Red Sox, Tigers get physical
Lowell hit a solo homer in the third to break a 3-3 tie, then added a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 6-3. He also scored on Jason Bay’s three-run homer after entering the game in the second inning as a pinch-runner when Detroit starter Rick Porcello was ejected for hitting Youkilis and sparking the melee.
Junichi Tazawa allowed three runs—just one earned—while walking two and striking out six in five innings in his first major-league start.
Chris Lambert (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in five innings, striking out three in relief after Porcello hit Youkilis in apparent retaliation for Tazawa’s plunking of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera, who like Youkilis was also hit in the series opener on Monday night, left the game with a bruise on his left hand.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona was ejected later in the second inning for arguing about a play at second base.
The hostilities had been brewing since Monday night, when Cabrera was hit in the top of the fourth and Youkilis was plunked in the bottom half; Detroit’s Brandon Inge was hit in the eighth.
Youkilis led off the second inning and was hit in the back with the first pitch. He dropped his bat and ran toward Porcello, throwing his batting helmet at the pitcher —and missing—before wrapping him up and bringing him to the ground. Players ran out of the dugouts and trickled in from the bullpens, but they mostly milled around as the umpires sorted things out.
Youkilis headed straight to the dugout and, after a discussion, Porcello was tossed, turning back to bark at the umpire on his way off the field.
Cubs fall in 12 innings
At Chicago, Ben Francisco led off the 12th inning with a home run off Cubs closer Kevin Gregg and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated Chicago, 4-3, on Tuesday night despite getting only three hits all game.
Jimmy Rollins also homered for the Phillies, who won for just the fourth time in 12 games and remained 3½ games ahead of Florida in the NL East. The Cubs have lost five of six.
Rios ready to help Sox
Ozzie Guillen plans to get newly acquired Alex Rios in the Chicago White Sox lineup on Wednesday at Seattle.
Where in the batting order and what position in the outfield, Guillen doesn’t even know.
“I might play him left field, center field, right field. I might not do it every day. It’s just to make sure everyone here gets some playing time,” he said.
The newest addition to the White Sox arrived in Seattle Tuesday afternoon after he was claimed off waivers from Toronto on Monday, the latest bold move by general manager Ken Williams as he tries to build a team that can make a deep run in October.
Of course, the White Sox have to get there first. They started Tuesday three games behind Detroit in the AL Central.
“There’s the rub. You’ve got to get to the playoffs before you can be a factor in the playoffs,” Williams said. “We absolutely think no matter who we would be up against in a playoff situation, we certainly have the capabilities to play well ad ultimately go all the way. However, that’s why you go through the grind of 162 games and I would have hoped that we would have been in a better situation than we are now.”
By grabbing Rios off the waiver wire, Williams added a versatile outfielder that’s already been a two-time All-Star selection and entered the season a career .288 hitter. This season has been more of a struggle for Rios, hitting just .264 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 108 games for the Blue Jays.
Williams also added a hefty chunk to the White Sox future payroll. The 28-year-old signed a seven-year contract with the Blue Jays in April 2008 that guarantees him $69,835,000. He was due $5.9 million this season, $9.7 million in 2010, $12 million each in 2011 and 2012 and $12.5 million apiece in 2013 and 2014.
There is also a $13.5 million team option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout.
The White Sox assume a minimum of $61.6 million by adding Rios, which includes the roughly $1.9 million remaining on his contract this season.
Then there is the logjam in the White Sox outfield as Guillen now must balance getting Rios playing time, while not causing angst among his established trio of Jermaine Dye, Scott Podsednik and Carlos Quentin in the outfield.