American League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 29th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (23-25) at Boston Red Sox (24-24), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (5-2, 2.15) Boston - Daniel Bard (4-5, 4.69)
(Sports Network) - The Boston Red Sox have failed in five attempts this season to push their record above .500. Their sixth chance has them going up against last season's American League MVP.
The Red Sox try to make it back-to-back wins in the second test of this four- game series with the Detroit Tigers, who send Justin Verlander to the hill in their attempt to snap a losing streak at Fenway Park.
Boston picked up a 7-4 victory on Monday to even its record at 24-24. The Red Sox have won 12 of their last 17, but have alternated wins and losses in the past seven contests and are 0-5 this season in games in which they enter play with a .500 record.
They'll look to move above the even mark for the first time this season after getting a solid outing from starter Felix Doubront in Monday's opener. He gave up just two runs -- on solo homers by Delmon Young and Gerald Laird -- over six innings and had been given four runs of support already by the end of the third inning.
"Felix has been (a) pretty consistent pitcher for us," said Boston manager Bobby Valentine. "Made a couple mistakes with some power hitters, but other than that, he pitched well today."
Mike Aviles knocked in two runs, with one coming during a controversy in a three-run second frame.
Aviles foul tipped a third strike, but first base umpire Bill Welke ruled that the ball hit the ground, though replays showed that Laird appeared to catch the ball. Instead of the inning being over, Aviles hit an RBI single off Doug Fister and Daniel Nava followed with a run-scoring double and also later scored in the inning.
Prior to the start of the third, Tigers manager Jim Leyland and third base coach Gene Lamont, still visibly upset over the call, were ejected for arguing.
"There should not have been a second-inning rally. There was three outs," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I've been in the game a long time and when the catcher catches the ball and it's strike three you call the guy out. It's that simple isn't it?"
Instead, the Tigers were denied a fourth straight win, having swept the Twins in three games over the weekend, and saw their losing streak in Boston reach five games in a row. Detroit has also lost 12 of its past 15 at Fenway Park.
That skid could end tonight if Verlander can duplicate his earlier outing this season against Boston. Facing the Red Sox at home on April 5, Verlander threw eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball, though he did not get a decision in his club's 3-2 win despite seven strikeouts.
Detroit went on to sweep that season-opening three-game series.
The right-handed Verlander has been solid in following up his MVP and Cy Young-winning 2011 campaign. He is 5-2 with a 2.15 earned run average in 10 starts and nearly no-hit the Pirates on May 18, instead giving up a hit in the ninth frame of a 6-0 win.
It was Verlander's third straight winning start and fifth consecutive positive decision, but those runs came to an end with a tough-luck loss at Cleveland on Thursday. The 29-year-old gave up just two runs over eight frames, but dropped a 2-1 decision to suffer his first loss since April 11.
Verlander is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA in eight career starts versus the Red Sox, who may be without second baseman Dustin Pedroia after he exited Monday's opener following the fifth inning due to a right thumb injury.
Boston will start converted reliever Daniel Bard tonight and he is coming off a win at Baltimore on Wednesday. The right-hander allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings, working around five hits and four walks to improve to 4-5 with a 4.69 ERA in nine games (8 starts) this season.
Control has been an issue for the 26-year-old, who has walked at least four batters in four straight outings and hasn't made it past the sixth inning in two straight.
Bard will make his first career start versus the Tigers, but is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA against them over six previous relief appearances.
05/29 10:52:44 ET