Boston at Detroit

W: N. Robertson (5-6) L: D. Matsuzaka (10-6)
S: T. Jones (22)
HR: BOS - J. Bailey (1), J. Lugo (5)   DET - G. Sheffield (21), M. Thames (10), C. Guillen (14)

Tigers get to Matsuzaka for three HRs, finish sweep

CBS wire reports

DETROIT -- Gary Sheffield and the Detroit Tigers made Daisuke Matsuzaka pay for his lackluster location.

Sheffield hit one of Detroit's three homers off the Japanese star, Curtis Granderson took a home run away from Boston and the Tigers beat the Red Sox 6-5 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Carlos Guillen and Marcus Thames also homered against Matsuzaka, who gave up three homers for the first time in the major leagues. Sheffield added two doubles off the right-hander.

"We're pretty good at hitting mistakes," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "It doesn't matter who is pitching."

After trailing 6-2, Boston scored twice in the seventh and once in the eighth to pull within a run. With runners on first and third in the ninth against Todd Jones, J.D. Drew fouled out to end the game.

As it turned out, Granderson's catch proved to be as important as it was impressive.

The center fielder sprinted to his right, jumped in stride and snagged a ball -- with his left armpit over the wall -- to rob Wily Mo Pena of a homer in the fourth.

"If that's not a web gem, I've never seen one," Leyland said. "Nobody makes a better play than that."

Detroit heads into the All-Star break after winning five straight and 14 of 19, moving a game ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central. The Tigers beat Boston 9-2 in the series opener and 3-2 in 13 innings Saturday night after winning the last two games of a three-game series against the Indians.

"They seem to be hitting their stride," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter.

The Red Sox were a season-high 22 games over .500 on June 24, but have since lost eight of 13 overall and six in a row on the road.

"I'm not thrilled," manager Terry Francona said.

Boston still, however, has a double-digit lead in the AL East.

Matsuzaka (10-6) allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings, which equaled his shortest start in his first major league season. He had given up just two runs in his previous four starts and hadn't lost since June 10.

"The problem was with my control," Matsuzaka said. "I felt I left a lot of my pitches in soft locations.

"I wasn't able to throw the fastball for strikes."

Sheffield hit his 21st homer in the first inning and Guillen's 14th followed Thames' drive over the center-field wall in the third.

Thames, who hit a grand slam in the series opener, turned one of Matsuzaka's mistakes into a 440-foot shot.

"I haven't seen any go out there like that," Leyland said. "When he hits them up like that, it reminds me of Mark McGwire to be honest."

In just 131 at-bats, Thames has 10 homers and might challenge Craig Monroe for the starting job in left field after the break.

Nate Robertson (5-6) allowed four runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. Boston scored two runs in the third inning off him on three walks, a hit batter and a sacrifice fly.

Jose Capellan pitched 1 1/3 innings, Zach Miner got the final out of the eighth and Jones earned his 22nd save in 26 chances.

Robertson gave up just two hits through the first six innings, then Jeff Bailey and Julio Lugo hit consecutive homers in the seventh to make it 6-4. It was Bailey's first major league hit.

The Red Sox had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh, but Capellan got out of the inning with two flyouts.

Boston pulled within a run in the eighth after Drew walked, advanced two bases on a throwing error and scored on Lugo's double.

The Red Sox have a baseball-high six All-Stars and Detroit has five, plus Leyland, but just three of the 11 were in the lineup.

Boston's David Ortiz and Mike Lowell along with Guillen of the Tigers started the game while some of the other All-Stars were used as pinch-hitters.

Detroit second baseman Placido Polanco is day to day with a back injury, and outfielder Magglio Ordonez was held out to rest a sore heel.

Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez was out of the lineup with what Francona called "intestinal turmoil," but was used as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after the Tigers gave him antibiotics.

Detroit catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who had the game-winning hit Saturday night, didn't play until pinch-hitting in the eighth.


  • Leyland, who will manage in the All-Star Game, said he knows who the AL's starting pitcher will be, but wouldn't reveal the decision.
  • Matsuzaka gave up more than one home run only once before, on May 25 when Texas hit two home runs off him.
  • Detroit committed a season-high five errors.
  • Matsuzaka lasted five innings twice previously.
  • Virgil Trucks, 90, and 80-year-old Joe Ginsberg were on the field before the game to honor Justin Verlander and Rodriguez. Verlander's no-hitter last month was the first by a Tiger at home since Trucks did it in 1952. Ginsberg and Rodriguez were the catchers in the two games.
  • The Tigers drew their ninth straight sellout, extending a record in 6½ seasons at Comerica Park.
  • Lugo was 3-for-3 with a double and home run.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Curtis Granderson leaps and reaches over the wall to take a home run away from Wily Mo Pena.  (AP)
Curtis Granderson leaps and reaches over the wall to take a home run away from Wily Mo Pena. (AP)

Players of the Game

G. Sheffield
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

J. Lugo
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1

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Dustin Pedroia, 2B4010100 .318
David Ortiz, DH3001111 .314
Mike Lowell, 3B4011003 .300
Jason Varitek, C4010103 .279
J.D. Drew, RF4100106 .258
Wily Mo Pena, LF4000032 .208
Jeff Bailey, 1B3111000 .111
   a- Manny Ramirez, PH1000011 .284
    Eric Hinske, 1B0000000 .193
Julio Lugo, SS3232100 .197
a-struck out for Bailey in the 8th
2B - Julio Lugo (13, Capellan)
HR - Jeff Bailey (1, Robertson), Julio Lugo (5, Robertson)
SF - Mike Lowell (6)
RBI - David Ortiz (52), Mike Lowell (63), Jeff Bailey (1), Julio Lugo 2 (40)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Lugo (15)
SB - Julio Lugo (22, 3rd base off Robertson/Rabelo)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Varitek-Lugo
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,10-6) 51066143 3.84
Mike Timlin 2000000 4.38
Javier Lopez 1000110 3.00
WP - Daisuke Matsuzaka (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 90-58, Mike Timlin 18-11, Javier Lopez 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 4-6, Mike Timlin 1-5, Javier Lopez 1-0
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 25, Mike Timlin 6, Javier Lopez 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4110000 .283
Marcus Thames, RF4111000 .244
Gary Sheffield, DH4232000 .303
Sean Casey, 1B3111112 .300
Carlos Guillen, SS3112111 .325
Craig Monroe, LF4020010 .223
Mike Rabelo, C3000012 .240
   a- Ivan Rodriguez, PH-C1000000 .288
Omar Infante, 2B3000001 .284
Brandon Inge, 3B3010011 .248
a-grounded out for Rabelo in the 8th
2B - Curtis Granderson (24, Matsuzaka), Gary Sheffield 2 (14, Matsuzaka, Matsuzaka)
HR - Marcus Thames (10, Matsuzaka), Gary Sheffield (21, Matsuzaka), Carlos Guillen (14, Matsuzaka)
RBI - Marcus Thames (28), Gary Sheffield 2 (58), Sean Casey (34), Carlos Guillen 2 (67)
2-OUT RBI - Gary Sheffield 2 (18)
CS - Carlos Guillen (6, 2nd base by Lopez/Varitek), Craig Monroe (3, 2nd base by Matsuzaka/Varitek)
Team LOB - 4
E - Jose Capellan (1, Throwing), Carlos Guillen (16, Misplayed grounder), Craig Monroe 2 (3, Throwing), Mike Rabelo (2, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson (W,5-6) 6.1444422 4.92
Macay McBride0000100 3.72
Jose Capellan (H,1) 1.1110120 3.86
Zach Miner (H,4) 0.1000010 1.65
Todd Jones (S,22) 1200010 5.20
IBB - Varitek by Nate Robertson
HBP - Ortiz (by Nate Robertson)
WP - Macay McBride (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 107-66, Macay McBride 5-1, Jose Capellan 27-15, Zach Miner 7-5, Todd Jones 14-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 11-7
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Game Information
Attendance - 41943
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Mike Everitt