For the first time all year, the Red Sox have secured a winning record, taking down Justin Verlander and the Tigers 6-3 as they improved to 25-24.
The Sox wasted little time in getting a run on the board against the Tigers' overpowering ace. A leadoff wall ball double in the second inning and a Jarrod Saltalmacchia single put David Ortiz at third base with just one out, allowing him to come in the back door when Mike Aviles beat a double play out at first.
Daniel Bard, while not at all at his sharpest, had been able to record a couple of scoreless innings in the meantime, and would take the shutout through the end of the fourth inning. A dangerous third inning had seen two men reach base with one out by way of a walk and a wild pitch as Bard lost control, but some strong outfield defense from Ryan Sweeney prevailed to keep the runs off the board.
The Sox would really break through against Justin Verlander in the bottom half of the inning. A trio of singles--line drives from Kevin Youkilis and Scott Podsednik and a bloop from Mike Aviles--loaded the bases with just one out. Nick Punto proved incapable of driving anyone in, hitting the weakest of pop-ups to shortstop, but Daniel Nava shined as he seems to do in big situations, working the count full and taking a 100 MPH fastball into left field for a bases-clearing double.
The teams would trade runs in the fifth inning, with Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz responding to a Jhonny Peralta solo shot before Bard was chased in the sixth inning with a resounding solo shot off the bat of Prince Fielder. Fielder would again drive in a run in the top of the seventh, getting to Andrew Miller for a rare run on a single to center after Miguel Cabrera hit a line-hugging ground rule double to right, but once again David Ortiz would be there to answer, launching a solo shot into the Monster seats to make it a three-run lead once again.
A rain delay would prolong the wait for the Red Sox and their fans, but the ninth inning finally came, and Alfredo Aceves, working with a bit of a sketchy strike zone, managed to pick up a scoreless frame to complete the landmark win.
|Final - 5.29.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||1||0||3||1||0||1||0||X||6||11||0|
|WP: Daniel Bard (5 - 5)
SV: Alfredo Aceves (12)
LP: Justin Verlander (5 - 3)