The Boston Red Sox probably are trying to find their own cure for the flu at this rate.
The Red Sox took another loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday at Comerica Park, falling 4-1 in what was a lackluster outing for Eduardo Rodriguez. The left-hander made his season debut, and while he didn’t look awful, he still struggled with some issues he had last season, namely, giving up three walks and two home runs.
But unlike Friday, the Red Sox couldn’t get anything going offensively, going 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on base.
Still, the whole team could have used a boost from Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez, who (still) were out of the lineup with the flu, or Xander Bogaerts, who’s on bereavement leave. Relievers Robbie Ross Jr. and Joe Kelly also are sick, on top of the many players who already had the flu and likely still aren’t feeling 100 percent.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
This isn’t what the Red Sox’s lineup will look like all season, but they still should be able to generate more than one run, especially when they put men on base, as they did Saturday. Between an inability to put runners across the plate and the disappointing start from Rodriguez, it never really looked like the Red Sox were in this one.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Boston couldn’t get anything going in the ninth inning.
It’s hard to win when you don’t score many runs. The Red Sox had one last shot to turn things around in the ninth, but they went down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts instead.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez made small mistakes here and there to begin the game.
The lefty started with a 1-2-3 inning, punctuated by a strikeout of Miguel Cabrera. Rodriguez dealt a leadoff walk to Victor Martinez in the second and another to Mikie Mahtook two batters later, but Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez helped the 24-year-old in between by catching Justin Upton stealing after a forceout took Martinez off the bases. Rodriguez’s mistake in the third inning was a solo home run to former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, and he walked Cabrera to start the fourth. The Red Sox’s defense again bailed out Rodriguez after that, turning a double play before he struck out Upton.
Then the fifth inning happened.
Rodriguez gave up a one-out homer to James McCann — his second in two days — and JaCoby Jones and Jose Iglesias each followed with doubles. Ian Kinsler singled for the fourth consecutive hit, and just like that, the Tigers had tagged Rodriguez for three runs. He finished the inning, but that was the end of Rodriguez’s disappointing day, as he pitched just five innings, give up four earned runs on five hits with three walks, five strikeouts and two home runs.
— Red Sox reliever Ben Taylor made his second big league appearance in the sixth, striking out Cabrera and Martinez before getting Upton to fly out. Taylor struck out Mahtook to begin the seventh, but the magic wore off, and his control disappeared after that. The right-hander walked McCann and Jones before Noe Ramirez replaced him, ending the inning with a pop out from Iglesias and a lineout from Kinsler.
Ramirez cruised through the eighth inning, too, sandwiching a strikeout to Cabrera between flyouts off the bats of Nick Castellanos and Martinez, respectively.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— First baseman Mitch Moreland had Boston’s best stat line of the game, going 2-for-4 with a double and scoring the Red Sox’s lone run.
— Dustin Pedroia (1-for-3), Andrew Benintendi (1-for-4) and Marco Hernandez (1-for-3) each hit singles. Pedroia added a walk in the eighth.
Outfielder Steve Selsky pinch-hit for Hernandez in the ninth and struck out to end the game.
— Vazquez went 1-for-1 in his season debut and was hit by a pitch in his other two at-bats.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but he knocked in a run on a 412-foot(!) sacrifice fly in the second inning.
— Brock Holt (0-for-3 with a walk), Pablo Sandoval (0-for-4) and Chris Young (0-for-4) each went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The Red Sox’s defense was the highlight of the day, as Hernandez and Bradley will show you.
The Red Sox continue their series in Detroit on Sunday in another 1:10 p.m. ET matchup. The Red Sox’s rotation will go back around to Rick Porcello, while Daniel Norris will make his season debut for the Tigers.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images