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Boston at Detroit

W: M. Albers (1-2) L: J. Valverde (2-2)
S: J. Papelbon (10)
HR: BOS - M. Cameron (3),D. Pedroia (4),D. Ortiz (11)   DET - A. Dirks (2),B. Boesch (4)

Big Papi's pinch-homer gets Red Sox by Tigers

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- David Ortiz doesn't do a lot of pinch-hitting, so it's rare for him to hit a home run in that role.

So rare, in fact, that the last time was his first home run with the Red Sox.

Eight years later, Ortiz did it again, homering in the ninth inning off Jose Valverde to give Boston a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the opener of Sunday's day-night doubleheader.

"I don't like pinch-hitting too much, but I did just what I do as a DH," he said. "I went to the cages, took some swings and got loose."

Ortiz, hitting for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, worked a full count against the Tigers' closer, then hit a line drive over the scoreboard in right-center.

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"Valverde is so tough on right-handed hitters, it seemed like a easy decision with David sitting there," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "He worked the count and got a great swing."

Ortiz had only faced Valverde one other time. On July 30 last year, he hit a ninth-inning grand slam.

"I was waiting for one pitch, and he gave it to me," Ortiz said.

Boston has won 13 of 15, including five in a row. They will go for a sweep of their four-game visit to Detroit in the nightcap, with aces Josh Beckett and Justin Verlander pitching.

Matt Albers (1-2) picked up the win with two shutout innings of relief, while Valverde (2-2) took the loss. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

"I was able to throw my sinker and slider on both sides of the plate and get guys swinging," Albers said. "That let me get ahead in the count and make them hit the ball on the ground."

Boston's Clay Buchholz and Detroit rookie Andy Oliver each pitched six innings and allowed three runs.

Oliver struggled badly in the first inning of his season debut, allowing a double, a walk, a hit batter and four stolen bases, but somehow escaped down just 1-0 on Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly. Tigers catcher Victor Martinez didn't even get off a throw on any of the stolen bases, which included a double steal by Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis.

"My slide step was a little slow in the first inning," Oliver said. "From the second inning on, I relaxed and got focused on keeping guys off the bases."

The Red Sox got solo homers from Mike Cameron and Pedroia in the next two innings, but Boston's offense stalled until Ortiz's homer in the ninth.

"I thought he did very well to hold that team to three runs," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Oliver. "You call up someone from the minors and they hold the Boston Red Sox to three runs in six inngs, you think they just did a good job."

Andy Dirks started Detroit's rally with a homer in the fourth, and Brennan Boesch's fourth home run pulled the Tigers to 3-2 in the sixth.

Miguel Cabrera followed with a double, took third on Martinez's groundout and scored on Jhonny Peralta's single.


  • Before the game, the Red Sox placed reliever Franklin Morales on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-handed reliever Michael Bowden.
  • The second game of the doubleheader was not originally scheduled to be televised, because of ESPN's exclusive Sunday-night contract, but a waiver was reached Sunday afternoon that allowed the game to be shown in both Boston and Detroit.
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland had said he hoped moving slumping Ryan Raburn to second base would give him a "new season." Raburn went 0-4 with three strikeouts, dropping his season batting average to .195.
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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Red Sox DH David Ortiz pops a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning as Boston defeats the Tigers. (AP)
Red Sox DH David Ortiz pops a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning as Boston defeats the Tigers. (AP)

Players of the Game

D. Ortiz
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

A. Dirks
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4110130 .298
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4111102 .247
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3001000 .333
Kevin Youkilis, DH3000010 .267
Jed Lowrie, SS4020002 .306
Carl Crawford, LF4000024 .240
Drew Sutton, 3B4000001 .278
Mike Cameron, RF2121100 .200
   a- J.D. Drew, PH-RF1000000 .230
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3000002 .224
   b- David Ortiz, PH1111000 .306
    Jason Varitek, C0000000 .203
a-flied out for Cameron in the 9th
b-homered for Saltalamacchia in the 9th
2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (16, Oliver), Jed Lowrie (10, Oliver)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (4, Oliver), Mike Cameron (3, Oliver), David Ortiz (11, Valverde)
SF - Adrian Gonzalez (2)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (16), Adrian Gonzalez (45), Mike Cameron (7), David Ortiz (24)
SB - Jacoby Ellsbury (19, 3rd base off Oliver/Martinez), Dustin Pedroia 2 (12, 2nd base off Oliver/Martinez, 3rd base off Oliver/Martinez), Kevin Youkilis (1, 2nd base off Oliver/Martinez)
Team LOB - 7
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz 6633132 3.41
Matt Albers (W,1-2) 2000120 3.54
Jonathan Papelbon (S,10) 1000020 2.78
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 98-63, Matt Albers 30-21, Jonathan Papelbon 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 7-8, Matt Albers 4-0, Jonathan Papelbon 1-0
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 25, Matt Albers 7, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4000002 .224
Andy Dirks, LF4121001 .269
Brennan Boesch, DH4111021 .261
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3110101 .311
Victor Martinez, C4000001 .286
Jhonny Peralta, SS4011001 .304
Don Kelly, RF4010011 .263
Ryan Raburn, 2B4000031 .195
Brandon Inge, 3B2000110 .203
2B - Miguel Cabrera (15, Buchholz)
HR - Andy Dirks (2, Buchholz), Brennan Boesch (4, Buchholz)
RBI - Andy Dirks (3), Brennan Boesch (21), Jhonny Peralta (29)
2-OUT RBI - Jhonny Peralta (9)
Team LOB - 5
Detroit Tigers
Andrew Oliver 6533332 4.50
David Purcey 1000010 3.38
Joaquin Benoit 1100010 6.27
Jose Valverde (L,2-2) 1111011 3.68
HBP - Youkilis (by Andrew Oliver)
WP - Andrew Oliver (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Andrew Oliver 106-61, David Purcey 15-12, Joaquin Benoit 14-9, Jose Valverde 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andrew Oliver 4-11, David Purcey 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-1
Batters Faced - Andrew Oliver 27, David Purcey 3, Joaquin Benoit 4, Jose Valverde 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36285
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Manny Gonzalez, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Mark Carlson