American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 8th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (0-2) at Detroit Tigers (2-0), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Clay Buchholz (0-0, 0.00)
Detroit - Max Scherzer (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Clay Buchholz tries to bounce back from an injury-plagued
2011 when the Boston Red Sox close out a season-opening three game set against
the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Back problems limited Buchholz to just 14 starts last season, as he ended the
campaign just 6-3 with a 3.48 earned run average. He had been a 17-game winner
the previous season to go along with a 2.33 ERA.
"It's more of a relaxed state of mind knowing that everything's fine and not
having to worry about anything other than going out there and executing
pitches and trying to help put this team in a position to win," Buchholz said.
The road has been kind to the 26-year-old righty, as he is 19-7 away from home
since the start of the 2009 season. However, in three starts at Comerica he is
just 1-0 with a 4.96 ERA.
Detroit, meanwhile, will pin its hopes today on right-hander Max Scherzer, who
won his first six decisions last season and had 10 wins by the All-Star break.
Scherzer, though, was just 5-5 after the break, despite his ERA dropping
nearly a half run.
"The wins and losses, that's great for the team, and that's what I'm pitching
here for, but I'm looking at what gives us the best chance to win on a
consistent basis," Scherzer said. "There were things I was doing well and
things I wasn't doing well at the beginning of last year. I'm hoping that I'm
in a better spot this year than I was last year."
Scherzer has been awful in three starts against the Red Sox, going 0-2, while
allowing 14 earned runs in just 13 1/3 frames.
On Saturday, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder exemplified why they may be
the most fearsome power tandem in baseball, as they smacked two home runs
apiece and combined for five RBI in Detroit's 10-0 rout.
Alex Avila supplied the fifth homer with a two-run shot for the Tigers, who
are off to their best start since winning the first five games in 2006.
"We really didn't do a whole lot the first game offensively in the first game
against them," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Today we did what we do
pretty good, hit the ball in the gaps and we hit the ball out of the
Doug Fister, who was acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline last season,
tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball before exiting with a left costochondral
strain. Fister was later placed on the disabled list.
Duane Below (1-0) came on to replace him on the mound and gave up just one hit
in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Josh Beckett (0-1) allowed seven runs on seven hits and one walk in 4 2/3
innings for Boston.
"You can't miss down the middle of the plate to these guys," Beckett said.
"It's a good team, good lineup, you can't throw balls down the middle of the
plate to most big league hitters, but especially these guys."
Another loss Sunday would give Boston its first consecutive 0-3 starts since
doing so in three straight years from 1931-33, the final seasons of 15
consecutive losing campaigns for the club. The Red Sox, of course, opened last
year by losing their first six games of the year.
Boston won five of its six matchups with the Tigers last season.
04/08 10:26:18 ET