After rain plagued yesterday's scheduled game, the Red Sox and Tigers took the field for game one of a Sunday double-header at Comerica Park. Even with a day off, the Red Sox bats picked up right where they left off with three solo home runs to down Detroit 4-3 in the late going.
Andrew Oliver made his 2011 debut with the Tigers fresh off a call-up from AAA. The Red Sox scored off Oliver in the early going, as they took a 1-0 lead on an Adrian Gonzalez sac-fly to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury from third base.
The Red Sox found their power in the second and third innings. Mike Cameron took Oliver deep in the second inning with a solo home run to extend the lead to 2-0. Then in the third Dustin Pedroia hit a line-drive solo shot to left field to increase the lead to 3-0. Oliver settled down later, as his final line consisted of six innings with three earned runs on five hits.
Clay Buchholz started for Boston, as he was looking for his his fifth victory of the season. Buchholz was pitching very well through four innings, but ran into some trouble in the fifth. With nobody out, Buchholz gave up a solo home run to Andy Dirks to straightaway right field, getting the Tigers on the board, 3-1.
Buchholz settled down in the fifth, retiring three of four batters on the inning. He then went into the sixth inning and gave up a one-out home run to Brennan Boesch and allowed an RBI single to Johnny Peralta that drove in Miguel Cabrera from third, score now tied 3-3. Clay was pulled after that, as he pitched six innings giving up three earned runs on six hits in a no-decision.
Matt Albers came on for Buchholz in the seventh inning, looking to protect the tie. He did just that as he pitched two shut out innings in relief, giving up no hits with only one walk, and ultimately became the victor.
With the game still tied in the top of the ninth, Jim Leyland decided to bring on his closer Jose Valverde into the game to extend the game into the extras. With pinch-hitter J.D. Drew retired on a fly out, Valverde served up a 3-2 fastball to David Ortiz, who launched it over the right field wall for yet another solo home run, to give the Red Sox the 4-3 lead.
Jonathan Papelbon then came on in the bottom of the ninth, and shut the door to preserve the 4-3 win for Boston in game one of the double-header. Stick around later for more baseball, as the Sox and Tigers will finish out their series tonight at 7:05 p.m. on NESN.