Forced to leave his last start in the second inning due to a strained left hip, Jason Johnson will be back on the mound when the Detroit Tigers open a four-game series with the surging Boston Red Sox at Fenway park.
Johnson had lost three straight starts before yielding three runs and six hits over only 1 1-3 innings in the Tigers’ 11-10, 11-inning win over Seattle on Saturday. The right-hander sustained the injury on his first pitch of the game.
“I couldn’t throw anything down in the zone,” Johnson said, “so it was kind of a lost cause to stay out there. It’s frustrating because we got 10 runs today, and I know I could’ve won that game.”
Johnson had pitched well in his previous outing, allowing two earned runs and six hits over eight innings in a 3-2 loss at Anaheim. After throwing a side session Monday, Johnson said he would be ready to take the ball against the Red Sox—a team he has pitched fairly well against during his big league career.
Johnson is 4-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 16 appearances, including 14 starts, against Boston. The ERA is his second lowest against any AL opponent.
The Tigers won for the sixth time in nine games Wednesday, holding off the slumping Chicago White Sox 5-4. Marcus Thames drove in three runs and Nate Robertson pitched eight strong innings as Detroit completed a 4-2 homestand.
The Red Sox, virtually counted out of the AL East less than two weeks ago, climbed within 5 1/2 games of the first-place New York Yankees with Wednesday’s 11-5 win in Toronto.
David Ortiz belted a pair of homers and drove in four runs, helping Curt Schilling pick up his 16th win of the season as Boston won for the 14th time in its last 18 games. The Red Sox were 10 1/2 games behind the Yankees on Aug. 15.