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Red Sox 10, Tigers 2: Sox don’t flinch against Fulmer, bounce back big

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The Red Sox found the perfect way to bounce back from a rough loss

Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Coming into Friday night’s game against the Red Sox, Michael Fulmer had yet to be truly touched up at the Major League level. Oh, he’d had a few unimpressive performances. Between three starts against Baltimore, Chicago, and Cleveland, he’d allowed 13 runs in 14.1 innings. But that was it—the only three times in 19 starts he’d allowed more than three earned runs. In fact, otherwise he’d only allowed three twice, and two thrice. The other 11 all coming in at one run or less.

By the end of the first, the Red Sox had already added a fourth game to that unfortunate trifecta. By the end of the sixth, they’d added an entirely new category: six-plus.

Perhaps the Red Sox were just lucky enough to catch Fulmer on one of those nights where the warmup doesn’t quite seem to take right away. God knows they’ve seen enough of them from their rotation. One way or another, though, Fulmer was offering them up. With Xander Bogaerts on base and one out, Fulmer tried to pitch around David Ortiz, but on a 2-2 count tried to come inside with a fastball, and didn’t get it nearly far enough in. Ortiz blasted it very deep to right, and gave the Red Sox the 2-0 lead.

If Ortiz had won his matchup with Fulmer, the next bit of damage would come as much from Fulmer losing as from Jackie Bradley Jr. winning. Usually you might be able to get away with hanging slider to a guy of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s size, but the Red Sox’ 70-inches-or-less club is built differently than most. Bradley took a big swing at a bad pitch and, for the fourth time in six games, drove one into the stands for another two-run shot to make it 4-0.

The hope, at that point, was for the ever-reliable Rick Porcello to coast to an easy win. But the second would provide some serious doubts as J.D. Martinez joined the home run party on the other side, leaving those fans in right field with yet another two-run homer to scramble after.

If the game failed miserably to live up to the pitchers’ duel that was promised, both starters would at least fall into a rhythm from there. The third would see a whole lot of nothing from both sides, with Fulmer getting weak contact and Porcello missing bats. Each man would escape a bit of trouble over the next two innings, leaving the score unchanged as they headed to the sixth.

There, however, Fulmer finally relented again, though it’s hard to really put too much blame on him. With two outs, Sandy Leon managed to leg out an infield single on a ground ball back up the middle. Behind him, Brock Holt’s grounder actually managed to find its way through, and just like that, the Sox had a rally in an inning that could well have already been dead. Fulmer would stay in for two more at bats, but they did not go well for him, with Andrew Benintendi hitting a flare into center for an RBI single, and Dustin Pedroia poking another ground ball through the infield for a second run.

While Porcello continued to keep the Tigers locked down, the Red Sox kept on scoring against the Detroit bullpen. The first three batters of the seventh would reach, with Hanley Ramirez capping it off with a double into the gap in right. And, because he liked it so much the first time, Ramirez went ahead and slapped another one down the left field line in the eighth with the bases loaded to make it 10-2 for the Red Sox.

And that lead even this bullpen can hold. Though of course one day after the night they really needed scoreless innings, Heath Hembree and even Fernando Abad provided them. Oh well. The Red Sox will hardly complain about another excellent start from Rick Porcello, a ten-run outburst from the offense, and a win against Michael Fulmer on a night where the Jays and Orioles took losses.

Today was a good day.