Terry Francona just notched his 500th career victory with the Red Sox.
The Sox beat the Tigers, 5-1, with Daisuke Matsuzaka winning his first game of the year. If Dice-K wins his next 17 decisions he’ll match last year’s 18-3 record.
There was some drama in the ninth. After three Sox relievers pitched three perfect innings, Jonathan Papelbon came on and surrendered singles to the first three batters, then struck out the side. Tigers left fielder Josh Anderson fouled off seven two-strike pitches (nine fouls in the at-bat) before swinging and missing at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. It took Papelbon 25 pitches to record his first out.
With Takashi Saito warming in the pen, pinch hitter Jeff Larish fanned on a 2-2 pitch. Then Ramon Santiago fanned on a 2-2 pitch. It was a 35-pitch inning for Papelbon.
David Ortiz’s line: 1 for 5, 1 GIDP, three strikeouts. Just painful to watch.
No squirrel sightings after the little fella went into the Red Sox dugout. Everybody is pouring out of Comerica Park now to go watch the end of the Red Wings game. Me too.
David Ortiz just struck out in the seventh inning. This season, he has two RBIs from the seventh inning on. That’s almost impossible, people.
Jacoby Ellsbury walked in the seventh, getting on base for the fourth time in four trips.
Hideki Okajima replaced Manny Delcarmen to start the bottom of the seventh.
Okie got the Tigers, 1-2-3, so it’s on to the eighth. Sox lead, 5-1.