Monday, August 14, 2006

Tigers pounce on Beckett, maul Sox 7-4

The good news? Former ace Josh Beckett didn't give up any homers. The bad? The best team in baseball took out their frustrations of being swept by the Chisox this weekend on him, scoring three runs in the first frame off Beckett ( now 13-7 after starting the year 10-3), then 2 more in the third. You knew it was going to be a rough night when the first pitch of the game was hit for a triple by Curtis Granderson. It got worse from there, as Dmitri Young knocked Granderson in, then the Tigers tacked on two more, and it was 3-0 before everyone even made it over to the game from The Cask.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Detroit in the third, then Sean Casey, who is THRILLED to be out of the purgatory that is the Pirates organization, singled in two, and it was going to be a long night at the ballpark. Coming back against the dregs of the league is one thing; coming back against the team with the best record in baseball (77-41) quite another.
Meanwhile the Sox were out there swatting at flies trying to get some runs off Nate Robertson (11-8). They finally scratched a run off him in the 5th, when WMP singled and Javy Lopez doubled him in. But after Alex Gonzalez reached on an error, Loretta grounded into a DP to end the mini-threat. They came back to make a game of it, briefly, in the 6th, when after a walk to Man-Ram, Youk crushed one into the seats(2nd HR in 2 nights) for a 2-run shot that made the score 5-3, definitely a workable deficit. Ah, but then disatser struck- Rudy Seanez relieved Beckett (6IP, 6H, 5ER, 4BB, 6Ks, 1WP, 0HRs). Oh boy.
Miraculously Seanez got the Tigers to go down on order in the 7th, with 2Ks even. They must have been taken off guard; I mean why would Tito put one of his gas cans in this tight game, right? Don't worry, in the next inning the Tigers woke up as to who was on the hill, promptly torching El Seanez for 2 huge insurance runs on 2BBs and 2 singles. 7-3. Ouch. Thanks, Rudy!
Boston made one last push at coming back when they scratched out a run in the 8th off young Detroit fireballer Joel Zumaya(he of the 100mph heater) on an RBI single by Youk; but when 3B coach Demarlo Hale decided to send Manny to the plate from second on a short liner to the outfield byLowell, and he was tagged out by a wide margin, and the hope for a miraculous comeback ended right there.
So game one goes to the big cats. Tonight isn't a "must win", but it's pretty damn close. No need to head into the 5 game set w/ the Stanks (who won last night; Sox now 2GB) in a slump.
Tonight's starters: Schilling (14-5, 3.89) vs. Bonderman (11-5, 3.76)

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