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Tigers complete three-game sweep of Red Sox

Jul 8, 2007 - 9:42 PM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Gary Sheffield and the Detroit Tigers had little problem figuring out Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Sheffield, Marcus Thames and Carlos Guillen all homered off Matsuzaka as the Tigers completed a three-game series sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 6-5 victory on Sunday.

Sparked by their power surge and big series against the team with baseball's best record, the Tigers (52-34) head into the All-Star break in first place in the American League Central Division for a second straight season.

"I'm really proud of them," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "They got through a lot in the first half. They've got to enjoy their time off. The All-Star break is really not a break, you're running all over to all parts of the country. It's a real dangerous time to start the second half but it's the same for every time."

The Tigers were able to extend their winning streak to five games by overcoming five errors and roughing up Matsuzaka (10-6), who entered with a 3-0 record and a 0.62 ERA in his last four starts.

Sheffield, who was left off the AL All-Star team, started the barrage against the Japanese righthander with his 21st homer, a solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.

After the Red Sox scored twice in the third off erratic Nate Robertson (5-6), the Tigers took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame.

With one out, Thames launched his 10th homer of the season over the center field wall.

Sheffield kept things going with a double and, after a wild pitch, Sean Casey delivered a run-scoring single. Guillen followed by sending a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for his 14th homer and a 5-2 lead.

"You have to play hard every day," Guillen said. "You know you're going to lose games, you know you're going to win games. You have to make adjustments, try to stay consistent.

"We have to play the same way we play against Kansas City, the way we play against other teams. You've got to be consistent, don't worry who's pitching."

Matsuzaka was roughed up for six runs and 10 hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out four.

"First and foremost my biggest problem was my command," Matsuzaka said through interpeter. "They were able to make contact off me because I put my pitches in soft locations."

To open the fourth, Robertson received a huge play from his defense as center fielder Curtis Granderson took a home run away from Wily Mo Pena. Granderson raced back to the wall and stuck his glove over the wall, where he snatched the ball.

"I was trying to get to it (Pena) to help the team any way I could," Granderson said. "Because offensively I didn't feel that great. I saw Marcus hit his home run and was like, man, I've got to contribute any way I can before the All-Star break and that was my way to go ahead and do it."

Sheffield, who had three hits, stroked an RBI ground-rule double in the bottom of the inning for a 6-2 advantage.

The lead proved to be enough for Robertson, who won for the first time in six starts. The lefthander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and four hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

"You don't want to end with two solo home runs like that," Robertson said. "But we won the game. It wasn't a pretty win but I'd rather win an ugly game than lose a pretty one."

Robertson's first win since May 19 was not without some tense moments.

In the seventh, rookie Jeff Bailey reached Robertson for a solo homer, his first career hit. Light-hitting Julio Lugo followed with his fifth homer of the season, pulling the Red Sox within 6-4.

"It felt good to get that first hit," Bailey said. "I wanted to hit the first pitch and I was very fortunate to get the bat on the ball."

Lugo, who went 3-for-3, also delivered an RBI double in the eighth. Despite his big day at the plate, Lugo enters the break hitting just .197.

Trying to avoid their sixth straight road loss, the Red Sox did attempt to rally in the ninth against Todd Jones, who allowed singles to Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek. But with two outs, the veteran righthander got J.D. Drew to foul out to third, securing his 22nd save in 26 chances.

"They (Tigers) played very good baseball against us." Drew said. "We weren't able to capitalize."

Even with their lost weekend, the Red Sox (53-34) enter the break with a healthy 10-game lead over Toronto and the New York Yankees in the AL East.

"Weren't trilled about the result of this series," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "All we can do now is try to relax, regroup and start the second half."

Manny Ramirez, one of six Red Sox headed to the All-Star Game, did not start due to flu-like symptoms. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 5 7 0
    DETROIT 1 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 x 6 10 5 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, MIKE TIMLIN (6TH), JAVIER LOPEZ (8TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON, MACAY MCBRIDE (7TH), JOSE
    CAPELLAN (7TH), ZACH MINER (8TH),

    Jul 8 4:17 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 4:07 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JULIO LUGO SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LUGO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 5
    DETROIT 6 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.266, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 3:51 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JULIO LUGO (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4, DETROIT 6
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.267, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 3:14 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEFF BAILEY (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    7TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, DETROIT 6
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J LUGO (.192, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 3:13 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY GARY SHEFFIELD SCORED CURTIS
    GRANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SHEFFIELD ON SECOND, M THAMES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    DETROIT 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.302, 1-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 2:40 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS GUILLEN (14) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA SCORED SEAN CASEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, DETROIT 5
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C MONROE (.222, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 2:08 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SEAN CASEY SCORED GARY SHEFFIELD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, S CASEY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    DETROIT 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.324, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 2:05 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARCUS THAMES (10) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, DETROIT 2
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: G SHEFFIELD (.299, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 2:00 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D ORTIZ ON SECOND, D PEDROIA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    DETROIT 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.278, 0-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 1:53 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DAVID ORTIZ HIT BY NATE ROBERTSON PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED JULIO LUGO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, C
    CRISP ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    DETROIT 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.303, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 1:50 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARY SHEFFIELD (21) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, DETROIT 1
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.299, 1 HR, 33 RBI)

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 1:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    boonfarmer Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. TigersJul 8 6:57 AM