May 16: Tigers (25-12) 1, Red Sox (20-21) 0
A two-out run off the bat of Torii Hunter in the first proved to be all the offense the Detroit Tigers would need as starter Max Scherzer and company shut down the Boston Red Sox in a 1-0 victory. Scherezer earned his sixth win with six scoreless innings and seven strikeouts.
In the top half of the first, Ian Kinsler singled with one out to get the ball rolling for his offense. Miguel Cabrera worked a very important, five-pitch walk to set the stage for Hunter. Following a strikeout by Victor Martinez for the second out the year, Hunter singled on the first offering he saw from pitcher Jon Lester to bring in Kinsler from second.
Both teams struggled offensively from there. The Tigers got runners on the corners with two outs in the third but fell short when Austin Jackson was retired on strikes.
The Red Sox got runners on first and second with nobody out to lead off the bottom half of the sixth but came away with no runs as Scherzer wiggled his way to safety. Scherzer got Grady Sizemore to ground into a double play and struck out Mike Napoli to avoid any damage. With David Ross on third and David Ortiz at the plate with two outs, Scherzer and the Tiger staff opted to intentionally walk Ortiz rather than face him with the potential tying run 90 feet away.
In the bottom half of the seventh, the Red Sox were in business once again. After Mike Carp opened the frame with a single to left, the Tigers replaced Scherzer with reliever Evan Reed. Reed then hit the first batter he faced in Xander Bogaerts to put two runners on with no outs for the second straight inning. Reed managed to strike out Jackie Bradley Jr. before being replaced by Ian Krol to face pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski. Krol induced a double-play ball from Pierzynski on the second pitch to get out of trouble.
In the ninth frame, closer Joe Nathan did his job with a spotless 1-2-3 inning to earn his 11 save of the season.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the game as the Tigers stranded 13 batters to the Red Sox’s 11 left on base.
Scherzer got the win for the Tigers with his six innings of work, piling up seven strikeouts, four walks and just three hits. He lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.83 on the year. On the other side, Lester went five innings, fanning seven of his own and walking three batters. He gave up just four hits and got the loss after giving up the first-inning run.