On the night one of their best pitchers returned, the Detroit Tigers made a little history for themselves at Fenway Park.
Anibal Sanchez toed the rubber for Detroit, coming back after spending three weeks on the disabled list with a blister on his throwing hand. At the beginning of the game, ESPN TV announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk said that the Tigers would probably have him on an 80 pitch limit, and Sanchez did the most he could with exactly that over five innings of work. It wasn’t enough for a quality start, but quality enough that the Tigers could ride his outing to victory. The 30 year old allowed five hits and two runs while striking out and walking three. Only one of the runs was earned, as a dropped ball by catcher Alex Avila on a bases loaded grounder resulted in an unearned run.
The offense was sparked by a three-run third and the big boys in the middle of the lineup did the damage. Boston had taken the lead in the bottom of the 2nd off of a Xander Bogaerts single, but that lead didn’t last through the next trip through the Tigers’ lineup. With Ian Kinsler roping a double into the left field corner, he stood on base with Miguel Cabrera at the plate with two outs. Cabrera didn’t crush one to drive Kinsler in, instead he utilized a dunker over the head of Brock Holt which allowed the tying run to score. Victor Martinez was up next, and he decided to go yard as he hit a bullet into the Red Sox bullpen.
The other home run came off of the bat of Torii Hunter in the 7th. Facing Junichi Tazawa, Hunter took a first pitch hanging slider and launched one that cleared everything. The camera showed the baseball trying to catch a ride as it skipped into the parking lot below the Green Monster.
All in all, the Tigers neatly wrapped up a three-game sweep in Boston, marking the first time the Detroit has swept the Red Sox in thirty-one years. Anibal Sanchez evened his record to 2-2, while Jake Peavy, who started for Boston, took the loss and dropped to 1-2. The Tigers are now at 27-12 while the Red Sox sit in fourth place in the AL East at 20-23.