Posted May 27, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
It's been nearly two months since the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox opened the season against each other.
They both still have identical records, although neither team is bragging.
The Tigers, who swept that opening series, are coming off another sweep heading into Monday's opener of a four-game set against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Boston was hoping for improvement in manager Bobby Valentine's first season after missing out on a playoff spot in 2011, due to a 7-20 collapse down the stretch. Detroit won 95 games a season ago, advanced to the AL championship series and - after adding slugger Prince Fielder in the offseason - entered 2012 as a clear favorite for another division crown.
These teams, however, are currently both below .500 at 23-24. The Red Sox are last in the powerful AL East and the Tigers occupy third place in the Central.
Detroit comes to Fenway with more momentum after sweeping three games in Minnesota. Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning lifted the Tigers to Sunday's 4-3 victory.
Cabrera was 5 for 12 with five RBIs and four runs scored in the series while Fielder went 9 for 12 with two walks.
"We're here to win games, not here for personal numbers," Cabrera said. "If you think about that, you put pressure on yourself.''
Cabrera was one of several Tigers who turned in big numbers in the season-opening, three-game sweep of Boston at Comerica Park. He went 5 for 11 with three homers and eight RBIs, Austin Jackson was 8 for 14 and Fielder and Alex Avila each went 5 for 12 with two homers.
Jackson is out with an abdominal strain, but could return next weekend.
The Red Sox, outhomered 7-1 in the season-opening series, will look to bounce back after closer Alfredo Aceves blew a save in the ninth inning by allowing Sean Rodriguez's two-run homer in Sunday's 4-3 home defeat to Tampa Bay. Aceves also blew a save April 8 against the Tigers, when he allowed a three-run home run to Cabrera and did not retire a batter, but had converted 11 of 12 opportunities since.
Boston has spent the entire season at .500 or worse, and has squandered three opportunities to obtain a winning record in the past week alone.
"It's frustrating for now, but it will happen," slugger Adrian Gonzalez told the Red Sox's official website. "(We have to) keep playing hard, get over that hump and keep going from there."
The Red Sox expect to activate Ryan Sweeney, who has been on the seven-day disabled list for a concussion suffered May 19 against Philadelphia. He's one of four Boston hitters with at least 14 doubles.
Felix Doubront (4-2, 3.96 ERA) will take the mound for the Red Sox after he yielded two runs over six innings Tuesday in a 4-1 loss at Baltimore as his three-start winning streak ended.
The left-hander, who ranks among baseball's leaders with a 7.02 run-support average, has never faced Detroit.
Doug Fister (0-2, 1.84) will start for the Tigers. He won his final six decisions of 2011, but is still in search of his first win this season after allowing two runs over 6 2-3 innings Wednesday and not getting a decision in a 4-2 defeat at Cleveland.
Fister lasted 3 2-3 innings April 7 in a 10-0 win over Boston before leaving a muscle strain in his left side that forced him to miss a month. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 2.89 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox.
BEST OF MAXIM
A situation arose Sunday that is going to make it difficult for Detroit to send Quintin Berry back to the minors when Austin Jackson comes off the disabled list at week's end. Jackson is eligible to return June 1, when Detroit returns home to host the New York Yankees in a weekend set. Detroit won't have to rush him due to Berry's fine job as a fill-in (through Sunday...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera's two-run, one-out homer in the ninth inning lifted Detroit to a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon, as the Tigers finished a three-game sweep of the Twins in style after leaving 10 men on base earlier in the game.
Cabrera's ninth home run this season came on a 0-2 pitch from Matt Capps (0-3), who took his first blown save in...
Recently I had a chance to do a quick interview with Red Sox prospect Reynaldo Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a 26 year old slugger out of Colombia who is currently playing for the Portland Sea Dogs. He has a powerful bat and was discovered by the Red Sox in an independent league when he was playing for the Yuma Scorpions. In 2009, he was named the Independent Leagues top prospect...
Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine’s words. Each game day, we will select the best Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox. Ryan Sweeney's bright Hollywood smile said more about the outfielder's excitement to be back in the Red Sox lineup than any of his postgame comments on Monday. After missing the...
BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia currently leads all catchers in the majors with eight homers. The Red Sox backstop has been sizzling at the plate, belting three homers in the last six games. He's lifted his RBI total to 21 while raising his batting average to .274 from the .080 on April 19 -- and for that matter, a .221 average on May 21. His teammates are paying close notice...
Felix Doubront continues the roll he's on as he goes six innings, allowing just two runs and he gets in his fourth win in five decisions as the Sox beat the Tigers, 7-4.
The Sox got to Doug Fister early as they managed to score five runs in the first three innings. There was a blessing in diguise as Mike Aviles appeared to strike out but the umpires declared it to be a foul...
His last name is 14 letters long, and with the way he has been hitting the baseball, he has a legitimate shot of landing a spot on the team comprised of the best players from 14 American League teams. Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- yes, it is 14 letters and the longest last name in baseball history -- has been the talk around Boston for the past week. Now, his name is being associated...
Miguel Cabrera's two-run, one-out homer in the ninth inning lifted Detroit to a 4-3 victory over Minnesota on Sunday afternoon, as the Tigers finished a three-game sweep of the Twins in style after leaving 10 men on base earlier in the game.
Cabrera's ninth home run this season came on a 0-2 pitch from Matt Capps (0-3), who took his first blown save in 10 chances. Rookie...
Now that lineup is stacked!
Red Sox (23-24)
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-2, 3.96)
For the first time this season, the Boston Red Sox have walked off with win thanks to the bat of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
With Daniel Nava on second base, Salty came in to pinch-hit for Marlon Byrd and delivered the heroics for the Red Sox as he gave them a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bays to get their record back to .500.
Destination Red Sox Nation is our look at how the minor league teams of the Boston Red Sox fare each night. Game story and box score links as well as links to team rosters, team stats and league standings can be found by clicking on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
If you would like to listen to any of the Red Sox minor league affiliates' games...
Theo Epstein expected some rough stretches for the Chicago Cubs. He didn't envision this.
With 12 straight losses entering Monday's game against San Diego, the Cubs were on one of the longest skids in franchise history and tied with Minnesota for the worst record in the majors.
Epstein says he doesn't think ''this is indicative of the type of team we are'...
Mookie Betts is a shortstop (who is being converted to second base) who was drafted by the Red Sox in the 5th round of last year’s draft. He had committed to Tennessee but he signed on August 15th for $750,000 with the Sox and played in one game for the GCL Red Sox, where he went 2-4 with a stolen base.
According to SoxProspects, he is known for his athleticism and is projected...
The clubhouse door opened up and the Tampa Bay Rays could be seen dancing - a stark contrast to what happened a night earlier.
Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Boston closer Alfredo Aceves, and the Rays rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, a day after losing in the final inning.
''We're a lot of fun when we win,&...
Aviles SSPedroia 2BOrtiz DHYoukilis 1BGonzalez RFSaltalamacchia CMiddlebrooks 3BNava LFPodsednik CF
1:35 start on NESN and nationally on TBS