Another day, another bullpen meltdown for the Boston Red Sox, whose season hasn't started on the right foot thus far. On Friday, the Detroit Tigers walked off with a 3-2 win, scoring one in the ninth to top the Red Sox in the season opener. On Saturday, Josh Beckett was shelled, giving up five home runs as the Tigers cruised to a 10-0 win. And on Sunday, it was extra innings, a two-run lead in the 11th and another blown save for the Red Sox as the Tigers walked off again.
It's just three games -- three of 162, a ridiculously small sample -- but the Red Sox start has fans concerned already. The bullpen has been shaky, Beckett looked lost and the Tigers offense teed off on Boston's pitching two days in a row.
Alex Avila was the hero of the day, belting a two-run shot to give the Tigers a 13-12 win in 11 innings on Sunday. The Red Sox took a two-run lead into the bottom half of the inning, thanks to an RBI single from Nick Punto and the same from Dustin Pedroia.
In the bottom of the 11th, though, Delmon Young brought the Tigers to within one run with a one-out sacrifice fly. With Prince Fielder on first, Avila took Red Sox closer Mark Melancon deep, ending the game and giving Detroit the series sweep.
Melancon was tagged with the loss, his second of the young season, after giving up three runs on three hits in the 11th. Duane Below earned the win after striking out the only batter he faced.