Changes might be in store for the Red Sox bullpen as Andrew Bailey blew his second straight save and allowed a home run in his third straight appearance as the Tigers walked off with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox Thursday night in Detroit.
With the Sox ahead 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, Bailey walked the lead-off hitter and then surrendered a two-run walk-off homer to Jhonny Peralta, which handed the Red Sox one of their tougher losses of late.
The home run spoiled another terrific start from John Lackey as the right-hander went seven innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out five. Lackey made some key pitches to get out of some big jams and had command of all of his pitches. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Bailey blew the save in the ninth.
The Sox got their runs on a solo home run from David Ortiz in the fourth and an RBI single from Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth. Ortiz had two of the Red Sox' seven hits and as a team the Sox went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position leaving nine runners on base.
The teams will continue their four-game series tomorrow night (7:08, NESN) where Jon Lester will take on Doug Fister.
What they'll be saying: Obviously the big storyline is Bailey and his job as the Sox closer. It would appear the team will be taking him out of the closer's role at least for the time being to get his confidence back. His velocity hasn't been the same since coming off of the disabled list about a month ago. It is disappointing for both Bailey and the team as he was lights out earlier in the year ... Lackey once again gave the team another quality start and has now allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts and now has an ERA of 3.03, the second lowest on the staff behind Clay Buchholz.