DETROIT (AP)—Wilfredo Ledezma baffled the Boston Red Sox.
Making his second career start, Ledezma shut down Boston’s high-powered offense and outpitched Tim Wakefield to help the Tigers improve to 12-35 at home this season.
“I just tried to make good pitches, stay positive and throw a lot of strikes,” said Ledezma, who had not pitched above Class-A before this season.
Acquired from the Red Sox in the winter meeting draft last December, Ledezma (3-2) scattered six hits, struck out two and walked none. He has pitched 12 scoreless innings since joining Detroit’s starting rotation on July 8.
“It’s a long-term project they have here, but these guys can pitch,” Detroit catcher A.J. Hinch said of Ledezma and fellow rookie Matt Roney, who pitched well in a no-decision Saturday night. “They’re out there because they don’t back down, no matter the situation.”
The Red Sox head into the All-Star break two games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
After the first inning, in which the Red Sox got two hits, the only Boston batter to get as far as second base was Trot Nixon, who singled and stole second in the fifth.
“I thought after the first inning, Ledezma was very impressive,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “He shut down a very good offensive team. He deserves a lot of credit.”
Wakefield (6-4) allowed just one hit in the first five innings. But that hit, a home run by Young in the fourth, put the Tigers ahead to stay.
“Ledezma threw a good game, but we felt like it was a game that if we’d been playing in Fenway Park the way we were hitting some of those balls, we might have had seven or eight runs there early in the ballgame,” Boston manager Grady Little said.
“A lot of those balls we hit are trouble in Fenway, but we just picked the wrong park and the wrong day to hit them.”
Chris Mears worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Young, a switch-hitter who batted right-handed against the right-handed knuckleballer, homered to left-center off Wakefield with two outs in the fourth. It was the 18th homer of the season for Young, headed to his first All-Star game, and it broke an 0-for-12 slump.
“That was a nice bit of baserunning,” Trammell said. “That was big. He made a good, aggressive play.”
Wakefield allowed three runs—two earned—and four hits in 7 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out five.
“It’s not frustrating at all,” Wakefield said. “Sometimes it’s going to happen. It was just one of those days that we didn’t score any runs, but that’s OK. I know we’re going to score plenty later.”
Boston ended a season-long 13-game road trip with an 8-5 record.
“They threw out a good pitcher today and we didn’t swing the bats great,” Boston’s Kevin Millar said. “They got a win and we got a loss but overall, it was a great road trip. I think we’re going to come back the second half readyto roll.”
Sanchez left after the sixth inning due to a jammed ring finger on his left (throwing) hand sustained while stealing a base. … Young’s homer cleared Comerica Park’s shortened fence in left-center. … Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez, who pulled out of the All-Star game Saturday due to a sore hamstring, did not play. Little said the decision was made after Saturday’s game. … Boston SS Nomar Garciaparra broke out of a 2-for-34 skid with three hits. … Before the game, the Tigers traded pitcher Adam Bernero to the Colorado Rockies for catcher-outfielder Ben Petrick. Bernero was 1-12 with a 6.08 ERA in 18 games this season in Detroit. … Tigers reliever Danny Patterson had back spasms during a minor league rehabilitation outing Saturday. A decision on his statuswill be made Wednesday.