The Boston Red Sox (0-1) and Detroit Tigers (1-0) will continue their three-game American League series on Saturday inside Comerica Park on FOX
Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Boston opened the season with a 3-2 loss on Thursday afternoon and will at least look to carry over its offensive momentum of scoring two runs in the final inning of that contest. “Like I said, it’s just frustrating, especially after we come back,” commented Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon. The Red Sox still have plenty of confidence that they can win the final two games of this series, capturing five of six meetings with the Tigers during the 2011 campaign. Boston is 50-42 in day games and the “over” is 47-41 in that situation the last two-plus years.
Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett is coming off a 13-7 season with a 2.89 ERA in 30 starts, as he looks to continue his solid pitching against today’s opponent. He has tallied a 2-1 mark and 2.50 ERA in six career starts versus the Tigers, while also limiting the club to just a .186 batting average. The earned-run-average and opponents batting average is his lowest marks versus any AL club. The right-hander registered a 7-5 record and 3.05 ERA in 16 road outings in 2011, surrendering 12 home runs in 103 1/3 innings.
Detroit improved its record to 60-51-1 in home openers in beginning its 112th MLB season, but is still just 20-29 all-time against Boston when playing inside Saturday’s venue. The Tigers survived blowing a two-run lead by closer Jose Valverde in the ninth inning, who was coming off a year of going 49-for-49 in save opportunities. “We won the ballgame,” commented Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander. Offensively, the middle of the order with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder stayed relatively quiet, as outfielder Austin Jackson was the hero with a walk-off single. Detroit is 76-54 in day games the last two-plus seasons.
Tigers starting pitcher Doug Fister was absolutely fantastic down the stretch for his new team after being traded by the Seattle Mariners, posting an electrifying 8-1 record and 1.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts). The right-hander was even better when pitching at Comerica Park, finishing with a 4-1 mark and 1.61 ERA, as he issued just five walks and struck out 30 batters in 44 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old will be facing the Red Sox for the fifth time in this career, coming in with a 1-2 record and 3.33 ERA.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 20-6 record in their last 26 home games, while the Red Sox are 1-5 as a road underdog.
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