From the outset, he was looking like the breakout candidate we were all hoping he'd be this season. It was Zimmermann's first win at Comerica Park since June 3 of last season. He only won four more games the rest of the way, as he was sidetracked by groin and neck injuries.
Zimmermann (1-0) labored early but allowed only one run and four hits. In reality, it was just one bad pitch, but it was enough.
Said Farrell: "I saw it unfold". He struck out 14 batters in 14 innings during those outings.
"I went to the changeup a little bit and the curveball a little more", he said. "K-Rod struggled the first inning, at least the first hitter". The ball just felt chalky in my hand.
Mikie Mahtook got a good jump on the ball and held Moreland to a single. Jose Iglesias went 2 for 3 with a double, home run and 2 RBI.
Offensive stars for the Red Sox included Chris Young (2-for-4), Marco Hernandez (3-for-4), and Leon (2-for-4). Matt Barnes entered and recorded a strikeout and a ground out before Sandy Leon threw Cabrera out trying to steal second.
If not for the Red Sox' four-run rally in the eighth inning, Porcello likely would have been tagged with a loss after pitching OK-but-not-great in his second start of the season. Zimmermann got off to a hot start in 2016, going 5-0 in the month of April with a 0.55 earned run average.
David Price threw out to 120 feet Saturday in what Boston Manager John Farrell described as "another consistent work day" for the left-hander who is recovering from an elbow strain.
He's eager to get another shot at them.
The Tigers team that the Red Sox will play over the next four games represents an organization caught amidst a transition. He is expected to play Sunday.
Zimmermann allowed a sacrifice fly by Jackie Bradley Jr.in the second, and the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the third.
Bradley made a spectacular play in the eighth on a drive by Nicholas Castellanos, racing over from center field to right-center and catching the ball before slamming into the wall.
"He's probably going to have to pitch a couple of innings today", Ausmus said. "He was able to come off pretty much under his own power". Cabrera singled to right in the first inning for his first hit of the season. James McCann also went deep for the Tigers.
A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.
Red Sox stars Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts were ill and out of the lineup. Ramirez, who is battling a high-grade fever, did not require hospitalization but missed his second consecutive game.
He's pitched very well in two starts against the Tigers, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA.
Xander Bogaerts is on bereavement leave, and he is not expected to return until Monday. Ryan was forced to fly into Columbus, Ohio, and drive back to MI after his flight from Tampa was cancelled.