Polanco hadn't committed an error since July 1, 2006. He went 186 games and 911 total chances without one, easily eclipsing the previous records for Major League second basemen held in both cases by Luis Castillo. It was a streak that had become a symbol of Polanco's emergence as one of baseball's best all-around second baseman. He didn't commit any error in 141 games played last season, all at second base.
"I'm very fortunate to have held that streak for so long," Polanco said. "It's baseball. I'm very lucky."
Compared to last summer, when an error previously charged to him on a bang-bang play at first base was reversed to a hit, the end to his streak on Tuesday came with no debate.
Ramirez hit a ball deep to center field and over the head of Brandon Inge to lead off the bottom of the third inning. Ramirez rounded second as Inge gathered the ball and fired to Polanco in short center.
Polanco had a play on Ramirez at third, but his throw hit the infield dirt in front of Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and skipped off his glove toward the left-field side of the dugout. The deflection seemingly prevented pitcher Kenny Rogers from blocking it as it rolled into Detroit's dugout for an automatic advance of Ramirez, allowing him to trot home for a 2-0 Boston lead.
"You hate to see it end on a play like that," manager Jim Leyland said, "but that's all part of the game."
Rogers, a Gold Glove winner like Polanco, blamed himself in part for not anticipating the glance.
"I should've gotten back there further [in foul territory] and anticipated that ball going left a little bit more," Rogers said. "I really should have, since that's the only hole [in the dugout fence] there."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.