It was anything but pretty, but the Red Sox on Thursday earned a dramatic 12-9 victory over the Tigers in the rubber match of their three-game series at Fenway Park.
Where to begin? Nathan Eovaldi struggled on the mound, as did most pitchers in this game. J.D. Martinez (two RBIs), Rafael Devers (three RBIs) and Xander Bogaerts (2-for-3, one RBI) all had good games. Franchy Cordero even had an all-around solid afternoon.
Detroit and Boston combined for 30 hits and six errors. There were three wild pitches, two hit batters and a balk. Only four of the 17 half-innings were scoreless.
With the win, the Red Sox moved to 19-13, while the Tigers dropped to 9-23 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
Grind. “Ugly” would’ve worked, too.
At bats were long, defense was sloppy, innings lasted forever and there even was a balk. The entire game, which lasted over four hours, just felt like a grind.
ON THE BUMP
— Eovaldi cruised through the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third and never recovered.
The right-hander allowed a leadoff double to JaCoby Jones, who later scored on an Akil Baddoo line out. Eovaldi struck out Robbie Grossman to end the inning.
But a 31-pitch fourth inning saw Eovaldi give up four runs on four hits while laboring through multiple long at bats. He surrendered back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning before retiring Wilson Ramons on a ground out that moved runners to second and third. Eovaldi then was lifted for Josh Taylor.
Eovaldi’s final line wasn’t pretty: six runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
— Taylor entered the game and promptly threw a wild pitch, allowing Jonathan Schoop to score. He then gave up a run-scoring single to Niko Goodrum before retiring the final two batters to end the inning.
— Phillips Valdez retired the first two batters of the sixth but then gave up a single, a walk and a run-scoring base hit. Cordero made a great catch in left field to end the frame.
— Darwinzon Hernandez deserved a better fate in the seventh.
The left-hander, who has been pitching well, struck out Goodrum to begin the inning before giving up a one-out single to Harold Castro. Jones then hit a potential double-play ball to Devers, who threw the ball into right field, allowing runners to advance to second and third.
Hernandez then induced back-to-back groundouts, the first of which allowed Castro to score the tying run.
— Matt Andriese walked Grossman to start the eighth and later balked him to second. Grossman then took third on a ground out and scored on a two-out single from Wilson Ramos. Andriese eventually loaded the bases but struck out Jones to end the inning.
— Adam Ottavino worked around a leadoff walk to earn his first save of the season.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Boston’s offense showed up to Fenway ready to play, scoring runs in six of eight innings.
— Kiké Hernández led off the first inning with a double but was lifted due to injury and replaced by Cordero, who later scored on a single from Martinez. Cordero, mired in a brutal slump, also drove home Kevin Plawecki in the second inning on a two-out double.
— Martinez and Bogaerts, playing in his 1,00th game, reached via error and hit batter, respectively, to start the third. Devers drove home Martinez on a sharp ground ball off Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull, who did not return for the fourth inning. Plawecki later scored Bogaerts on a single.
— Martinez and Bogaerts factored into another run in the fourth. The former reached on an error with two outs, while the latter drove him home on a soft single off Detroit reliever Tyler Alexander.
— A lot happened before Hunter Renfroe grounded into the first out of the sixth inning.
Here’s a rundown from NESN’s Tom Caron, as well as a video of the inning’s biggest hit:
Boston scored three runs in the frame but should have come away with more. Tigers reliever Kyle Funkhouser retired three of four batters he faced after entering the game to keep the score at 8-7.
— Cordero led off the seventh with a base hit but never advanced past first base.
— The Red Sox took the lead in the eighth on even more sloppy play from Detroit.
Devers led off the inning by reaching on an error and eventually took second on a wild pitch. He later scored on a two-out single from Christian Vazquez, who pinch hit for scuffling Bobby Dalbec.
Cordero then reached on an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score. After another wild pitch moved runners to second and third, Alex Verdugo hit a two-run single to center off Tigers lefty Gregory Soto.
— The Red Sox finished with 16 hits.
— Cordero, in, hopefully, a sign of things to come, went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
— Hernandez (1-for-1), Renfroe (0-for-5) and Marwin Gonzalez (1-for-4) were the only members of the Red Sox lineup without multiple hits.
— Verdugo, Devers and Martinez all had multiple RBIs.
TWEET OF THE DAY
So, how good are the Red Sox? We still don’t know, but should have a better idea by the end of May.
The Red Sox will head to Baltimore where they’ll face the Orioles on Friday in the first game of a four-game set at Camden Yards. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.