Papi’s Big Night
BOSTON (AP) _ David Ortiz homered and hit two doubles, and the
Boston Red Sox moved above .500 for the first time this season,
tagging Justin Verlander for 10 hits in a 6-3 win over the Detroit
Tigers on Tuesday night.
Verlander (5-3) lost his second straight start since taking a
no-hitter into the ninth inning against Pittsburgh on May 18. The
reigning American League MVP and Cy Young winner allowed five runs
on 10 hits, struck out seven and walked one in six innings.
The Red Sox improved to 25-24, finally achieving a winning
record after going 0-5 in games that could have put them above
.500. Boston fans had to wait a while to enjoy the moment because
of a 38-minute rain delay with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
Daniel Bard (5-5) pitched 5 1-3 innings for Boston, allowing two
runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Boston used four relievers before Alfredo Aceves came in after
the rain delay and finished the eighth, then held the Tigers
scoreless in the ninth for his 12th save.
Jhonny Peralta and Prince Fielder hit solo homers for the
Tigers, who fell to 0-2 in the four-game series.
Verlander hadn’t allowed 10 hits in a game since September 2010.
Boston got four alone in a three-run fourth inning. Kevin Youkilis,
Mike Aviles and Scott Podsednik all singled to load the bases
before Daniel Nava put Boston up 4-0 with a two-out double.
Verlander hit 100 MPH repeatedly in the at-bat before Nava came
through with a full count, lining a shot down the left-field line.
Verlander came in with 16.2 consecutive scoreless innings
against Boston, but the streak ended in the second when Ortiz led
off with a double off the Green Monster and scored on a fielder’s
choice by Mike Aviles, who avoided a double play by beating out
Peralta hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Tigers’ first run
and Fielder added a solo shot in the sixth.
Ortiz hit his second double of the game in the fifth, bringing
Adrian Gonzalez all the way in from first for a 5-1 lead. Ortiz
tried to push it for a triple and was easily thrown out at third.
Ortiz atoned for the base-running mistake with a homer to left
in the seventh.
Notes: Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia did not play Tuesday after
jamming his right thumb in Monday’s win over the Tigers. Manager
Bobby Valentine said Pedroia aggravated a pre-existing injury to
his thumb and underwent an MRI but the results were not yet
available … Verlander pitched at least six innings for the 53rd
straight start, dating to Aug. 22, 2010. It marks the longest such
streak by a pitcher since Steve Carlton’s 69-game run between
1979-82. … This was the longest the Red Sox took to go above .500
since 1996, when Boston finally improved to 66-65 on Aug. 25. …
Red Sox OF Carl Crawford said he is about 10 days away from
starting to throw as he continues his rehab from a sore left elbow.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)