All in all it wasn’t a horrible opening day. Lester was solid, going 7 innings while allowing 6 hits, 3 walks, and one earned run while striking out 4. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Verlander was better.The 2011 MVP and Cy Young winner went 8 innings give up only 2 hits and one walk while striking out 7. He was magnificent today, rarely giving an inch to the Red Sox all day long.
The Red Sox were trailing 2-0 in the top of the ninth, but a Pedroia double to start the inning gave the Red Sox life. Adrian hit a single to left to move Pedroia over to 3rd and Papi hit a sac fly to center to give the Red Sox their first run of the season. Youk struck out on a foul tip, but Darnell McDonald stole second with Sweeney batting and Sweeney hit a bomb triple to right that just missed a home run to right. Unfortunately Ross lined out to Jhonny Peralta to end the inning.
The Red Sox bullpen faltered in the bottom half of the inning. Mark Melancon came into the game to try to keep the Tigers at bay, but was lifted by Bobby Valentine after 2 straight singles with one out. Ramon Santiago was hit with a pitch to load the bases, and Austin Jackson hit a walk off single to right off Aceves to give the Tigers their first win of the season. It’s a tough loss, but there are a lot of positives to take out of the game. The Red Sox had a great rally to tie it up and Lester looked good for most of the game. I still have a lot of concerns about our bullpen, but I have the same feeling every year so I don’t expect that to go away any time soon. Red Sox will try to tie the series up on Saturday with Beckett on the hill at 4:00 PM ET on FOX.