Final, Tigers 3, Red Sox 0:Jose Veras picks up his 21st save, shutting the door on the Sox, who’ve lost four of five to the Tigers this season.
End of the eighth, Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: Hard to ask for much more out of Lackey.
Over 7.1 innings he gave up seven hits and three runs, the last of which was hung on him after he left Austin Jackson (single to left) and Torii Hunter (single to center) in scoring position for Matt Thornton, who gave up a Prince Fielder sacrifice fly to pad the lead a little.
In his past nine starts, Lackey’s only left with the lead twice.
Meanwhile, it looked for a fleeting moment like the Sox might muster some late runs when Dustin Pedroia came through with a two-out double off Bruce Rondon.
But Rondon was throwing gas. Ten of the 19 pitches he threw clocked in at over 100 mph, including one to David Ortiz that showed up on the Fenway scoreboard at 103.
One of them went wild and allowed Pedroia to take third. But all Ortiz could muster was a strikeout on a foul tip.
To be fair, you’d have a better chance jumping over a 100-mph Aston Martin than catching up to a 100-mph fastball.
End of the seventh, Tigers 2, Red Sox 0: The Tigers finally got to Lackey. Victor Martinez tagged him for a leadoff single, then Andy Dirks shipped a 1-and-1 fastball into the triangle in center to score the first run of the day.
Lackey picked an awful time for his first walk of the day, getting into an eight-pitch game of chicken with Omar Infante, who fouled off three pitches and ultimately worked the free pass out of Lackey,
It put Lackey in a tough spot with Don Kelly at the plate. He got the double-play ball he was looking for, but Dirks was able to score on it and give the Tigers a two-run lead.
End of the sixth, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: You’ll probably see the double play Jose Iglesias just turned a few more times, but here are some screens for your trouble.
The reach back to tag Shane Victorino.
The spin move for the throw to get Dustin Pedroia at first.
The celebration by a pitcher who’s gotten three double plays today (all of which have involved Iglesias).
Watching Iglesias play shortstop is like watching this guy do this.
The fact that he colors outside the lines is what makes it great.
End of the fifth, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: John Lackey’s just adding another link to the chain of quality starts he’s been putting together.
Going back June 15, he’s gone at least six innings in 14 straight starts. His ERA over that span is 3.23. His win-loss record: 5-6.
End of the fourth, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Looking at his line through three innings — 50 pitches, 27 strikes, three walks and a hit batter, it was hard to wrap your head around the idea that not only had Doug Fister not allowed a run, he was throwing a no-hitter.
The toughest pill to swallow was probably two starts ago when he went eight innings and gave up just two earned runs on three hits. It made him the first Sox pitcher to lose a complete gave after allowing three base or less since 2000.
He’s only given up three hits today and he hasn’t issued a walk, but he’s in another tight one.
Then possibilities of another one of these came to mind.
That is until Daniel Nava shot a ground ball through the left side of the infield to give the Sox their first hit of the game.
The Sox are 0-and-4 with runners in scoring position and they’ve grounded into two double plays.
End of the third, Red sox 0, Tigers 0: By no means was it a secret that Jose Iglesias needed a reason to get up for games. The minors seemed to bore him when he was sent down by the Sox early in the season. They big leagues brought out the best in him.
Needless to say there’s probably infinite amounts of motivation in facing the Sox barely a month after they traded him to the Tigers.
The relatively loud cheers he got from the Fenway crowd weren’t surprising. When you hit .330 (as Iglesias did before the deal), it makes sense.
Iglesias then stepped in the box and ripped a double to left. It was his 18th extra-base hit (his fifth with the Tigers), but Detroit couldn’t capitalize.
End of the second, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: With three walks and a hit batter (all coming with no outs), Fister has done about as much as a pitch can to sabotage himself through two innings.
But he’s been saved twice by inning-killing double plays.
After he walked Daniel Nava on four pitches and Mike Napoli on five (with a mound visit in between) Jose Iglesias threw him a gorgeous lifesaver, taking the feed from Omar Infante off Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s ground ball to second and hurdling over Napoli to make double-play turn.
Watching him hop on one leg to get his balance back, sort of felt like watching Kobe Bryant do this after knocking down a 3.
End of the first, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: As if this hasn’t been enough of a Buddy Lee kind of season for Shane Victorino, he took a Doug Fister fastball off the body in his first at-bat of the afternoon.
It’s the 12th time he’s been hit by a pitch this season. The fact that that’s that’s only two shy of the career-high 14 times he was hit in 2006 is bad enough. But when you consider he’s been dotted nine times since Aug. 1, it’s even worse.
No runs on the board. John Lackey’s got his fastball working. Fister had some control issues but was bailed out by a double-play ball.
Pregame: The last time the Sox saw the Tigers, the two teams were only separated by a game for the best record in the American League. Nearly three months later, things haven’t changed all that much.
This Tigers are coming into this three-game set with the Red Sox 1.5 games back for the best record in the league.
But they’re running into a Red Sox team that’s ripped through the first six games of a nine-game homestand, going 5-1 and outscoring the Orioles and White Sox by a combined 37-19.
Desperate for run support his past few trips to the mound, Sox starter John Lackey’s probably hoping some of those runs come his way. When he faced the Tigers in June, he went seven innings and gave up just two runs and then watched from the dugout as the Jhonny Peralta’s two-run walkoff homer won it for the Tigers.
Even though it looked like rain would be an issue today, the sun’s starting to shove the clouds away from the ballpark. Happy Labor Day. Enjoy the game.