Mike Lowell’s keeps Sox four game streak alive with a 3-for-5 night


Mike Lowell’s keeps Sox four game streak alive with a 3-for-5 night

(May 5, 2008) – It is tough to imagine a team called the Tigers would be this bad in 2008. Not after the World’s number one golfer is Tiger Woods, who won the first three PGA tournaments of 2008 season. But because of Detroit’s misfortune early in the year, Daisuke Matsuzaka did not have to be perfect to record his fifth win of the season in the Red Sox’s 5-3 victory in Comerica Park.

Matsuzaka was not particularly sharp this evening, walking eight Tiger batters in just five innings while striking out just one opposing batter. Walks were the only problem the Sox starter, who had not allowed a hit until the bottom of the fourth inning but was already well above 65 pitches by that point. It was awfully difficult to watch Matsuzaka have trouble finding the strike zone while he was in the game but he was still able to weasel his way out of jams.

Since coming off the disabled list on the May 1, the Sox third base man had been just 4-for-17 but tonight was the night that Mike Lowell produced offensively. Lowell put the Sox on the board first with a two-run homerun over the head of Detroit left fielder Gary Sheffield in the top of the second inning. As the game progressed, the Cuban ballplayer would flirt with the possibility of becoming the first Sox player to hit for the cycle since John Valentin accomplished the feat 12 years ago against the Chicago White Sox.

In the top of the fourth inning Lowell doubled to left field to lead off the inning. He came around to score on Kevin Youkilis’s fourth homerun and second in as many games. Youkilis’s 22 RBIs ties him with the Tigers Miguel Cabrera for second among AL first baseman, behind Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. David Ortiz would take another run on the board with a one out single in the top of the seven to plate second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

The Tigers would rally in the bottom of the inning against the young Craig Hansen, two innings after Matsuzaka was forced out of the game after throwing 109 pitches, 60 for strikes. Hansen would allow a base hit to second baseman Placido Polanco to lead off the inning then mishandle a dribbler out in front of the plate off the bat of Carlos Guillen. The Sox young right hander out of St. John’s University looked as if he would get out of the jam by getting right fielder Magglio Ordonez to ground into double play, but Hansen would go on to walk Cabrera and Sheffield before being relieved by Hideki Okajima. The left hander would gave up a bases loaded single to pinch-hitter Marcus Thames to close the lead to two runs.

Tim Wakefield will make the start in game two of the four game series with Detroit on Tuesday in what will be re-match of the April 10 game against Nate Robertson. The Sox’s elder statesman is in search of his third win of the season and is coming off a 3-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on May 1. In that loss, Wakefield pitched seven innings allowing three runs on five hits while walking three Jays batters.

Robertson is 1-3 on the season with a 6.82 ERA with 27 strike outs. The Tigers right hander is coming of a win against the Yankees in New York where he pitched 5.2 innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. The last time he faced the Sox was against Wakefield on April 10 where he pitched 5.1 innings allowing four runs on eight hits in the Sox’s 12-6 win. In the win, Wakefield pitched five innings allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out five and walking five.

WIN: Daisuke Matsuzaka (5-0)

LOSS: Jeremy Bonderman (2-3)

SAVE: Jonathan Papelbon (10)


Game Notes:

The Tigers designated outfielder Jacque Jones for assignment. Jones was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Tigers with hopes that he would provide offense at the plate. But instead of starting the 2008 season off on the right foot, the former Minnesota Twin was hitting at a .165 clip with a .244 on base percentage and a .253 slugging percentage.

Craig Hansen was re-called from triple A Pawtucket to fill the void that Brandon Moss left when he was placed on the DL earlier today.

Mike Lowell is just a triple away from the cycle and what a good place to get the opportunity than at the spacious Comerica Park.

Red Sox are currently 20-15 in Comerica Park since it opened in 2000.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Mike Lowell, BOSTON 3-5 Homerun, Double, 2 RBIs
  1. David Ortiz, BOSTON 2-4 Homerun, 2 RBIs
  1. Kevin Youkilis, BOSTON 1-4 Homerun, 2 RBIs

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