Game over: Tigers 6, Red Sox 5
David Ortiz created some buzz with a grand slam after striking out three times, his 22nd homer of the season. It was pulled down the rightfield corner on a line off Tiger closer Jose Valverde, who had walked Scutaro, Lowrie and Youkilis with one out. Adrian Beltre stroked a two-out double to the left field corner and after pinch-hitter J.D. Drew was walked intentionally, Valverde went 3-2 on Cameron, who took a called third strike to end the game
It was a tough loss all around. If the Yankees are indeed acquiring first baseman/DH Lance Berkman, had already finalized a deal with Cleveland for outfielder Austin Kearns and are also hot after lefty Ted Lilly, the Sox didn’t fare well tonight. They not only dropped a game to the injury-riddled Tigers, but so far haven’t acquired a bullpen piece at the deadline which is coming fast at 4 p.m. tomorrow.
The Rays have pulled within a game of the Yanks with a 3-2 win over the pinstripes last night. The Sox remain 7-1/2 back of the Yanks and now 6-1/2 games back of the Rays for that wild card spot. The Sox couldn’t take advantage of literally knocking starter Armando Galarraga out of the box when Kevin Youkilis lined a ball off the pitcher’s ankle and forced him out of the game in the fifth inning. Lester had one of his poorest games – 6 innings, 11 hits, four runs and 115 pitches.
Top 8th: Tigers 6, Red Sox 1
Tigers scrape home a pair of runs off Wakefield. One scored on a wild pitch, another on a ground ball out. Key play was an infield hit by Gerald Laird which looked as if he ran out of baseline. Rays have beaten Yanks 3-2 so Sox really need to pull this one out to keep pace in wild card. They could fall 6-1/2 back of Rays.
Bottom 7th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Eric Patterson is a pretty effective basestealer, but if you’re gonna run three runs down, better make it. Third time in 25 attempts he’s been caught stealing. Tim Wakefield is in the game. He’s now the oldest pitcher to appear in a game in Sox history. 43 years, 362 days old. Surpassing Dennis Eckersley, who was 43 years, 358 days.
Top 7th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Lester out after giving up a pair of singles to start the seventh. Ramon Ramirez is on. Lester threw 115 pitches and it wasn’t his sharpest night of the year. Sox caught a break when Rhymes was caught stealing third. He was clearly safe. Jerry Meals missed it. Tigers also get runner thrown out at plate as Jhonny Peralta’s single (three hits, two homers tonight) to short left saw third base coach Gene Lamont try to score Boesch. Eric Patterson threw him out by several feet.
Top 6th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Right ankle contusion for Galarraga.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Sox had runners at second and third after Enrique Gonzalez came in for the injured Armando Galarraga (hit with Youk liner off foot/ankle). Victor Martinez drove a 1-2 pitch toward the left-center field wall and both Raburn and Jackson converged but Raburn picked it off right before the wall.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Galarraga just got nailed with a Youkilis liner off the right foot/ankle area. Youkilis nailed Dan Haren off the arm a few days ago. Galarraga is coming out and Enrique Gonzalez will have all the time he needs to warm up.
Bottom 5th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 1
Marco Scutaro has been flexing his muscles of late. Solo homer on a 1-1 pitch, his seventh of the season.
Top 5th, Tigers 4, Red Sox 0
Peralta strikes again. This time a two-run homer against Lester. His last two-homer game was Sept. 17 for Cleveland vs. Detroit.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 2, Red Sox 0
Sox put the first two men on – double by VMart and single to second by Beltre and can’t score. Mike Cameron’s double-play ball ended the inning. Bill Chuck, who regularly appears in my Sunday Baseball Notes has put together these facts on Lance Berkman, who may soon be wearing pinstripes:
With the Yanks having to wait 24 hours to announce the official acquisition of Lance Berkman, here are nine stats regarding the Big Puma’s numbers this season:
1 Berkman came into this season with a lifetime .299 batting average. He’s hitting .245 this season and is down to .296 lifetime.
2. Berkman has had 20+ homers for the last 10 seasons; he has 13 this year.
3. His 19.6% strikeout percentage is the highest since he became a full-time major leaguer.
4. From the left side of the plate, Berkman is hitting .188. Even Curtis Granderson is hitting .214 against lefties.
5. Away from Minute Maid Park this season, Berkman is hitting .194
6. Since the break, Berkman is hitting .179/1/6.
7. Berkman is hitting .272 with runners in scoring position; .229 RISP/w 2 outs.
8. Berkman has grounded in 12 double plays in 80 opportunities (15%).
9. Berkman will have much more protection in the Yankee lineup: Astros hitting .240 with 69 homers. Yankees hitting .273 with 120 homers.
Top 3rd, Tigers 2, Red Sox 0
Very quiet eve before trade deadline for Sox so far. Don’t hear too much, but they’re vigorously exploring a deal that makes sense for a reliever. The prices haven’t come down. The Yankees are on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman, which shouldn’t make Red Sox fans shake in their boots. Berkman has been decent of late but isn’t the force he used to be. Sox can hope a team takes one of their outfielder’s for a relief pitcher, but it seems it will take more than that. Their top choice – Scott Downs – appears unreachable at the present and the Jays seem to be holding firm for Casey Kelly and/or Jose Iglesias. They might take Ryan Kalish. Trevor Hoffman, who has been pitching well lately for the Brewers might have been a good 7th inning gamble, but he wants to stay in MIlwaukee. Meanwhile, Lester isn’t having his best game. Struggling more than usual with his command. Got out of bases loaded jam in the third. Sox have only one hit against Galarraga.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Red Sox 0
Third baseman Jhonny Peralta is making the deal from the Indians payoff, stroking a line drive homer that just got over the Wall. That was after the Sox stranded the bases loaded off Armando Galarraga, who walked two and hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch. Adrian Beltre tapped back to the pitcher for the final out in the bottom of the first inning. Lester allowed a couple of hits to Gerald Laird and Danny Worth, the No. 8 and 9 hitters, but struck out Jackson and Thymes flied out.
Top 1st: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0
Johnny Damon, late scratch with back spasms? No problem. Tigers sucked it up and got a run against Jon Lester on second baseman Will Rhymes’ double to leftcenter. Mike Cameron went back and usually makes this play, but it went off the end of his glove. It was ruled a double. It scored Austin Jackson who opened the first inning with a single. Lester recovered nicely retiring Brennan Boesch with a strikeout, Miguel Cabrera with a ground out and Ryan Raburn struck out on a ball in the dirt that required Lester to throw him out at first.