Zimmermann sharp as Tigers beat Red Sox 4-1

That was all for Sale, who was tagged for his first loss in a Red Sox uniform. Neither team produced much offense through most of the game at Comerica Park, but Detroit got the edge in the bottom of the eighth inning and didn't let go. Zimmermann was able to pitch six strong innings, giving up just four hits and one earned run while striking out three against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Boston is hoping for a split of its four-game series with the Tigers when they will have Chris Sale take the mound Monday against Detroit's Justin Verlander. He dominated the Tigers through 5 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit and cruising through two turns of the Detroit lineup.

Slated to face Bostons left-handed-hitting Jackie Bradley Jr., then righty Chris Young and lefty Marco Hernandez, Wilson tossed a one-two-three ninth for his second career save. Kinsler walked and Castellanos knocked an RBI single for Detroit's first lead of the day - and ultimately, the final score.

Verlander may have had to work a little harder than Sale, but that just made the standing ovation he received after the seventh inning that much sweeter. "And they didn't disappoint".

"Really, nothing came easy early on except for the first inning", said Verlander, who allowed just three hits and an unearned run.

"The one thing that hasn't emerged was anyone talking about any excuses", manager John Farrell said.

"He pitched a hell of a game". Detroit optioned RHP Bruce Rondon (40.50 ERA) to Toledo and purchased the contract of RHP Joe Jimenez from the Triple-A team to replace him. LF Justin Upton was a late lineup scratch by Detroit due to upper back tightness.

"It was a big pitch in a big spot", Verlander said. You can't give up a crooked-number inning because then your guys are asked to battle back and score multiple runs against someone like Sale, who was on.

Giants catcher Buster Posey was doing well after being struck in the helmet by a 94 miles per hour fastball in the first inning and forced out of the game, a frightening moment in San Francisco's 4-1 victory Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in its home opener.

Tigers starter Justin Verlander pitched pretty well, too. They loaded the bases with one out in the third, but rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The Sox scored their lone run in the second inning on a double-play ground by Brock Holt.

With travel delays keeping regular shortstop Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup and the flu still sidelining Hanley Ramirez, the makeshift Red Sox offense did nearly nothing with Verlander, recording only three hits.

"You can sit here and try to find excuses all day long", Sale said. David Price is still working his way back from a left elbow strain.

It's games like these that illustrate why the Detroit Tigers moved Nicolas Castellanos into the two hole.

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris makes his first start of the season.

  • Julie Sanders