Final, Tigers 6-1: The Tigers have clinched this series, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
Rick Porcello tossed eight solid innings Saturday to guide the Tigers to a 6-1 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Detroit now has taken the first two games of this weekend’s three-game set, as Max Scherzer spearheaded Friday’s impressive display of pitching by the Tigers.
Porcello gave up just one run on six hits while earning his seventh win of the season. The right-hander struck out four, walked one and threw 110 pitches (71 strikes).
John Lackey did not fare as well. The Red Sox starter lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits. He struck out four, walked two and threw 96 pitches (70 strikes).
The Red Sox’s lone run came in the fifth inning on Xander Bogaerts’ first career home run at Fenway Park. The 21-year-old’s previous two big leaguer homers both came on the road.
The Red Sox finished Saturday’s game 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, making them 0-for-9 in such situations this series. Boston left six men on base.
Jake Peavy and Anibal Sanchez will clash in a nationally televised showdown Sunday. The Red Sox are looking to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2012, and the first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.
Mid 9th, Tigers 6-1: The Red Sox are three outs away from being dealt their third straight loss.
Miguel Cabrera drilled a two-out double in the ninth inning. Victor Martinez threatened to knock him in with a drive toward the right-center field gap, but Grady Sizemore made an impressive running grab to keep Boston’s deficit at five runs.
Phil Coke will look to close out the Red Sox in the ninth inning after eight fantastic frames from Tigers starter Rick Porcello. Mike Napoli, Sizemore and Mike Carp are due up for Boston, although it’ll require a lot more than just those three guys for a comeback in this one.
End 8th, Tigers 6-1: Rick Porcello worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning that wasn’t without controversy.
Shane Victorino hit a dribbler up the first base line with one out. Porcello and Victorino converged at the baseline and the ball rolled foul, but home plate umpire Clint Fagan called interference on Victorino. It’s worth noting Victorino never touched the ball and really had nowhere to go. He simply ran to first base but was called out seemingly because he blocked Porcello’s path to the ball.
John Farrell came out to dispute the call. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed, and Farrell and Victorino both returned to the dugout disappointed but still in the game.
Koji Uehara will pitch the ninth inning for Boston, as he hasn’t pitched since Sunday.
Mid 8th, Tigers 6-1: Chris Capuano tossed a second straight scoreless inning in the eighth.
He retired Alex Avila, Andrew Romine and Rajai Davis with ease.
Rick Porcello will come back out for the eighth inning.
End 7th, Tigers 6-1: Rick Porcello has been very good.
Porcello enjoyed another clean inning in the seventh. He retired A.J. Pierzynski, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt in order.
Pierzynski popped out. Bogaerts and Holt both put the ball on the ground against Porcello, who has become a ground-ball specialist.
Mid 7th, Tigers 6-1: Chris Capuano worked around a one-out single to complete a scoreless seventh inning.
Capuano struck out Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos in his first inning of work. The inning’s lone hit came from Victor Martinez, who singled into left field.
Brock Holt made a nice play to rob Austin Jackson of a hit in the seventh inning. It likely would have been extra bases if Jackson’s line drive got past Holt and down into the left field corner.
The book officially is closed on Red Sox starter John Lackey, who lasted 5 1/3 innings. Lackey gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits. He struck out four, walked two and threw 96 pitches (70 strikes).
End 6th, Tigers 6-1: The Red Sox went down in order against Tigers starter Rick Porcello in the sixth inning.
Mike Napoli, who had been 2-for-2, struck out swinging.
Grady Sizemore and Mike Carp each put the ball on the ground to second base.
Mid 6th, Tigers 6-1: The sixth inning briefly turned into a circus.
John Lackey came back out and surrendered two doubles before exiting. Alex Avila doubled down the left field line, and Rajai Davis knocked him in with a two-bagger of his own.
The Red Sox turned to Edward Mujica, who evidently was very concerned with Davis at second base. He tried four pickoff attempts, with the final one traveling into center field after nearly taking out second base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Davis always causes problems on the bases against Boston, dating back to his days in Toronto. Mujica’s display, however, was very strange.
Ian Kinsler ended up driving in Davis with a sacrifice fly to center field.
End 5th, Tigers 4-1: Xander Bogaerts finally hit his first career home run at Fenway Park.
Both of Bogaerts’ previous big league homers were hit on the road. The shortstop didn’t disappoint in the fifth inning, though. He smoked a 2-2 fastball into the Monster seats to chip away at Detroit’s lead.
Dustin Pedroia looked to keep things rolling by dropping a one-out single into right field. The Red Sox couldn’t do any further damage, though. David Ortiz struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt.
Mid 5th, Tigers 4-0: The Tigers have some breathing room after knocking John Lackey around in the fifth inning.
Ian Kinsler and Torii Hunter connected on back-to-back doubles with one out to plate Detroit’s third run. Kinsler doubled to right field, and Hunter hit a screamer to left field to knock in his teammate.
Miguel Cabrera, who homered in the third inning, made it 4-0 with a line drive single into left-center field.
Victor Martinez also squared up a ball in the fifth inning, but Dustin Pedroia made a terrific diving play. Pedroia has made a couple of nice defensive plays in this game thus far.
Austin Jackson wasn’t ready to let Lackey off the ropes. He doubled to put runners at second and third before Nick Castellanos popped to first base to end the inning.
When all was said and done, the Tigers struck for two runs on four hits (three doubles) in the fifth inning.
End 4th, Tigers 2-0: The Red Sox left ‘em loaded in the fourth.
David Ortiz started the Red Sox’s fourth-inning threat with a line drive off the left field wall. Mike Napoli followed Ortiz’s Fenway single with a base hit into center field.
Grady Sizemore grounded to the right side with one out. Ian Kinsler’s only play was to first base, and Ortiz and Napoli each moved up a station.
Mike Carp walked to load the bases for A.J. Pierzynski, but the Red Sox catcher couldn’t cash in with the bags packed. Pierzynski hit a routine ground ball to second base to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Tigers 2-0: John Lackey struck out two in a scoreless fourth inning.
Nick Castellanos and Andrew Romine went down in the fourth. Castellanos hacked at a cutter in the dirt, and Romine foul tipped a fastball into A.J. Pierzynski’s mitt after back-to-back curveballs from Lackey to start the at-bat.
The Tigers couldn’t do anything with Alex Avila’s two-out walk.
End 3rd, Tigers 2-0: Xander Bogaerts’ one-out single went for naught in the third inning.
Bogaerts hit a ball up the middle with one out. Shortstop Andrew Romine couldn’t handle it, and Bogaerts reached.
Brock Holt hustled to beat out a double play after grounding to second base, but it didn’t matter. Dustin Pedroia hit a laser right at first baseman Miguel Cabrera for the inning’s final out.
Mid 3rd, Tigers 2-0: Miguel Cabrera. He’s pretty good.
John Lackey jumped ahead of Cabrera 0-2 in the third inning but couldn’t put away the reigning American League MVP. Cabrera poked a two-out, solo homer inside of Pesky’s Pole.
Cabrera’s homer followed back-to-back outs recorded by Lackey. Ian Kinsler flied out to center, and Victor Martinez hit a rocket handled cleanly by Mike Napoli at first base.
End 2nd, Tigers 1-0: Another double play doomed the Red Sox in the second inning.
Grady Sizemore followed Mike Napoli’s leadoff single with a double play. It marks Boston’s fourth double play over the last two games — Sizemore also grounded into one Friday.
Mike Carp popped out to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Tigers 1-0: One run was enough for the Tigers on Friday. We’ll see if it holds up in this one.
The Tigers struck first in the second inning.
Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos sandwiched Austin Jackson’s walk with a pair of singles to load the bases with nobody out.
Alex Avila, who struck out with the bases loaded in the first inning of Friday’s game, hit a hard ground ball to second base. Dustin Pedroia hit the dirt while making the play and fired to second in the hopes of starting a double play. The out was recorded there, but Avila beat out Xander Bogaerts’ relay throw as Martinez crossed with the game’s first run.
John Lackey did a very nice job of minimizing the damage. He struck out Andrew Romine and retired Rajai Davis on a little popup into shallow center field.
End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox squared up a couple of balls in the first inning against Rick Porcello but came away with nothing to show for it.
Dustin Pedroia struck out to begin the Red Sox’s night at the dish. He waved at an 0-2 curveball.
Shane Victorino was retired on a sinking line drive to left field, and David Ortiz was put away on a high fly ball hauled in by Rajai Davis.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Mike Napoli capped John Lackey’s 1-2-3 first inning with a nice snag near the Red Sox’s dugout.
Ian Kinsler started the game with a popup to the left side hauled in by third baseman Brock Holt, who was recalled before the game.
Torii Hunter sent a line drive toward the gap in right-center field. Shane Victorino showed no ill effects of the bothersome knee issue that kept him out of Boston’s last two games. He glided over to make the catch for the second out.
Miguel Cabrera hit a popup near the seats in foul territory. Napoli raced over and reached over. Inning over. Napoli made a nice catch before stopping himself from falling into the seats.
7:12 p.m.: John Lackey tosses a first-pitch strike at Fenway Park, where the game-time temperature is 71 degrees.
6 p.m.: The Red Sox placed third baseman Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list before Saturday’s game against the Tigers. Middlebrooks fractured his right index finger while attempting to field a line drive in the first inning of Friday’s loss.
Brock Holt has been recalled to replace Middlebrooks on the Red Sox’s active roster. He’ll play third base and bat ninth.
Shane Victorino, who missed the last two games with a left knee issue, will return to the Red Sox’s lineup. Victorino underwent an MRI on Friday, and he’s expected to wear a knee brace upon returning to the lineup.
Jackie Bradley Jr., who has struggled mightily this month, will be given the day off. Grady Sizemore will play center field, while Victorino and Mike Carp will patrol right field and left field, respectively.
Saturday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (20-21)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, CF
Mike Carp, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Brock Holt, 3B
John Lackey, RHP (5-2, 3.57 ERA)
Detroit Tigers (25-12)
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Austin Jackson, CF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Andrew Romine, SS
Rajai Davis, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP (6-1, 3.22 ERA)
5:45 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox again find themselves below .500.
The Red Sox dropped Friday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, pushing Boston’s overall record to 20-21. Making matters worse Friday was that the Red Sox failed to produce a single run against Max Scherzer and Co. en route to a 1-0 defeat.
John Lackey will take the ball Saturday as the Red Sox look to bounce back after dropping two straight. He’ll go up against Rick Porcello, who has been fantastic for the Tigers this season despite not receiving the attention garnered by Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
Lackey earned a victory Sunday against the Texas Rangers. He went seven innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out nine. It marked the eighth time in the veteran’s career that he’s struck out at least nine without issuing a single walk.
Porcello picked up his fifth straight victory his last time out Monday against the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander enters with a 6-1 record and 3.22 ERA in eight starts.
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.