End of 9, 10:07 8-2 Ramirez works around a hit batsman and strikes out Marcus Thames to end the game. Red Sox win 8-2. The first-place Tigers didn’t rally all night.
End of 8, 9:58. 8-2: Nothing comes of Bay’s walk, other than his monstrous stat line. Ramon Ramirez will try to close out the third straight win for the Red Sox, who are now officially hot after being declared dead two days ago.
Bottom 8, 9:43. 8-2: The Red Sox look to be surging again with a leadoff double from Nick Green. If they score again, it’ll be their second-highest output since two games before the All-Star break.
Top 8, 9:38. 8-2: Okajima sits down two swinging to end the inning in order. Velocity, it’s contagious!
Bottom 7, 9:31. 8-2: Once again, Name of the Year candidate Fu-Te Ni relieves Dolsi, and has the best inning of the night for the Tigers. The Sox go down in order for the first time tonight and Okajima will relieve Beckett.
Top 7, 9:25. 8-2: Beckett’s second hit allowed is also his second home run allowed. People are going to look at this score and think the Tigers had a chance offensively, and this will be funny.
It’s a Thames bomb. After an Ordonez hit, Beckett flies out of the inning.
Bottom 6, 9:15. 8-1 Jason Bay gets another double. It’s getting boring at this point, Jason. See, look at Mike Lowell and Jason Bay’s combined line for the last two games:
11 for 14, 5 hr, 3 2B, 1 BB, 10 RBI
They have more home runs (five) than starts (three) in their last two games. Really.
Top 6, 9:06. 8-1: More Tigers hitting weak ground balls to Red Sox infielders. More Beckett Cy Young talk in the press box.
End of 5, 9:00. 8-1: The Sox break it wide open with the world’s ugliest two-out rally. Mike Lowell’s infield single over the head of Freddy Dolsi scored Jason Bay from third. This rattled Dolsi beyond belief, apparently, because he then allowed a single to Casey Kotchman and walked Jason Varitek with the bases loaded. A passed ball then scored J.D. Drew and Nick Green scored on Kotchman on a groundball that turned up a throwing error. Wait, can you rattle someone’s karma? Because that’s what happened at the end of the inning.
Repeat: Ugly. Repeat: 8-1, Sox.
Bottom 5, 8:37. 3-1: Zach Miner throws behind Dustin Pedroia. The Tigers don’t really have enough healthy pitching to get involved in a brawl tonight. That had to have slipped. (But by all means! Make the night interesting!)
Meanwhile, it appears Jason Bay just hated July. He uncorks a double off the deep part of the Monster, past the painful thud of Curtis Granderson’s leaping attempt to grab it.
Middle 5, 8:33. 3-1: The next three Tigers go down in order. Beckett’s one high fastball might be his only bad mistake of the night.
Top 5, 8:29. 3-1: Carlos Guillen, the first batter of the fifth, thwacks a home run to the Red Sox bullpen. It’s the Tigers first hit of the game. We can say that now. 3-1, Sox.
8:15 Beckett gets Marcus Thames swinging again. It’s his fifth strikeout of the night. Hey, check a box score. It’ll freak you out!
Top 4, 8:12. 3-0: Beckett walks Clete Thomas. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
Bottom 3, 8:02. 3-0: Bay lifts another Miner fastball over the Monster in left. It scores Pedroia, who reached on a double. Keep anything flammable away from the middle of the order, please. 3-0, Sox.
Top 3, 7:52. 1-0: Beckett finally gets a scare — an Alex Avila jolt to the warning track in right that was caught by Drew — but is otherwise unharmed. He strikes out Adam Everett to end the inning. His stuff looks special tonight. Let’s leave it at that.
Middle 2, 7:48 Jerry Remy gets a standing ovation from the crowd that lasts minutes. He’s visiting Fenway tonight, four months after taking a leave of absence from the NESN broadcast booth to recover from lung cancer and the depression that stemmed from it, “simulating a game” with Orsillo and Eckersley. He delivered one of the most genuine pseudo-press conferences ever. Welcome back and feel better, Jerry.
End of 2, 7:42. 1-0: Miner, otherwise, cruises through the rest of the inning. He just didn’t receive the league-wide memo not to leave a pitch up for Mike Lowell this week.
Bottom 2, 7:37. 1-0: Mike Lowell cranks another home run over the left field wall. That’s his third home run in four at-bats. Let’s italicize that: Third home run in four at-bats. They should trade for someone to take his spot in the lineup every week. 1-0, Sox.
Top 2, 7:33. 0-0: Beckett hasn’t missed on a pitch yet. He piles up two groundouts and a flyout. Just dominant.
Bottom 1, 7:26. 0-0: Miner walks Bay, but has no real trouble otherwise. A couple of flyouts and a groundout end the inning. Miner has three other starts this year and two of them are one-run outings. A five-run start on May 2nd pushed him out of the rotation for Galarraga, but it was his first and only bad start of the year. He’s been the Tigers’ primary long-reliever since.
Top 1, 7:16. 0-0: Josh Beckett welcomes the Tigers to the game by sitting them all down very quickly. Two strikeouts (both swung-on fastballs) and a flyout. His heat has a tail on it tonight.
Zach Miner, who pitched two innings of middle relief Monday and was alerted that he was starting in place of the flu-struck Armando Galarraga about three hours ago, will take the bump for Detroit.