Clay Buchholz did not have the sort of start you'd hope for from the #3 starter--one who has to be good this year if the Red Sox are to stand a chance. Struggling with command of both his fastball and changeup, Buchholz gave up a bases-clearing double to Jhonny Peralta as part of a four-run first inning, and then another run in the second after hitting Ryan Raburn to lead off the inning.
The Sox would show some fight in the early innings for once, however, and quickly found themselves back in the game. Mike Aviles brought home a pair in the second, and a big five-run third both chased Max Scherzer from the game and gave Boston their first lead of the season.
Unfortunately, Clay Buchholz would not be able to hold on for long, and by the fifth Vicente Padilla was on the mound in a tie game. From Padilla the Sox received their best pitching performance of the night--four huge scoreless innings that allowed them to take a 9-7 lead when Adrian Gonzalez launched a two-run shot in the sixth. They would add a tenth run utilizing some small ball in the ninth.
With Padilla out of the game, however, the Tigers wasted no time in ruining Alfredo Aceves' first save opportunity. Austin Jackson led off with a single, Brennan Boesch kept things going with an infield hit, and Miguel Cabrera finished it off by taking a wheelhouse fastball and depositing it very deep into the left field stands. Just like that, the game was tied.
Franklin Morales would keep the Sox alive into the eleventh, where the Sox received offense from the unlikeliest of places. A leadoff walk from Cody Ross helped Mike Aviles reach when Ross cleared a hole in the infield by taking off for second. Jarrod Saltalamacchia could not bring the run home from third with zero outs, but Nick Punto managed a go-ahead bloop single, and Dustin Pedroia tacked on another to make it 12-10.
And then...disaster struck again. Mark Melancon came in to finish the game, and did so in the wrong way. While Brennan Boesch proved a quick out, Miguel Cabrera lined into right field and Prince Fielder managed to chop one into a vacated left side of the infield for a single. Cabrera managed to score on a sacrifice fly, but the death blow would come from Alex Avila who, with two strikes, managed to just barely clear the wall in right field, giving the Tigers their second walkoff victory of the series, and sending the Sox to 0-3 for the second straight year.
Where are the outs?: The only question that needs to be asked for this Red Sox team is where are the outs going to come from? Vicente Padilla managed to record twelve, Franklin Morales managed six, and nobody else could manage anything without putting run after run on the board. Alfredo Aceves has recorded zero outs in two appearances, Mark Melancon has all of two recorded despite facing some eight baserunners, and the likes of Justin Thomas and Michael Bowden hardly seem like answers.
The Sox scored 12 runs tonight, and lost the game. It's just unbelievable.