Boston at Detroit
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
DETROIT – The depleted Boston Red Sox hope to have a more complete roster at their disposal when they continue a four-game series at the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. After placing two players on the bereavement list and another on the disabled list Thursday, the Red Sox were without key bats Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez in Friday’s series opener due to a flu bug that is wreaking havoc on the clubhouse.Boston still put up plenty of fight, rallying to take the lead with five runs in the eighth, but Detroit responded with two in the bottom half to pick up a 6-5 victory. Betts has missed two games due to the illness and Brock Holt, who was out for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh because of the flu, was batting leadoff and serving as the designated hitter in a makeshift lineup. Despite the win in their home opener, the Tigers will need slugger Miguel Cabrera to get going soon after he was hitless for the third straight time to open the season. He is 2-for-2 with a walk in his career against Saturday’s starter for the Red Sox, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NESN (Boston), FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (2016: 3-7, 4.71 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Jordan Zimmermann (2016: 9-7, 4.87)
Rodriguez starts the season in the rotation thanks to injuries to David Price and Drew Pomeranz and can lock down a more permanent role if he can duplicate his closing stretch from a year ago. After a dismal start to the season, the 23-year-old posted a 3.24 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings after the All-Star break. Rodriguez, who has a 3.71 ERA in 20 career road starts, has allowed four runs in 12 1/3 innings over two prior matchups ith the Tigers.
Zimmermann made at least 32 starts and won at least 12 games in four straight seasons before injuries curtailed his debut campaign in Detroit in 2016. He opened 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA through his first 10 starts but made just four appearances – while posting a 13.97 ERA – after the month of June. Ramirez is 10-for-26 against the 30-year-old Zimmermann, while Betts has a home run and a single in two at-bats.
1. Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval slugged a three-run homer in Friday’s loss, his first long ball since Aug. 15, 2015.
2. Cabrera is a career .322 hitter against Boston.
3. The Red Sox have seven players on the DL to go along with the two on the bereavement list, SS Xander Bogaerts and RHP Matt Barnes.