For the third time in eight days, the Boston Red Sox’s bullpen had a lead in seventh or later and blew it.
The Red Sox came into Thursday’s game against the Tigers with a slight disadvantage, having arrived in Detroit at almost 4 a.m. ET for their 1:10 p.m. contest. But if they were tired, it didn’t show, as Clay Buchholz was strong in his spot start and the Red Sox pulled ahead in the eighth.
But the bottom of that frame was a different story, as, once again, the bullpen let the bad guys pull ahead to eventually earn the 4-3 win.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
That’s the sound the Red Sox’s bullpen made in the eighth inning. Buchholz turned in a good outing, and the offense put up enough runs to win a close one, but Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler combined to give Detroit the lead back.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Ian Kinsler caught a hard liner off Mookie Betts’ bat to end the game.
The Tigers elected to pitch to Betts with runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth inning, and it ended up working in their favor because of Kinsler.
ON THE BUMP
— Buchholz came in and did exactly what the Red Sox needed him to do. In his second spot start for Steven Wright, the right-hander pitched six strong innings, and left around the pitch count Boston hoped to get out of him. Buchholz gave up just one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks over six innings and 81 pitches.
— Robbie Ross Jr. made quick work of the seventh inning, sitting down Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Andrew Romine and Alex Presley on 10 pitches with a flyout, a lineout and another flyout.
— Junichi Tazawa gave up a single, a double and another single in the eighth to bring the Tigers within spitting distance at 3-2. Red Sox manager John Farrell saw enough after that and called upon Brad Ziegler.
— Ziegler had a rough go, though, giving up an RBI single to Victor Martinez to tie the game and walking J.D. Martinez to load the bases with no outs. The right-hander also walked in the go-ahead run with two outs before retiring the side.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Sandy Leon provided Boston’s first run of the day with a solo home run in the fourth inning. The catcher, who filled in for David Ortiz as desginated hitter Thursday, went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
— Hanley Ramirez put the Red Sox ahead in the eighth inning with his second single of the day, going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
— Aaron Hill reached base a couple of times in his first leadoff appearance for the Red Sox. The third baseman went 1-for-2 with a walk.
Ortiz came in for Hill in the ninth and hit a single.
— Mookie Betts picked up a couple of hits (of course), going 2-for-5 with a run.
— Xander Bogaerts (1-for-5) and Andrew Benintendi (1-for-4) each tallied a single, and Bogaerts scored a run. Benintendi reached on a fielder’s choice in the ninth, too.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. (0-for-4), Bryan Holaday (0-for-4) and Deven Marrero (0-for-2) all went hitless. Travis Shaw replaced Marrero in the seventh inning and went 0-for-1 with a walk.
TWEET OF THE DAY
After Leon’s second home run in as many days, we’re thinking this might be true.
The Red Sox and Tigers continue their four-game series in Detroit on Friday at 7:10 p.m. Rick Porcello will face his former team against right-hander Michael Fulmer.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via May 21, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa (36) walks to the dugout after pitching during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports