By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
Earlier today, we highlighted an epic (and crazy) game that took place on this exact date eight years ago. And that game featured both our hometown Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit, which won the game in eleven innings by a score of 13-12, needed not one, but two rallies to beat Boston and clinch their first three-game series of the 2012 season.
Miguel Cabrera highlighted his team’s win with five RBI, three hits and three runs, while Alex Avila capped his team’s comeback effort with a two-run blast in the bottom of the eleventh inning.
“I’m too tired right now,” Avila said via the game’s report on ESPN.com following his two-run home run. “I’m glad we have an off day (Monday). This weekend has been crazy.”
Detroit plated 26 runs against the Red Sox and won two of the three contests during the team’s final at-bat. The Tigers, which would go onto represent the American League in the World Series, edged the Red Sox in their season-opener, 3-2, despite Jose Valverde blowing what would have been his initial save of 2012.
Boston’s offense, which was led by Mike Aviles and Nick Punto, did provide its pitchers (and defense) with an opportunity to win this particular game, not just in the ninth inning, but also in the eleventh. However, Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon surrendered the leads by giving up a home run to Cabrera in the ninth inning and Avila in the eleventh.
“This is a work in progress,” first-year Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said following his team’s third setback of the 2012 season. “We’re three days in after losing our closer, and we’re still trying to figure it out.”
Boston would erase memories of the Sunday setback, along with its Opening Day loss on Monday, April 9th when they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2.
Unfortunately, 2012 was not Boston’s best season as they finished 69-93 overall, as well as 26 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. Boston never spent a single day during the 2012 season in first-place – in fact, their longest winning streak was just six games (Apr. 23rd to Apr. 28th).
Weeks after squandering their lead to the Tigers, the Red Sox would suffer a disappointing 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in 17 innings.