So, Jose Valverde blew his first save since September 2010.
By not doing so, he would’ve deprived this sellout crowd of some bottom-of-the-ninth heroics.
Austin Jackson singled with the bases loaded, sending home Danny Worth with the winning room — and sending the Tigers into a mob scene near the pitcsher’s mound.
It capped a big day for Jackson, who was 3-for-5 with a triple and a run scored.
Like they did in the seventh, Alex Avila and Jhonny Peralta teamed up to start the ninth-inning scoring rally, too. With one out, Peralta singled — his third hit of the day — and Avila followed with a single. Worth then pinch-ran for Peralta at second, and the Red Sox brought in temporary closer Alfredo Aceves to try to get out of the jam.
But he hit Ramon Santiago to load the bases, then gave up the sharp single to Jackson.
Valverde’s saves streak is over at 51, but he did get the win.
Verlander went eight superb innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Valverde’s blown save deprived him of his first Opening Day win in five tries; he’s 0-1 with four no-decisions.
Avila (seventh-inning double) and Prince Fielder (eighth-inning sacrifice fly) had the early RBIs, and Peralta was 3-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Miguel Cabrera walked three times.
With the win, Detroit improved to 52-59-1 all-time in openers, and 60-51-1 in home openers.
In Comerica Park openers, the Tigers are 7-6, and in season-openers against the Red Sox, the Tigers improved to 4-3.