Final, Tigers 6-2: The sweep is complete. Boston went down in order in the ninth inning.
The Red Sox dropped three straight to the Detroit Tigers and now sit three games below .500 at 20-23. Sunday’s loss marked the first time since 2012 that the Red Sox have lost four in a row.
Jake Peavy gave up five earned runs on 11 hits over six innings. Anibal Sanchez gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits over five innings.
The top of the Tigers’ order beat up on Red Sox pitching. Ian Kinsler led the way with four hits. Torii Hunter added two, including a home run, and Miguel Cabrera collected three knocks. Victor Martinez homered off Peavy in the third inning.
The Red Sox are off Monday before looking to rebound Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Things certainly aren’t going well for Boston.
Mid 9th, Tigers 6-2: It wasn’t pretty, but Burke Badenhop and Craig Breslow combined to keep the Tigers scoreless in the ninth inning.
Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera singled against Badenhop. The right-hander rebounded to retire Victor Martinez for the second out, but John Farrell turned to Breslow to face Don Kelly.
Kelly walked to load the bases. Breslow escaped the inning by striking out Austin Jackson.
Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt and Jonny Gomes are due up for Boston in the ninth.
End 8th, Tigers 6-2: Al Alburquerque and Ian Krol combined to hold down the Red Sox’s offense in the eighth inning.
Alburquerque, who worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning, struck out Mike Napoli to begin the eighth. Brad Ausmus then turned to the lefty Krol, who handled Grady Sizemore and A.J. Pierzynski.
Sizemore grounded to second base and Pierzynski grounded to first.
Mid 8th, Tigers 6-2: Andrew Miller worked through some trouble in the eighth inning.
Don Kelly led off with a base hit that deflected off Miller, and Austin Jackson followed with a five-pitch walk.
Miller buckled down after the first two hitters reached. The hard-throwing lefty struck out J.D. Martinez looking and Alex Avila swinging.
Andrew Romine hit a grounder up the middle fielded by Dustin Pedroia, who stepped on the bag for the third out.
End 7th, Tigers 6-2: The Red Sox are six offensive outs away from being swept by the Tigers.
Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino and David Ortiz went down in order against Al Alburquerque in the seventh inning.
It appeared Pedroia grounded out to begin the inning, but the umpires ruled his chopper back to the mound hit the plate and thus was a foul ball. Pedroia stepped back in and popped out.
Andrew Miller will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.
Mid 7th, Tigers 6-2: Torii Hunter absolutely crushed a solo homer in the seventh inning.
Hunter stepped up with one out and jacked Junichi Tazawa’s first pitch over everything in left field to extend Detroit’s lead to 6-2.
The inning ended with a wacky out. Victor Martinez hit a popup into foul territory, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski gave chase. Pierzynski reached the ball, but it popped out of his glove. Fortunately for the Red Sox, third baseman Brock Holt, who also chased after the foul popup, was there to make a barehanded catch off the deflection. Just how they drew it up, of course.
The book officially is closed on Jake Peavy’s outing. Peavy gave up five earned runs on 11 hits over six innings. He struck out two, didn’t walk anyone and threw 92 pitches (64 strikes).
End 6th, Tigers 5-2: The Red Sox left a runner 90 feet away in the sixth inning.
Xander Bogaerts singled. Brock Holt replaced him at first base with two outs after grounding into a 3-6 forceout.
Holt took off for second base and catcher Alex Avila’s throw sailed into center field. The errant toss allowed Holt to take third base.
The Red Sox didn’t have a steal in their last nine games, yet they’ve picked up two in the last two innings.
Jonny Gomes pinch-hit for Jackie Bradley Jr. with two outs, at which point Brad Ausmus called upon Evan Reed to replace Robbie Ray, who started the inning after five frames from Tigers starer Anibal Sanchez.
Reed struck out Gomes to end the inning.
Mid 6th, Tigers 5-2: The Tigers’ lead is back to three runs.
Austin Jackson doubled with one out in the sixth inning. Alex Avila drove him in with a two-out single to right field.
The Tigers are 5-for-10 against Peavy with two outs in this game. That’s a drastic improvement over the 8-for-50 mark hitters owned against Peavy with two outs before this game.
End 5th, Tigers 4-2: The Red Sox scratched across a run before leaving the bases loaded.
Dustin Pedroia singled into left field with one out. The Red Sox then executed a perfect hit-and-run, as Victorino shot a single through the right side that sent Pedroia from first to third.
The Red Sox haven’t had much luck swiping bases this season, but Victorino stole second to put two runners into scoring position for David Ortiz.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday that Victorino not running that much this season has somewhat been a product of wanting to keep first base occupied with Ortiz batting. The reason? Because teams then will gladly intentionally walk Ortiz, like Anibal Sanchez did in the fifth inning.
Mike Napoli grounded to third with the bases loaded and one out. Don Kelly made the play and tossed home, but his throw was in the dirt. Catcher Alex Avila was unable to secure it, and Pedroia slid in with Boston’s second run.
Grady Sizemore had a chance to do some more damage. He drilled a comebacker that Sanchez snagged and chucked to third base to double-up Victorino.
The Red Sox came away from the inning with a run. But when you’ve got the bases loaded with one out, you’re certainly eyeing bigger and better things.
Mid 5th, Tigers 4-1: The Tigers extended their lead in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly.
Ian Kinsler led off with a rocket down to third base. Brock Holt knocked it down with a diving attempt, but the ball squirted far enough away that Kinsler was able to reach at first base with a leadoff single.
The Tigers put on a hit-and-run with Kinsler on first base and Hunter at the dish for the second time in this game. Last time, it hurt the Tigers, as Hunter hit the ball right at Dustin Pedroia as the Red Sox second baseman covered the bag. This time, the hit-and-run aided the Tigers, as Hunter shot a single past Pedroia, who again raced over to cover second base.
Miguel Cabrera dug in with runners at the corners. He lifted a high fly ball to right field that plated Kinsler from third base.
The inning ended in funny fashion. Victor Martinez hit a hot shot to Mike Napoli. The first baseman tagged out Hunter as he backpedaled after stopping between first and second base. Napoli then briefly forgot how many outs there were, eventually remembered and still had time to throw out Martinez — who has to be one of the slowest players in baseball — to complete an inning-ending double play.
End 4th, Tigers 3-1: There was nothing brewing for the Red Sox in the fourth inning.
A.J. Pierzynski, Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt went down in order against Anibal Sanchez.
Pierzynski and Bogaerts both grounded to short. Holt flied out to center field.
Mid 4th, Tigers 3-1: The Tigers couldn’t add to their lead despite putting a runner into scoring position with one out.
J.D. Martinez singled and swiped second base with Alex Avila batting.
Avila ended up striking out, and Andrew Romine ended the inning with a ground ball to second base.
End 3rd, Tigers 3-1: Mike Napoli walked with two down, but Anibal Sanchez otherwise kept the Red Sox’s offense at bay.
Shane Victorino lined out to his right field counterpart and David Ortiz grounded to first base before Napoli drew a seven-pitch walk. Napoli actually fell behind in the count 1-2 at one point.
Grady Sizemore, like Ortiz, grounded to first base to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, Tigers 3-1: The Tigers wasted no time in answering.
Ian Kinsler connected on Detroit’s third double of the game off Jake Peavy. Miguel Cabrera plated him from second base with a little flare into left field that sailed just beyond the outstretched glove of third baseman Brock Holt.
Victor Martinez had bigger things on his mind. The red-hot Tigers DH crushed a two-out, two-run homer into the Red Sox’s bullpen to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox finally produced a timely hit with a runner in scoring position.
Grady Sizemore led off with a single. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a comebacker that initially looked like a double play ball. Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez briefly lost the ball on the transfer from his glove to his throwing hand, though, and he ultimately opted to take the sure out at first base.
That was big, as Xander Bogaerts blooped a single into right field to score Sizemore from second base.
Jackie Bradley Jr., who sat out Saturday, hit a two-out single that sent Bogaerts from first to third before Dustin Pedroia grounded to short to end the inning without any additional damage inflicted.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jake Peavy surrendered another double in the second inning before again wiggling out of trouble.
Peavy retired the first two hitters he faced in the second. Don Kelly popped out and Austin Jackson grounded out. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts handled both plays.
J.D. Martinez extended the inning with a double into left field. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Alex Avila couldn’t cash in with the runner in scoring position.
Avila hit a sharp ground ball to the right side that Dustin Pedroia snagged for the inning’s final out.
End 1st, 0-0: Anibal Sanchez didn’t give David Ortiz anything to hit in the slugger’s first at-bat. Ortiz walked on four pitches, marking Boston’s only baserunner of the frame.
Sanchez took care of Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli in the first.
Pedroia led off with a hot shot to third base picked by Don Kelly, and Shane Victorino followed with a flair into right field that hung up long enough for Torii Hunter to make the catch.
Mike Napoli struck out looking to end the inning.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Tigers put good wood on the ball in the first inning, although they came away with nothing of substance.
Ian Kinsler began the game with a line drive high off the Green Monster. Kinsler rounded first but settled for a Fenway single.
The Red Sox finally had a break go their way when Torii Hunter hit a ground ball up the middle. Kinsler was off on the pitch, which forced Dustin Pedroia to cover second base. It just so happened that Hunter hit it directly toward second base, so Pedroia was able to field the ball, step on the bag and fire to first base to complete the double play.
Miguel Cabrera, who homered Saturday, drove a line drive to the bullpen in right-center field. Jackie Bradley Jr. nearly threw out the reigning American League MVP at second base, but Xander Bogaerts just missed Cabrera with his tag.
Jake Peavy exited the inning by getting Victor Martinez to fly out to left field.
8:12 p.m.: Jake Peavy toes the rubber, and we’re underway.
6:45 p.m.: Jackie Bradley Jr. is back in the Red Sox lineup.
Bradley has struggled this month after seemingly making some offensive strides toward the end of April. Red Sox manager John Farrell thus decided to give Bradley the day off Saturday, but the 24-year-old will patrol his usual center field spot Sunday against the Tigers.
The rest of the Red Sox’s lineup is pretty standard. Brock Holt, who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket before Saturday’s game after Will Middlebrooks was placed on the disabled list, once again will be in the lineup. He’ll play third base and bat eighth, ahead of Bradley.
Sunday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (20-22)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Brock Holt, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jake Peavy, RHP (1-1, 3.94 ERA)
Detroit Tigers (26-12)
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Don Kelly, 3B
Austin Jackson, CF
J.D. Martinez, LF
Alex Avila, C
Andrew Romine, SS
Anibal Sanchez, RHP (0-2, 3.13 ERA)
6:15 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox are limping their way into Sunday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have lost four of their last five games — including two straight to the Tigers — and now face their first four-game losing streak since the 2012 season. Jake Peavy will be tasked with getting the Red Sox back on track Sunday.
Peavy will face Anibal Sanchez, who is returning from the 15-day disabled list. Sanchez hasn’t pitched since April 27 because of a finger laceration, but the Red Sox learned in the ALCS last season how electric the right-hander can be. Sanchez, who won the American League ERA crown last season, held the Red Sox hitless over six innings while striking out 12 against the Red Sox in Game 1 of last year’s ALCS.
Peavy enters Sunday’s series finale on the heels of his worst start of the season. He gave up six runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Tuesday. He didn’t factor into the decision — the Red Sox ended up losing in walk-off fashion — but the veteran certainly wasn’t happy with his performance.
Boston’s current three-game losing streak marks the club’s third such streak of 2014. The Red Sox responded to the previous two three-game losing streaks by winning their next contest, so John Farrell’s club at least has that going for it.
Sunday’s nationally televised game is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. Follow all of the intensity with NESN.com’s live blog.
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