Bogaerts' walk-off lifts Sox over Tigers in 11th
BOSTON -- Fueled by a walk-off single from Xander Bogaerts in the 11th inning, the Red Sox snapped an eight-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night at Fenway Park.
After tallying lone runs in the third, the Sox and Tigers traded zeros for seven innings until Bogaerts ended the deadlock with his well-timed single, which scored Mookie Betts from second on a close play at the plate. Both teams had to wait a little over four minutes before the safe call at home was ruled to stand after a challenge by Detroit.
"Much needed, that's for sure," Bogaerts said. "We had a tough road trip. We have a long homestand right now -- just try and win as many games as possible and you never know what can happen."
Tigers righty Justin Verlander powered his way through the most impressive outing of his season, holding the Red Sox to one run over a season-high eight innings before taking the tough-luck no-decision. He allowed seven hits -- all singles -- and issued no walks while striking out three on 111 pitches.
"Obviously, you wish for a better outcome," Verlander said. "But being able to go out there and go eight solid innings was good. After my last start, I felt similar to the start against Toronto where everything was pretty good. It was just a small adjustment out of the stretch that I had to make. Felt like I was able to do that tonight and make some quality pitches most of the night."
The Red Sox welcomed an equally strong effort from Rick Porcello, who spun seven innings of one-run ball while facing his former team for the first time. It was the right-hander's first time completing seven frames since June 3, and the first time since May 5 that he held an opponent to fewer than two runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
X-Man: After Betts walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brock Holt, Bogaerts lined a base hit up the middle and Betts slid home safely ahead of the throw by Anthony Gose. It was Bogaerts' second career walk-off hit, with the first coming on April 17 against the Orioles, and Boston's third walk-off win of the year. More >
Crisis averted: The Tigers were threatening to pull ahead in the top of the 11th, but the Red Sox executed a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play to get out of trouble. With men on first and second and a full count to Victor Martinez, Detroit put both runners in motion. Reliever Justin Masterson got Martinez swinging, and catcher Ryan Hanigan cut down Ian Kinsler at third base by several feet to end the inning. More >
Too high, too hot: Following Kinsler's two-out triple in the eighth, the Tigers had the potential go-ahead run standing on third base in a tie game. But outfielder Yoenis Cespedes struck out in the ensuing at-bat against Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa, who threw nine consecutive fastballs to get the job done.
"That might be the at-bat of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "Taz has been in so many games with his back against the wall and continues to do a great job for us."
Double-double: After struggling to pitch out of the stretch in his last start, Verlander efficiently navigated around some basepath traffic by inducing inning-ending double plays in the fourth and the sixth. The first saw Verlander coax a weak grounder out of Alejandro De Aza, allowing the veteran to pitch around a pair of one-out singles.
"I was able to locate my fastball pretty well. Get guys behind in the count and get some weak contact," Verlander said. More >
"I think before that inning I saw the Yankees were losing, to be honest, so I'm like, 'If we get a good win tonight that definitely would be good.'"
-- Bogaerts, on his walk-off RBI single
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Tigers have lost each of their last seven extra-inning games to fall to 3-8 in extras this season.
Tigers: Veteran right-hander Alfredo Simon draws the start for Detroit on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET. Simon has struggled of late, pitching to a 9.32 ERA across four July starts, and will be looking for his first quality start since June 7.
Red Sox: The Red Sox will send knuckleballer Steven Wright to the mound for the middle of three games vs. Detroit. Wright, who has spent time as both a starter and a reliever this season, gave up a career-high six runs on Monday in Anaheim.
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