The Boston Red Sox were in for a long night in their series opener against the Detroit Tigers.
A two-hour, four-minute rain delay before the sixth inning stretched Friday’s game past midnight on the East Coast. But luckily, Boston had the bats going before and after the rain in a 9-6 win at Comerica Park.
The Red Sox laced 14 hits in the win, with Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers each homering. Boagerts’ three-run blast in the eighth inning proved to be the difference maker.
After the game, the shortstop revealed how the Sox kept loose in the clubhouse during the break and broke down his key at-bat.
“Played cards. If you ask me my routine, we play cards,” Bogaerts told NESN’s Guerin Austin. “Just trying to keep it loose. I know they took the tarp off, put it back on, took it off, put it back on. So it was a little weird. But in the downtime, you just try to have fun with the guys and be around the guys.”
Whatever the routine is, it worked, as Boston scored three runs in the sixth when play resumed. And Bogaerts came up with the biggest swing of the night.
“I was having a bit of a rough night, off night, I wasn’t feeling right for these last couple of days,” Bogaerts said. “That at-bat in particular I was trying to talk to myself the whole at-bat, try to remind myself how good I am. Just trying to think positive thoughts the whole time in that at-bat. I took two good pitches, then I got a good one I hit out.”
The home run was Bogaerts’ longest of the season.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Tigers game:
— Eduardo Rodriguez was robbed off a pretty solid evening on the hill.
The lefty was pretty strong through five innings before the rain delay ended his evening. He allowed just one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
“He had good stuff, just happened that it rained. But it felt like he was in control. Good fastball, good changeup, good command. The pitch count was low, it was one of those, we talked about it during the week, I said ‘You got 120.’ It seemed like he was going to be below that. We finished the game, but he did a good job.”
Rodriguez did go long enough to get his team-leading ninth win of the season heading into the All-Star break.
— Rafael Devers continued to just absolutely mash everything he sees.
— The bats carried Boston for the night, but the bullpen nearly gave things away after the rain.
Marcus Walden ran into a world of trouble in the sixth, as the Tigers grabbed four runs to make it a one-run game.
“We ran into trouble again. It’s tough, very tough. We have to do better,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “They got close … we’ve been playing too many close games. We need to fix that. We’re playing better, but there’s a lot of things we still need to get better.”
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images