Ortiz, Porcello lead Red Sox to 10-2 rout of Tigers
Aug. 20, 2016
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers and their fans waited six seasons for Rick Porcello to have the breakout year they believed was his destiny.
On Friday night, they finally got to see it.
Porcello, pitching for the first time at Comerica Park as a member of the Red Sox, allowed two runs in seven innings as Boston beat Detroit 10-2.
"It was fun. Honestly," Porcello said in his usual low-key way. "I think it helped that I pitched against those guys at Fenway last year and we came here last year, even though I didn't pitch. It was still weird being on the opposite side, though."
Porcello is 17-3 with a 3.22 ERA, which no one appreciates more than his teammates.
"We gave him four runs in the first inning, and then he just did what he has done for us all year," said Hanley Ramirez, who drove in four runs. "When we need a win, we know he's going to get us one. We had a tough loss yesterday, and he came out and shut them down."
Porcello appreciated the early help, as both David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit two-run homers off Michael Fulmer in the first inning.
"That's huge, especially against a guy who has been pitching as well as Michael," Porcello said. "It's always easier to pitch with a cushion, especially against that offense."
Porcello allowed four hits and two walks while striking out eight. His only major mistake was J.D. Martinez's two-run homer in the second inning.
"It looked like he had a little extra power on the fastball tonight, and I'm sure some of that was being back here," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "You are always going to be pumped up when you go back to a place where you played for a long time."
The Tigers have lost nine of 12 after winning 10 of 11.
"It is a roller coaster," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I've gone through this every year of my career — 25 years now. You have ups and downs."
Fulmer's Rookie of the Year campaign hit a snag, as the Red Sox got a career-high six runs off him in 5 2/3 innings. Fulmer (10-4) allowed 10 hits, including two homers, and walked one while striking out one.
"They are a fastball-hitting team, and they were ready for my fastball," Fulmer said. "It felt like every time I went inside, they were on it."
According to Bradley, that was indeed Boston's plan.
"He's a very good pitcher who is very aggressive," he said. "We wanted to attack him right away."
Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the first with his 22nd career homer at Comerica Park — a blast deep into the stands in right field. Ortiz has hit more homers in Detroit than in any other ballpark outside the AL East.
Bradley gave Boston a four-run lead with the second two-run homer of the first inning, but Martinez pulled the Tigers within 4-2 with his two-run shot.
Both pitchers settled down after that, and the score didn't change until the sixth. Fulmer retired the first two hitters, but base hits by Sandy Leon and Brock Holt put runners on first and second. Andrew Benintendi and Dustin Pedroia followed with RBI singles to knock Fulmer out of the game.
Ramirez's two-run double off Bruce Rondon made it 8-2 in the seventh, and he added another two-run double in the eighth off Mark Lowe.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (hamstring) threw in the bullpen Friday and remains on pace to start Sunday's series finale. ... RHP Steven Wright (shoulder) is expected to miss at least one more start, but could start throwing off a mound this weekend.
Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey (back) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session before the game, and is scheduled to throw another on Sunday. He would then progress to a simulated game before reporting to the minors for rehab games.
MARTINEZ LOCKED IN
J.D. Martinez hit a long home run in his first at-bat, but his second one might have been even more impressive. He hit a line drive to the left side that ripped the webbing out of shortstop Xander Bogaerts' glove on its way to the outfield. Bogaerts had to call time to get a new glove from the Boston dugout.
SPIRIT OF CESPEDES
While Yoenis Cespedes wasn't at Comerica Park on Friday night, he certainly had a major impact on the game. Before the 2015 season, the Tigers traded Porcello to the Red Sox for Cespedes, then shipped him to the Mets at the trading deadline for Fulmer.
Both trades were made by then-Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, who was back in town Friday in his new role as Red Sox president.
The teams play the third game in their four-game series Saturday night with Boston's Drew Pomeranz (9-9, 2.99) facing Daniel Norris (1-1, 3.47). Norris is 0-1 with a 12.27 ERA in two career outings against Boston, one of which was a start.