Tigers overcome Valverde slip, beat Red Sox in 9th
DETROIT (AP) — Austin Jackson hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Detroit Tigers overcame a blown save by Jose Valverde to beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in Thursday's opener.
AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was dominant for eight innings and left with a 2-0 lead. But Valverde (1-0) blew a save for the first time in 52 chances, a streak that included 49 in a row last season.
With one out in the Tigers ninth, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila singled off Mark Melancon (0-1), and Ramon Santiago was hit by a pitch from Alfredo Aceves. Jackson followed with a sharp grounder past diving third baseman Nick Punto.
Prince Fielder had a sacrifice fly in the eighth in his Tigers debut.