Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox Live Blog: Reactions and Analysis

Andy WittryCorrespondent IJune 20, 2013

Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off, two-run home run off of Andrew Bailey on Thursday.
Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off, two-run home run off of Andrew Bailey on Thursday.Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Two American League division leaders will square off at Comerica Park tonight as the Detroit Tigers (39-31) host the Boston Red Sox (44-30). 

Tigers rookie left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will make his second career start after he shut down the Cleveland Indians in his debut on June 9. In six innings of work, Alvarez allowed only three hits and one earned run in addition to striking out seven batters. 

Veteran John Lackey (4-5, 3.08) will take the mound for Boston. In his 11th season, Lackey has tied his career best WHIP and he has posted his second best ERA through his first 11 starts of the year. 

While both teams currently have the lead in their divisions, they have little breathing room.

The other four teams in the AL East are within 7.5 games of Boston, including the Baltimore Orioles at 1.5 games behind.

The Cleveland, Kansas City Royals  and Minnesota Twins are within 5.5 games of Detroit. 

Detroit and Boston are second and third, respectively, in run differential this season.

The Tigers are led by reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, who is chasing his second consecutive Triple Crown. Cabrera is batting .361 with 19 home runs and 71 RBI. 

Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias has swung a hot bat for Boston this season with a .426 average in 29 games played.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 PM ET.

**UPDATED AT 10:41 PM ET on June 20, 2013**

For the third time in 10 days, Boston closer Andrew Bailey blew a save. He did in the nightcap against the Tampa Bay Rays but earned the win after Jonny Gomes bailed him out and hit a walk-off home run.

On Thursday, a player with the same name but on the opposing team, hit a two-run walk-off home run. Pitching with a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Bailey walked former Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez in five pitches. Jhonny Peralta then sent an offering from Bailey into the left field stands to give the Tigers the win. 

Drew Smyly earned the win for Detroit after pitching two scoreless innings in which he allowed only one hit and struck out four batters.

With the win, the Tigers improved to 40-31 and extended their lead over the Cleveland Indians to four games. Boston fell to 44-31 and dropped to only one game ahead of Baltimore in the AL East.

Detroit hosts Boston for three more games. They play tomorrow night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:08 pm ET. 

Boston's Jon Lester will face Detroit's Doug Fister.