DETROIT (AP)—In 24 hours, the Detroit Tigers experienced baseball’s full range of emotions.
One night after rallying in the ninth inning for a dramatic victory over the New York Yankees, the Tigers saw the same thing from the other side as Kevin Youkilis’ two-run homer with two outs in the ninth gave the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory Friday.
“Twenty-four hours ago, we were the happiest team in baseball,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “Now we’re probably the most disappointed. That’s baseball.”
It was the second loss in four days for closer Todd Jones.
“I’ve been here before—I just wish it hadn’t been back-to-back outings,” he said. “That’s why this job isn’t for the faint of heart.”
With Detroit leading 2-1, Jones (0-3) retired the first two batters in the ninth. But Mike Lowell singled and Youkilis drove an 0-1 pitch just over the glove of left fielder Craig Monroe and into the bullpen for his sixth homer.
“Getting that hit was huge for the team,” Youkilis said. “You never think home run—I was just trying to get a good swing at the ball.
“Luckily, it hit the top of my bat, and luckily, it went out.”
On Tuesday, Jones allowed five runs in the 11th inning of a 11-6 loss to the New York Yankees.
“Not everyone can be Mariano Rivera,” Jones said, referring to the Yankees’ closer. “Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug.”
Boston manager Terry Francona was afraid the Red Sox had missed their last chance at a win in the eighth. With two outs and a runner on first, David Ortiz hit a high fly ball to left-center field—the deepest part of Comerica Park— that Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson ran down on the warning track.
“I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but no, I thought it was over when David’s ball didn’t go,” Francona said. “That was a gorgeous swing, just the wrong part of the ballpark. This place holds a lot of balls, so I was awful glad when I saw Youk’s bounce.”
“This is a tough way to win games,” Francona said. “You just try to stay at it in case someone pops one.”
Detroit has lost five of six, while the Red Sox improved to 2-2 at the start of a 10-game road trip.
The game started as a pitching duel between the teams’ aces.
Curt Schilling allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings for Boston. He struck out eight without walking a batter.
“I felt good, I just made two location mistakes in the first and gave up a run,” Schilling said. “But our bullpen came in and shut down a good lineup. Pap did what Pap does, and Youk was awesome.”
Kenny Rogers allowed one run and five hits in seven innings for the Tigers. He struck out a season-high seven and walked one—Ortiz with the bases empty and two outs in the sixth.
“Going against Curt, you don’t feel like you are going to get a lot of runs to work with,” Rogers said. “That’s why you try to maximize your effort.”
Monroe led off the Detroit fifth with a single, took second on Vance Wilson’s one-out hit and scored when Polanco lined his second of three hits in the game to right.
Polanco entered the game with 18 career at-bats against Schilling, five more than the rest of the roster combined.
“The one hitter I know in that lineup, and I didn’t pitch him the way I’m supposed to pitch him,” Schilling said. “It looked like that was going to cost us the game.”
Crisp had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and raise his career average against Rogers to .333. … Schilling has struck out 32 batters in 21 career innings against Detroit. … Ramirez argued called third strikes in both the second and sixth innings with home plate umpire Larry Vanover. … Loretta’s hitting streak was snapped at 15 games. … Ivan Rodriguez pinch hit for Wilson in the ninth and struck out to end the game.