Justin Upton has been "back" about a half dozen times already this season - spoiler alert: none of those proclamations were true - but Sunday afternoon felt like the real thing.
"We've still got time to go". David Ortiz (.319, 60 Rs, 29 HRs, 97 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Red Sox, going 3 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
The Red Sox had to face two of the issues that have been haunting them most in recent months. Former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked before Erick Aybar smashed a double through the left side of the infield.
- Benintendi's first homer was a two-run shot on a picture-perfect swing in the seventh.
Martinez had a pair of doubles for the Tigers. With two outs, Boston manager John Farrell made a decision to walk Miguel Cabrera to load the bases for Martinez.
The Indians came from behind to edge the Toronto Blue Jays, with two runs in the eighth inning sealing a 3-2 win, while the Los Angeles Dodgers got the better of the Cincinnati Reds 4-0. Cameron Maybin, fresh off the disabled list, grounded a two-run single to center for a 10-1 Tigers lead in the sixth.NOTES: Tigers CF Cameron Maybin (left thumb) was activated off the disabled list and returned to the starting lineup Sunday, with SS Dixon Machado being optioned back to Triple-A Toledo.
Daniel Norris (1-2) took the loss, giving up three runs and eight hits in his five innings. The Red Sox sent Cespedes to the Tigers for Rick Porcello in December 2014, and the Tigers then sent Cespedes to the Mets for Michael Fulmer in July 2015.
The teams weren't done scoring, though.
With two outs in the sixth, Fulmer gave up four consecutive singles.
The Red Sox scored four times off Shane Greene in the seventh, including a two-run homer by Andrew Benintendi, the first of his career.
Farrell announced after the game that Rodriguez would not start as scheduled Sunday.
Justin Verlander: Losing the shutout was a disappointment, but Verlander lowered his ERA to 3.38 with another excellent outing.
"I wasn't putting pressure on myself, but I wanted to perform, " he said. However, in what became one of life's great lessons for me, one should never make assumptions. "That was just a few inches away from tying the game".
Speaking of Upton, this finally feels like that breakout we've been waiting for. "Getting more than a one run lead really helps".
Brad Ziegler took over for Hembree after J.D. Martinez's home run. "I wasn't contributing. I wasn't being the player they expect me to be". I was shocked but figured that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. He settled in after a handful of starts and has been with the team since.