Tigers Lose Another Heartbreaker 4-3
Justin Verlander pitched well enough to win. As usual, his team didn’t give him much in the way of help. Verlander pitched eight innings, striking out nine batters and giving up three runs. The Tigers tied the game up in the eighth inning on back-to-back homers from Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera, but couldn’t deliver in the clutch when they had a great opportunity.
Detroit loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning with one out and the game tied at 3-3. Boesch and Cabrera both struck out against Boston closer Jonathon Papelbon to end the Tiger threat. Al Alburquerque pitched the ninth inning in relief for the Tigers and promptly walked Kevin Youklis to open the inning. After giving up a hit and then an intentional walk, the Tigers got a forceout at home on a pop fly that dropped into short left field. Andy Dirks made a fantastic throw to home to record the out. Carl Crawford then lined a hit over the drawn-in outfield to end the game 4-3.
What makes this a bad loss is that the Tigers missed opportunities to score when all they needed to do was put the ball in play. A baserunning error by Victor Martinez in the second inning also cost them a run. Martinez returned to 3rd base after Brandon Inge hit a deep fly to left that Carl Crawford caught for the second out of the inning. Crawford has a lousy arm and made a weak throw to the infield, but Martinez didn’t try to score. That run would have come in handy.
The Tigers leave Boston and head to Pittsburgh to begin interleague play against the Pirates tomorow night. Detroit is now riding a three game losing streak. Brad Penny starts on the mound and will try to help the Tigers reverse their fortunes.
The Tigers have to find a way to win games like the one they lost tonight. If not, it’s going to be a long summer in “The D”.