Final, Tigers 8-6: The Red Sox’s rally came up short.
The Red Sox pushed across two runs in the ninth inning and put the potential tying run on base. Joe Nathan retired Stephen Drew on a fly ball to right-center field, though, and Boston now has lost five in a row.
Jon Lester got knocked around. He surrendered five earned runs on 12 hits over 4 1/3 innings. It was a disappointing performance when the Red Sox really needed their ace to play stopper.
Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos and Austin Jackson each had three hits for Detroit. Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez went deep. Suarez’s home run marked his first major league hit.
Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava had three hits for Boston. One of Pedroia’s hits was a solo homer.
The Red Sox will turn to John Lackey in Sunday’s series finale. He’ll go up against Anibal Sanchez.
End 8th, Tigers 8-4: Edward Mujica handled the heart of the Tigers’ order.
Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter went down without inflicting any additional damage.
Cabrera, who has three hits, struck out swinging to begin the inning.
Martinez drilled a ball to center field, but Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his range while tracking it down.
Joe Nathan will pitch the ninth inning for Detroit. Brock Holt, Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia are due up for Boston.
Mid 8th, Tigers 8-4: Joba Chamberlain tossed a scoreless eighth inning. The Red Sox are three offensive outs away from dropping their fifth straight.
Daniel Nava got plunked on the foot to begin the eighth inning. The offense couldn’t get anything going, though.
Stephen Drew, A.J. Pierzynski (who pinch-hit for David Ross) and Jackie Bradley Jr. went down in order.
End 7th, Tigers 8-4: Andrew Miller struggled in the seventh inning as the Tigers grabbed a run.
Torii Hunter and Nick Castellanos began the inning with back-to-back singles. Austin Jackson then walked to load the bases with nobody out for Bryan Holaday.
Holaday made it 8-4 with a fly ball to center field. Hunter tagged up and scored easily from third base.
Miller walked Rajai Davis after retiring Eugenio Suarez to reload the bases for Ian Kinsler. The left-hander managed to minimize the damage in the seventh by striking out Kinsler.
The Red Sox’s usually reliable bullpen is having an off night.
Mid 7th, Tigers 7-4: Max Scherzer talked his way into facing one more batter in the seventh inning. David Ortiz made Tigers manager Brad Ausmus pay for his decision.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a walk. Brock Holt then flied out to center field, and Xander Bogaerts struck out looking.
Dustin Pedroia kept the inning alive with a single into left field. Pedroia, who homered in the fourth inning, has hits in three straight at-bats.
It looked at that point like Ausmus was going to turn to lefty Phil Coke with Ortiz digging in. But Scherzer stared right at Ausmus and said he wanted the ball, at which point the first-year skipper decided to stick with his ace.
Ortiz lifted a double to left field past the outstretched glove of Rajai Davis. Bradley scored with Boston’s fourth run.
Ausmus then turned to his bullpen and called upon Al Alburquerque. Grady Sizemore grounded out to first base, stranding two runners in scoring position.
End 6th, Tigers 7-3: Well, the Red Sox had been chipping away.
The Tigers struck for two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, just minutes after the Red Sox cut their deficit to two runs.
Rookie Eugenio Suarez worked a leadoff walk against Craig Breslow, who then rebounded to retire Rajai Davis before being replaced by Junichi Tazawa. This marks the earliest Tazawa has been used in a game all season, showing John Farrell clearly identified it as a key point in the contest.
Ian Kinsler greeted Tazawa with a line drive into the right-center field gap. The ball rolled all the way to the wall, enabling Kinsler to motor into third base with an RBI triple.
Miguel Cabrera, who is just plain sick, made it 7-3 with a single into center field. Cabrera has three hits in this game.
Mid 6th, Tigers 5-3: The Red Sox are chipping away.
The Sox benefited from an overturned call in the sixth inning. Dustin Pedroia initially was ruled out at first base on a ground ball up the middle. Replays showed Pedroia beat the throw by a hair, though, and the Red Sox successfully challenged the call.
The challenge was big because Pedroia ended up scoring Boston’s third run. Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew connected on back-to-back singles with two outs. Drew’s knock plated Pedroia from second base.
Nava took third base with David Ross batting, putting runners at the corners for the Boston catcher. Ross struck out swinging to end the inning.
Craig Breslow will come back out to pitch the bottom of the sixth after inducing an inning-ending double play in the fifth.
End 5th, Tigers 5-2: Jon Lester’s night ended in the fifth inning.
Lester yielded back-to-back singles to Nick Castellanos and Austin Jackson with one out. The Red Sox then turned to their bullpen, calling upon Craig Breslow.
Breslow cleaned things up by getting Bryan Holaday to ground into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Lester surrendered five earned runs on 12 hits in his 4 1/3 innings of work. He walked one, didn’t record a strikeout and threw 90 pitches (59 strikes).
It certainly was a rough outing for Lester, whom the Red Sox were relying on to be a stopper amid their four-game losing streak.
Mid 5th, Tigers 5-2: The Red Sox produced a run on four hits in the fifth inning.
Daniel Nava led off with a single, but he was quickly wiped off the bases when Stephen Drew grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Ian Kinsler and Eugenio Suarez both got rid of the ball very quickly, enabling them to turn two despite the ball not being hit hard.
David Ross sparked a rally with two outs. He grounded a double down the left field line past a diving Nick Castellanos.
Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked in Ross with a single into left field. Rajai Davis wisely tossed to second base to keep Bradley at first.
Brock Holt’s infield single put two on for Xander Bogaerts. Max Scherzer won his battle against the 21-year-old, though, striking him out with a slider just off the outside black.
End 4th, Tigers 5-1: Eugenio Suarez was a late addition to the lineup. The 22-year-old shortstop made the most of his opportunity in the fourth inning.
Suarez launched his first major league home run. The solo blast off Jon Lester also marked Suarez’s first big league hit.
Miguel Cabrera smacked his second double of the game with two outs, lengthening the inning for Victor Martinez. Martinez flied out to right field to end the frame.
Mid 4th, Tigers 4-1: Dustin Pedroia put the Red Sox on the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
Pedroia jacked a first-pitch fastball over the left field fence for his third home run of the season.
Max Scherzer rebounded to strike out David Ortiz following Pedroia’s solo shot. Ortiz was blown away by a 96 mph fastball.
Grady Sizemore’s offensive woes continue. He flied out to left field for the third out.
End 3rd, Tigers 4-0: The Tigers have scored in every inning.
Nick Castellanos took Jon Lester deep with one out in the third inning. Castellanos’ blast to left field was his fifth of the season.
The Red Sox were fortunate the Tigers didn’t challenge a call in the third inning after Austin Jackson was thrown out trying to steal second base. It looked like Jackson got his foot in ahead of Dustin Pedroia’s tag.
Mid 3rd, Tigers 3-0: Max Scherzer actually entered this game on the heels of a few rough outings. You’d never know it.
Scherzer looks sharp in the early going. He struck out two more in the third inning while keeping the Red Sox off the scoreboard.
Jackie Bradley Jr. waved at a changeup in the dirt, and Brock Holt went down looking at a fastball.
End 2nd, Tigers 3-0: Jon Lester looks frustrated.
Lester again labored in the second inning as the Tigers tacked on their third run of the game.
Austin Jackson got things going in the bottom of the second with a single into center field. Bryan Holaday then dropped a bunt up the first base line that resulted in a single, as Brock Holt missed with his attempted tag.
Red Sox manager John Farrell came out for a discussion before getting an indication from the dugout to not challenge the play. Holt indeed missed the tag.
Rajai Davis made it 3-0 with a one-out, RBI single through the left side. Lester showed some frustration following Davis’ hit, seemingly upset he got the ground ball he wanted yet it found a hole.
Lester walked Miguel Cabrera with two outs to load the bases for Victor Martinez, who delivered an RBI double in the first inning. Martinez lifted a fly ball right to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field.
It’s been a rough start to this game for Lester, although he’s fortunate to escape the second inning with just one more run crossing.
Mid 2nd, Tigers 2-0: Max Scherzer breezed through the second inning.
Scherzer sat down Grady Sizemore, Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew in order. The right-hander struck out Nava and Drew.
Nava fanned on a changeup in the dirt. Drew foul tipped a changeup into the catcher’s mitt.
End 1st, Tigers 2-0: The heart of the Tigers’ order gave Jon Lester trouble in the first inning.
Lester started off his outing by retiring Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler on a flyout and popout, respectively. The sun could be an issue in the early going, although Daniel Nava was able to successfully battle the glare while retiring Davis.
The Tigers grabbed a 1-0 lead with back-to-back two-out doubles. Miguel Cabrera sent one into the left-center field gap, and Victor Martinez followed with a line drive down the right field line.
Torii Hunter fell behind in the count 0-2 but battled back to put up a seven-pitch at-bat. He capped it with an RBI single into center field.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Xander Bogaerts, who entered the game hitting .351 over his last 24 contests, singled in the first inning.
Bogaerts followed Brock Holt’s game-opening flyout with a fly ball into right-center field that dropped between Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter. It looked like Jackson deferred to Hunter, although the center fielder definitely should have taken charge in that situation.
Max Scherzer struck out Dustin Pedroia for the second out. Pedroia couldn’t hold up on a nasty slider down and away.
David Ortiz ended the inning with a dribbler to first base.
7:16 p.m.: Max Scherzer delivers a first-pitch strike.
6:40 p.m.: The Red Sox have been bad against right-handed pitching this season. Now, they’ll face one of the best right-handers in the league in Max Scherzer.
The Red Sox are 14-24 against righty starters this season. Conversely, Boston is 13-9 against left-handers.
If there’s one thing working in the Red Sox’s favor as they attempt to snap their four-game losing streak, it’s that they’re sending their two workhorses — Jon Lester and John Lackey — to the mound in the final two games of the series.
The Red Sox are one of only two teams in the American League with both a left-handed and a right-handed starter with an ERA below 3.30. The only other AL team with such a lefty-righty punch is the Oakland Athletics — lefty Scott Kazmir (2.40 ERA) and righties Sonny Gray (2.45) and Jesse Chavez (3.04).
5:45 p.m.: Daniel Nava will play left field with right-hander Max Scherzer on the hill for Detroit. Grady Sizemore will get the call in right field. Sizemore and Nava will bat fifth and sixth, respectively.
David Ross will start behind the plate with Jon Lester on the mound for Boston. Ross and Lester have developed a very good rapport over the last season-plus, so it’s no surprise to see him in the lineup, even with a righty starting for the Tigers.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (27-33)
Brock Holt, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Grady Sizemore, RF
Daniel Nava, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jon Lester, LHP (6-6, 3.15 ERA)
Detroit Tigers (32-25)
Rajai Davis, LF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Torii Hunter, RF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Austin Jackson, CF
Bryan Holaday, C
Eugenio Suarez, SS
Max Scherzer, RHP (6-2, 3.20 ERA)
5:30 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers will roll out a couple of aces Saturday at Comerica Park.
Jon Lester and Max Scherzer will go toe-to-toe in the Motor City, where the Red Sox are looking to snap a four-game losing streak. The Sox have been on a wild, unpredictable ride of late, and Lester needs to play the role of stopper to get Boston back on track.
The Red Sox snapped a 10-game losing streak on Memorial Day. They then won seven in a row before dropping Monday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. Boston ended up getting swept by Cleveland and now finds itself in the midst of another skid.
The Red Sox’s offense hasn’t generated much lately. The club’s star players have struggled, and the outfield has been the league’s worst in terms of offensive production. Things really need to change for the Red Sox to climb the ladder in the American League East.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Be sure to keep it right here throughout the evening for updates.