Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox Live Blog: Reactions and Analysis
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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.
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.
For the second time in three days, Boston closer Andrew Bailey blew a save. On Tuesday in the nightcap against the Tampa Bay Rays, he blew the save but earned the win after Jonny Gomes his a two-run walk-off home run.
On Thursday, it was the same name but a different spelling who hit a walk-off home run. Victor Martinez drew a walk and then Jhonny Peralta hit an offering from Bailey into the left field stands.
It was Bailey's fourth blown save of the season and his third in the past 10 days. In 22.1 innings this season, he has allowed six home runs, 10 earned runs and 11 walks.
With relief pitcher Joel Hanrahan on the 60-day DL due to an elbow injury, Boston may need to go to its third-string closer, whether its Koji Uehara or another pitcher on its roster.
Boston got seven strong innings out of John Lackey, who allowed seven hits and two earned runs.
The Red Sox forced Detroit starter Jose Alvarez out of the game after five innings.
David Ortiz hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and Jacoby Ellsbury knocked in Jose Iglesias with a single to center in the fifth.
Torii Hunter tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run single.
Boston re-took the lead in the eighth inning when Shane Victorino walked to lead off the inning and Ortiz hit a single to score him.
Boston was in the driver's seat after Uehara had a 10-pitch inning in which he recorded three consecutive outs against the heart--Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder--of Detroit's batting order.
Drew Smyly earned the win for the Tigers after two innings of relief pitching, allowing one hit and striking out four batters.
With the win, Detroit is now 40-31 and four games ahead of Cleveland. Boston fell to 44-31 and only one game ahead of Baltimore.
Detroit hosts Boston for three more games in this series. Tomorrow's first pitch is scheduled for 7:08 pm ET. Boston's Jon Lester will face Detroit's Doug Fister.
Jhonny Peralta hit a walk-off home run after Andrew Bailey walked Victor Martinez. The Tigers win 4-3!
Bailey walked Martinez in five pitches. Luckily for Bailey and the Red Sox, he is working towards the bottom half of the Tigers' batting order. Don Kelly is now running for Martinez.
Andrew Bailey is down 3-0 to Victor Martinez with no one on and nobody out. He blew a save two nights ago but earned the win after Jonny Gomes' walk-off home run.
No way. Six Tigers fans sewed their shirts together that spell out "T-I-G-E-R-S." They're stuck together like a giant caterpillar. It's very original and clever but would be very annoying when someone has to go to the bathroom.
Dustin Pedroia tried to get away with a checked swing as he ran towards first, hoping for a called ball four but the first base umpire correctly said that Pedroia swung. Victorino stranded at third as we head to the bottom of the ninth.
The right-center gap has been very active today. I'm not sure if there's been a single ball hit to left-center tonight.
Victorino hits a double to the right-center gap. Boston has a runner in scoring position with two outs.
Smyly strikes out Ellsbury with a pitch low and away. He only needs one more out to close out the ninth and then Detroit needs some late inning magic to pull this one off.
Smyly used the entire strike zone to strike out Iglesias. Froze him with an inside curveball for the strikeout.
I love seeing the energy that Koji Uehara had when he went to the dugout and went on a high-five rampage. It brought out a lot of smiles among his teammates.
Fielder nearly hits one out of the park but Ellsbury runs it down and catches it against the wall in deep center. He and Cabrera are just 2-8 tonight. Boston leads 3-2 through eight innings.
Uehara has been dominant so far and has worked quickly. He just struck out Cabrera on three pitches and threw the ball past him with high heat. That's Cabrera's third strikeout of the game.
Uehara in for Boston. He has a 2.17 ERA and 41 strikeouts this season.
The broadcast showed Koji Uehara up in the bullpen before the commercial break.
3-2 Boston after the top of the eighth inning.
Just as I'm about to type that Smyly has shown better control than Alvarez and Coke, he throws a wild pitch and the runners advance one base each. Runners on second and third with two outs.
It's always entertaining to see a batter foul off pitch and the fans behind the plate flinch.
Drew Smyly replaced Phil Coke. Coke pitched .1 innings. He allowed one hit, walked two batters, struck out one and allowed one earned run.
Big Papi lines one throw the gap on the right side of the infield to score Victorino from second base. Boston leads 3-2. Phil Coke's pitches are numbered. There's no way Jim Leyland lets him finish this inning.
Coke just walked Pedroia on four consecutive pitches that were high and outside. Ortiz is up with two runners on and no outs. I expect Boston to score multiple runs this inning. Smyly and Reed are warming up in Detroit's bullpen.
Detroit has had its share of control issues today. Alvarez and Coke have been all over the place. It's almost surprising that Boston isn't winning.
How about Phil Coke's mustache!? I always love seeing a relief pitcher sprint to the mound from the bullpen. The mustache completes the introduction.
I don't know if it's the TV or the NESN broadcast but the game is way too bright.
Andy Dirks wasn't even close to the bag but no runner interference called.
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