The new and improved Detroit Tigers once again showed the Boston Red Sox that it’s not 2013 anymore as Rick Porcello pitched eight dominant innings to pace Detroit to a 6-1 victory, clinching their first series win at Fenway since August 2006.
Porcello was the story, going eight innings and allowing just a home run to Xander Bogaerts. He scattered six hits and struck out four to earn his 7th win of the season. The only real threat the Sox mounted against him came in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with two outs. Porcello got A.J. Pierzynski to ground out, though, and the threat was over.
The Tigers scored methodically throughout the ballgame off Boston starter John Lackey, who clearly didn’t think much of the strike zone throughout the evening. Detroit loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with nobody out in the second, but only came up with one run on an Alex Avila groundout. The frustration of the missed opportunity was somewhat muted in the third when Miguel Cabrera curled his seventh homer of the season around the Pesky Pole in right to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.
This held until the fifth, when the top of the lineup produced again. Ian Kinsler and Torii Hunter hit back to back doubles and Cabrera followed with a single to expand the lead to 4-0. A pair of doubles by Alex Avila and Rajai Davis led to a fifth run. Davis, stationed at second, drew an errant pickoff throw from reliever Edward Mujica to move to third, and scored on a Kinsler sac fly to complete the scoring.
Porcello took it from there. Even Phil Coke managed a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit to Mike Napoli but retiring three straight lefties to end the ballgame.
The Tigers can get a sweep – and win their eleventh consecutive road game – with a win tomorrow night on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Anibal Sanchez comes off the DL to start for the Tigers against Jake Peavy.