, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 86 pitches, 61 strikes.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 1, Tigers 1: Gonzalez reached on a leadoff single, but Porcello got Ross to fly out to right, Salty swinging on a curveball, and Middlebrooks to ground out to third.
Top 4th: Red Sox 1, Tigers 1: Cook plunked Berry to lead off the inning, but kept throwing over to first — five times in all — before finally picking him off. Cabrera sharply lined out to right, and Fielder cranked an opposite-field double off the Monster.
(Another semi-related note: Crawford air-mailed not only the cutoff man but second base as well on Fielder’s double.)
Cook tried to pick off Fielder at second, and wound up drilling him right in the head. After getting checked out by the trainer, Fielder stayed in the game and received a nice applause from the Fenway crowd.
Boesch fouled off a few pitches, and hit an RBI seeing-eye single that tied things up. Young blasted a flyball deep to center that Ellsbury tracked down on a full sprint, crashing into the wall and drawing a standing ovation as he jogged off the field, unharmed.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Ellsbury and Crawford each grounded out, and Pedroia struck out looking on an outside fastball, slamming his bat down afterwards.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Cook gave up a one-out single to Santiago, Detroit’s No. 9 hitter, but promptly got Jackson to ground to Gonzalez for an inning-ending double play. Nine outs so far, eight on the ground.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Middlebrooks struck out for the seventh time in the past four games, Kalish faces major-league pitching for the first time since July 7 and strikes out swinging on a slider in the dirt, and Ciriaco gets mowed down on three pitches. Porcello fans the side.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: The Aaron Cook Groundball Machine keeps on chugging. Boesch grounds to Ciriaco, Young to Middlebrooks, and Avila, defying all that we know to exist in this world, flied out to Crawford in left.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Ellsbury led off with a double that skipped off first base and down the right-field line. Crawford struck out swinging, and Pedroia made solid contact on a changeup that Jackson ran down in center, but Ellsbury tagged and moved to third. Porcello kept barely missing the corners against Gonzalez, walking him on five pitches. Ross then hit an RBI single to right. Salty lined out to second to end the inning.
A semi-related note: Gonzalez has walked in consecutive games for the first time since June 20-21.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Red Sox 0: What a surprise. Four grounders from Aaron Cook. Cabrera’s found the hole between short and third, but Jackson, Berry, and Fielder all went down on groundouts.
Pregame: The bad weather appears to have passed, and we should start on time as Boston goes for the sweep in the series finale against Detroit after last night’s rain-shortened win. Two sinkerballers are on the mound tonight: Aaron Cook (2-4, 4.50 ERA) for the Sox against Tigers righty Rick Porcello (7-6, 4.56 ERA).
Comment away, friends. Enjoy the game.