The Boston Red Sox dug themselves an early hole Sunday night, and just when they started to climb out of it, Justin Upton buried them.
The Detroit Tigers left fielder stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and his team leading by a run. Upton took a fastball from Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree and launched an opposite-field laser that started to hook foul. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, it clanged off Pesky’s Pole to clear the bases, giving the Tigers a five-run lead they wouldn’t relinquish en route to an 8-3 win at Fenway Park.
Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz surrendered three first-inning runs and was unable to make it out of the fifth inning, snapping his three-start winning streak.
The Red Sox fell to 34-28 with the loss, while the Tigers improved to 30-32.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox and Pomeranz both were looking to extend their respective winning streaks, but the Tigers jumped out to an early lead and the Red Sox’s offense was unable to get the left-hander off the hook.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Upton ripped an opposite-field grand slam to give the Tigers a five-run lead.
Hembree was called on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning, but he was unable to limit the damage as Upton’s blast put the game out of reach.
ON THE BUMP
— Pomeranz once again struggled with a high pitch count as the left-hander only was able to last 4 1/3 innings Sunday. He surrendered six runs (five earned) on eight hits while striking out two and walking two batters. Pomeranz tossed 93 pitches in his short outing, including 30 in the first inning.
The Tigers jumped on Pomeranz early when Ian Kinsler led off the game with a single and Nick Castellanos followed by hitting a two-run blast to center field. Detroit added another run when Upton drove in J.D. Martinez with a two-out RBI single to give the Tigers an early three-run edge.
Detroit looked like it would end Pomeranz’s night in the fourth when it loaded the bases with no outs. The Red Sox lefty buckled down, though, striking out James McCann and Jose Iglesias before getting Kinsler to fly out to end the inning.
But the Tigers would chase the left-hander in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with one out in front of Upton.
— Hembree relieved Pomeranz in the fifth inning and Upton greeted him by blasting an opposite-field grand slam to give the Tigers a five-run lead. Detroit would tack on another run in the fifth when Kinsler drove in McCann to stretch the lead to six.
— Blaine Boyer tossed scoreless sixth and seven innings.
— Fernando Abad pitched two perfect innings.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got on the board in the first inning when Hanley Ramirez drove in Dustin Pedroia with an RBI single to trim Detroit’s lead to two.
— Boston cut the Tigers’ lead to one in the third inning when Pedroia plated Jackie Bradley Jr. with an RBI double to center field. The Red Sox loaded the bases later in the inning, but Tigers starter Daniel Norris was able to wiggle out of the jam.
— Christian Vazquez knocked in the Red Sox’s third run of the game with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
— The Red Sox loaded the bases in the ninth inning but Chris Young lined out to shortstop to end the game.
— Pedroia, Ramirez, Vazquez and Mookie Betts each recorded two hits in the contest.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
This play was the lone bright spot of the night for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox will start a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night. Rick Porcello will get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Jerad Eickhoff. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images