The Boston Red Sox clobbered the Detroit Tigers in the first game of a weekend series and look to continue their May run at Comerica Park
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Boston is starting to turn into the club that everyone feared in Major League Baseball and come into Friday night’s contest having scored 14 runs in back-to-back games. “I think we’ve gotten a lot better than our first two weeks,” said catcher Jason Varitek. “We still survive on how well we start with out pitching and allow that offense to get going. Today was another day where the offense got going right away.” Outfielder Carl Crawford has been igniting the offense and has produced consecutive four-hit games for the first time in his career. He has lifted his batting average from .212 to .244 in the span of just two days. The Red Sox lead the Majors in average, runs and hits this month, which has directly resulted into a league-best 17-7 record in May. Boston is 17-5 when playing against a team with a winning record.
Red Sox starting pitcher Tim Wakefield is set to make his 13th appearance (fourth start) of the season and earned his 194th career win on May 22 against the Cubs at Fenway Park. In that particular start, he allowed one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander will starting for the first time this year on the road, registering a 2.84 ERA in five relief appearances, giving up two runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings. Wakefield will be facing the Tigers for the 37th time in his career (24th start), entering with a 16-10 mark and 4.25 ERA, including a 4-3 record and 4.19 ERA at Comerica Park.
Detroit has still won 13 of the club’s last 20 games dating back to May 3 despite Thursday’s defeat and have a good chance in bouncing back considering its 116-68 record at Comerica Park since the start of the 2009 season. The Tigers offense is still a force to be reckoned with and has collected 59 doubles in the team’s last 30 games, dating back to April 22. Detroit entered Thursday’s game fourth in the AL with 92 two-batters on the season. Catcher Victor Martinez will look to keep things going from the plate, entering the series batting .339 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 18 games during May. Detroit is 13-19 versus right-handed starters this season.
Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello is 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in eight starts this season and has issued just 13 walks and compiled 30 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. The right-hander enters on a four-game win streak and comes directly off his best outing of the 2011 campaign thus far, tallying a 2-0 road victory over the Pirates, tossing eight shutout innings and surrendering just a single hit. Porcello is an even 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two home starts, as opponents are hitting .333 against him. He will be facing the Red Sox for the third time in his young career, bringing in a 0-1 record and 6.75 ERA.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 17-5 record at home versus winning teams, while the Red Sox are 2-7 in Wakefield’s last nine road starts