Justin Verlander Dominates as Tigers Win Second Game of Doubleheader 3-0

Justin Verlander Dominates as Tigers Win Second Game of Doubleheader 3-0 DETROIT — Justin Verlander took a shutout into the eighth inning as the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 to get a split of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader.

Verlander (5-3) allowed four hits and walked two in 7 2/3 innings, throwing a career-high 132 pitches. The pitch count matched the highest by a Tigers pitcher since Felipe Lira threw 135 on Aug. 11, 1996.

Josh Beckett (4-2) took his first loss since April 5 — his first start of the season. Beckett gave up two runs on five hits and a season-high five walks in six innings.

The loss ended Boston’s five-game winning streak. The Red Sox had won 13 of their last 15 before the night game.

Detroit got a pair runs in the first inning when Brennan Boesch hit an RBI double and scored on Miguel Cabrera‘s base hit. Don Kelly drove in Cabrera for an insurance run in the eighth.

Jose Valverde, who lost the first game, pitched the ninth for his 12th save, retiring first-game hero David Ortiz to end the game.

In the opening game, Ortiz homered off Valverde — his first pinch-hit homer in eight years — to break a 1-1 tie in the ninth inning and help Boston win 4-3.

“I don’t like pinch hitting too much, but I did just what I do as a DH,” Ortiz said. “I went to the cages, took some swings and got loose.”

Ortiz, pinch-hitting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, worked a full count against Valverde, then hit a line drive over the scoreboard in right-center.

“Valverde is so tough on right-handed hitters, it seemed like a easy decision with David sitting there,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He worked the count and got a great swing.”

Before Sunday, Ortiz had only faced Valverde once, hitting a grand slam on July 30 of last year.

“I was waiting for one pitch, and he gave it to me,” Ortiz said.

Matt Albers (1-2) picked up the win with two shutout innings of relief, while Valverde (2-2) took the loss. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

Boston’s Clay Buchholz and Detroit rookie Andy Oliver each pitched six innings and allowed three runs.

Oliver struggled badly in the first inning of his season debut, allowing a double, a walk, a hit batter and four stolen bases, but somehow escaped down just 1-0 on Adrian Gonzalez‘s sacrifice fly. Victor Martinez didn’t even get off a throw on any of the stolen bases, which included a double steal by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.

“My slide step was a little slow in the first inning,” Oliver said. “From the second inning on, I relaxed and got focused on keeping guys off the bases.”

The Red Sox got solo homers from Mike Cameron and Pedroia in the next two innings, but Boston’s offense stalled util Ortiz’s homer in the ninth.

“I thought he did very well to hold that team to three runs,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Oliver. “You call up someone from the minors and they hold the Boston Red Sox to three runs in six inngs, you think they just did a good job.”

Andy Dirks homered in the fourth, and Boesch’s fourth homer pulled the Tigers with a run in the sixth.

Cabrera followed with a double, took third on Martinez’s groundout and scored on Jhonny Peralta‘s single.

Before the game, the Red Sox placed reliever Franklin Morales on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-handed reliever Michael Bowden. … The second game of the doubleheader was not originally scheduled to be televised, because of ESPN’s exclusive Sunday-night contract, but a waiver was reached Sunday afternoon that allowed the game to be shown in both Boston and Detroit. … Leyland had said he hoped moving slumping Ryan Raburn to second base would give him a “new season.” Raburn went 0-4 with three strikeouts, dropping his season batting average to .195, and was out of the lineup for the nightcap. … The second game started 50 minutes late due to light rain.

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