Tazawa, Red Sox Cage Tigers 7-5 in Fracas-Filled Affair


Aug 11, 2009

Tazawa, Red Sox Cage Tigers 7-5 in Fracas-Filled Affair Thanks to a Fenway debut, a bench-clearing brawl, three ejections and a few Monster shots, Fenway was rocking on Tuesday night as the Red Sox topped the Tigers 7-5.

After the Tigers put up a three-spot in the first off of rookie Junichi Tazawa and Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera took an 0-2 pitch off the knuckles, Detroit’s Rick Porcello fired a heater between the numbers on the back of Kevin Youkilis’ jersey, igniting a bench-clearing brawl. Both Youkilis and Porcello were tossed from the contest and Mike Lowell was inserted as a pinch runner, but Youk’s mound-blitz sparked some life into the Sox bats as Jason Bay smashed a three-run homer just six Chris Lambert pitches later to tie things up.

As if the inning didn’t feature enough excitement, manager Terry Francona was ejected from the contest after arguing umpire Scott Barry’s call when J.D. Drew was gunned down attempting to steal second base.

With things tied up an inning later, Lowell smacked a solo line-shot into the Monster seats to give Tazawa and the Sox a 4-3 lead, but the pinch-runner wasn’t done. In his next at bat, following a Dustin Pedroia walk, Lowell crushed his second long ball of the night. The towering shot deep over the Monster in left gave Boston a 6-3 lead heading into a rain delay that lasted well over an hour.

Following the delay, Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a Ryan Perry balk for Boston's seventh and final run. Relievers Takashi Saito and Daniel Bard held the Tigers scoreless over the next two innings before Jonathan Papelbon coughed up a two-out, two-run shot by Curtis Granderson in the ninth just prior to finishing off the 7-5 win.

After dropping six straight games entering the week, the Sox have won two in a row and stand 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rangers for the wild-card lead.

Red Sox 7, Tigers 5
Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.
August 11, 2009

Live Blog | Box Score | Recap

Headliner: Let’s just say that the pinch runner had some pop in his bat. Mike Lowell, who filled in for the ejected Kevin Youkilis in the second, went 2-for-3 with a solo shot, a two-run blast, three runs scored and three RBIs. Lowell now has 13 homers and 57 RBIs on the season.

Dirt dog: A lengthy first inning and a bench-clearing brawl in the second didn’t faze starter Junichi Tazawa, who went five frames for the Sox in his Fenway debut. After allowing three runs in the first inning, Taz would settle down and allow just one hit over the next four innings for his first career major league win. The righty allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out six. 

Better luck next time: With the bases juiced and one down in the first inning, Nick Green spoiled a tailor-made double play when his toss to Dustin Pedroia at second was offline. Not only did he fail to get the lead runner out at second, he allowed a run to score and extend the inning. The Tigers took full advantage, scoring an additional two runs. Green also went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts at the dish.

Key moment: After tempers flared in the second-inning brawl, Jason Bay launched a three-run homer deep over the monster in left to tie things up. Bay plated both Lowell (who pinch-ran for Youkilis just two batters earlier) and David Ortiz, who smacked a single to right.

On deck: Josh Beckett is getting the call in Game 3 of the four-game set as the ace looks for his 14th win of the season. Beckett was stellar in his last outing but received a no-decision for his efforts as he went seven shutout innings against the Yankees on Friday. Beckett has lost just once in his last nine starts and has lowered his ERA from 3.74 to 3.12 in the process. In three career starts against the Tigers, Beckett is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA. The big righty is undefeated in 10 Fenway starts this season and has allowed just 20 earned runs over 69 2/3 innings (2.58 ERA).

Armando Galarraga
is scheduled to toe the rubber for Detroit as the righty looks for his seventh win of the season. Galarraga stopped a personal five-game winless streak in his last start, picking up the victory after giving up three earned runs over five innings in Detroit’s 10-8 win over Twins. Galarraga comes in with a 5.23 ERA and is just 2-6 on the road this year in 10 starts. He is 0-1 against the Sox in two career starts and has never pitched at Fenway.

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