All you need to know about the Red Sox' win over the Tigers, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:
Offense (barely) carries the day: The Red Sox exploded for four runs in the first and three more in the second and led 8-2 after just three innings. And it was a good thing, too, that they raced out to such a commanding lead early because some sloppiness (three errors) and poor pitching made this one much closer than it should have been. Austin Brice took over in the sixth and proceeded to allow four of the first hitters to reach base, including a three-run homer by JaCoby Jones. Brice needed to be bailed out of that inning, just as Darwinzon Hernandez had to be aided and abetted by Matt Barnes in the eighth. When a team bangs out 14 hits and has a six-run lead with nine outs to go, it shouldn't be calling on its high-leverage relievers, and yet Alex Cora had to use Adam Ottavino, Hernandez and Barnes in a game in which his offense scored 11 runs and belted four homers. Only the ineptitude of the Tigers, losers of six straight, helped the Red Sox survive this one.
Pivetta OK, but not nearly efficient enough: Nick Pivetta picked up his fourth win without a loss and didn't pitch terribly, especially after he got past a shaky second inning that saw him allow two runs on four hits. But because he was needing so many pitches to get through every innings, he had to be pulled after just five innings with exactly 100 pitches. It's great that the Sox are so consistently getting their starters to go five innings -- they've done so all but six times in the first 30 games -- especially when you recall how poor the staff was last season. But that seems to be setting the bar too low. To save long-term wear-and-tear on their bullpen, the Sox need to be aiming for six innings from their starting pitchers. "I really wish I had limited pitches,'' confessed Pivetta, "and got ahead of guys a couple more times, and used my breaking ball and changeup a little bit more to get into that sixth, seventh inning.''
Renfroe shows some life: The problems at the bottom of the Red Sox order are well-documented, but there are signs