By NOAH TRISTER, AP Baseball Writer
Doug Fister is again pitching for Dave Dombrowski, a reunion between a pitcher and an executive with plenty of history.
Dombrowski made a number of big trades when he was with the Detroit Tigers, and two of them involved Fister. One came in 2011, when the Tigers acquired him from Seattle. The other was after the 2013 season, when Fister was dealt to Washington. Those deals had a significant impact on contending teams, and that’s what the Boston Red Sox — Dombrowski’s current employer — are hoping for after bringing in the 33-year-old starter to help an injury-plagued rotation.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to get back out here,” Fister said after pitching six innings in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. “I hold myself to a higher standard than what I had out there, so I’ve got some work to do.”
This was Fister’s first major league start of the season. The Red Sox claimed him off waivers this past week, in a move that underscored how much has changed for Fister since he was such a crucial part of three AL Central-winning teams in Detroit.
In 2011, Dombrowski acquired him from Seattle, with outfielder Casper Wells and left-hander Charlie Furbush going to the Mariners. It turned out to be a steal for the Tigers when Fister went 8-1 for them. He won 10 more games in 2012 and 14 in 2013, emerging as a dependable contributor in an excellent Detroit rotation.
Then, Fister was dealt to the Nationals in a move that shocked many Detroit fans. The players the Tigers received — Robbie Ray, Ian Krol and Steve Lombardozzi — contributed little in Detroit, and Fister won 16 games with a 2.41 ERA his first season in Washington.
The deal was almost a total loss for the Tigers. Ray eventually became a promising starter — but in Arizona after Detroit traded him there.
Fister, meanwhile, is trying to revive his big league career after his effectiveness declined in 2015 and 2016. He went 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA for Houston last year, and he was released from a minor league contract with the Angels at his request last week. He hadn’t started in the majors since last September.
The trades involving Fister were two of Dombrowski’s most significant deals in Detroit. It remains to be seen whether this latest move has anything close to the same impact.
“I thought he held his stuff really well through the entire time that he was on the mound,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday. “Good life to his fastball, good sink. Threw a number of good cutters. I thought he pitched in to both lefties and righties effectively. That was a very good start on the part of Doug today.”
Here are a few other developments from around baseball:
ON A TEAR
The Los Angeles Dodgers are trying to overcome unexpected challenges from Arizona and Colorado in the NL West, but they lead the division by 2 ½ games after their 10th straight win Sunday. That was a wild 12-6 victory over the Rockies in which Colorado reliever Adam Ottavino threw four wild pitches.
The Dodgers and Houston Astros are both on pace to win at least 107 games.
Joey Gallo isn’t known for his speed, but the 6-foot-5 Texas Rangers third baseman legged out an inside-the-park home run Wednesday night in a 7-5 loss to Toronto. Gallo, who does have two triples this season, came around and scored easily when Blue Jays left fielder Steve Pearce crashed into the wall while chasing the deep fly ball.
LINE OF THE WEEK
While Cody Bellinger’s home run binge has received much of the attention, it was Los Angeles teammate Corey Seager who went deep three times as the Dodgers routed the New York Mets 12-0 on Tuesday night.
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