And made the most of it.
Batting with two out in the fifth inning, Mirabelli hammered Maroth’s 1-2 changeup into the left-field stands for his third career grand slam to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Tuesday night
“He locates his ball so well that you don’t always notice it’s a changeup,” said Mirabelli, in the lineup as the designated hitter with manager Terry Francona resting David Ortiz. “Sometimes you’ve got to pick a pitch and sit on it.”
Maroth (2-2) allowed five runs on five hits in six innings.
“I was one pitch away from getting out of it and I came up short,” Maroth said.
Maroth walked six and struck out six. He had only walked four batters total in his five previous starts.
“There’s no explanation for it … Really, no explanation,” Maroth said.
Boston starter John Halama limited Detroit to two runs and four hits in five innings in his first start of the season.
“We needed it. That’s why we brought him in,” Francona said. “He gave us five really good innings tonight.
Halama (1-0) won for the first time since last October when he beat the Tigers while pitching for Tampa Bay. Halama, taking the injured David Wells’ spot in the rotation, didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.
“I kept the ball down tonight, which is what I obviously need to do,” Halama said. “Everything pretty much worked.
Matt Mantei pitched a scoreless sixth, and Mike Timlin worked two scoreless innings. Keith Foulke allowed Marcus Thames’ leadoff homer in the ninth before finishing for his fifth save in six opportunities.
“They came in throwing the ball hard on a cold night,” Detroit designated hitter DH Rondell White said. “They pitched well and did what they needed to do.”
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jason Varitek’s one-out line single. The hit scored Johnny Damon, who had led off the game with a double and moved to third on Edgar Renteria’s single. Detroit tied in the bottom of the inning on Ivan Rodriguez’s home run deep into the left-field stands.
The Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Thames’ two-out double inside the bag at third. It scored Carlos Guillen, who led off with a triple.
Mirabelli’s grand slam in the fifth put Boston up 5-2.
“I think Terry (Francona) is very happy about the contribution he got from Doug Mirabelli today,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
Boston’s Wade Miller allowed five hits and four runs in 5 2-3 innings on Tuesday in his second rehabilitation start for Triple-A Pawtucket, a 6-5 victory over Rochester. Miller, out with a frayed rotator cuff since last June when he was with Houston, struck out seven, walked four and threw a wild pitch. Three of the four runs he surrendered were earned. Miller topped out at 96 mph. … Boston RF Trot Nixon dropped his appeal of a two-game suspension stemming from an April 15 scuffle in Tampa Bay. … Red Sox chairman Tom Werner went to New York on Tuesday to present 2004 World Series rings to Pedro Martinez and Doug Mientkiewicz. … Mirabelli’s last grand slam was on July 3, 2004. It was the fourth grand slam of the season for Boston. … Francona said Mirabelli would be in the lineup again on Wednesday night. … Detroit DH-1B Dmitri Young missed his third straight start because of the flu. … Guillen’s triple in the fourth inning was his second in two games.