BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox didn’t lose four straight games at any point during their run to a World Series title in manager John Farrell’s first season.
They certainly aren’t playing anything like that this year, especially after a lost weekend against red-hot Detroit.
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer, Torii Hunter added a solo shot and the streaking Tigers won their 11th straight road game to complete a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with a 6-2 victory Sunday night.
“Can’t say we’re getting bad luck. We’re still looking for a key basehit with runners in scoring position,” Farrell said. “I know that’s a reoccurring theme, and it certainly took place in this series. Inopportune moment.”
Xander Bogaerts had two hits and an RBI for Boston, which has lost a season-high four straight and managed just three runs in the series. It was the first time the Red Sox were swept at home in a multigame series by the Tigers since losing four in June of 1983.
Detroit’s first-year manager Brad Ausmus even felt his team faced the Red Sox at the right time.
“The truth is, we probably caught Boston a little cold,” he said. “You catch them on a hot streak, it’s probably a different story. We caught them on a little bit of a downturn offensively.”
Jake Peavy (1-2) was tagged for five runs on 11 hits in six innings. He has given up at least one homer in each of his nine starts, the majors’ longest active streak.
“Everyone in here is frustrated,” Peavy said. “You get frustrated when you lose. Detroit’s as good as any team in baseball. You have to play flawless baseball to beat them. And obviously we didn’t do that in any game.”
Farrell also knows his team isn’t even playing close to the Tigers.
“They’re very good. There doesn’t appear to be a weak link,” he said. “Their bullpen pitched outstanding, their defense overall played very well, starting rotation was strong, and as well as the top half of that lineup is swinging the bat right now, they’re a very, very good team.”
It was the sixth consecutive win and 15th in 18 games for the Tigers, who have the majors’ best record at 27-12.
Ian Kinsler had four hits, and Miguel Cabrera added three and two RBIs as Detroit dominated in the first meeting since losing last season’s AL championship series to the eventual champion Red Sox in six games.
Boston’s David Ortiz went 0 for 2 with two walks, ending his 10-game hitting streak.
Anibal Sanchez (1-2), activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day after being sidelined since April 27 with a blister on his right middle finger, worked five innings for the victory. Last season’s AL ERA champ gave up two runs – one earned – and five hits, striking out three and walking three, including one intentional to Ortiz on a 3-2 pitch.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, the Tigers scored three runs off Peavy. Cabrera’s RBI single tied it before Martinez followed with his homer into Boston’s bullpen. They made it 4-1 on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Hunter’s homer, which cleared the Green Monster and left Fenway Park entirely, made it 6-2 in the seventh.
Boston loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but managed only one run to cut it to 4-2 when Dustin Pedroia scored after third baseman Don Kelly threw low to the plate on a slow grounder for an error. Grady Sizemore then lined to Sanchez, who fired to third and doubled off Shane Victorino.
Alex Avila’s RBI single increased Detroit’s lead to 5-2 in the sixth.
The Red Sox – held to one run in the first two games – hadn’t led in the series until Bogaerts’ RBI single gave them a 1-0 edge in the second.
NOTES: Peavy has thrown 1,999 career innings. … To make room on the roster for Sanchez, Detroit optioned right-hander Justin Miller to Triple-A Toledo. He was 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in seven relief appearances. … The Tigers open the final portion of their nine-game road trip with three in Cleveland, starting Monday when LHP Drew Smyly (2-2, 2.70 ERA) faces RHP Corey Kluber (4-3, 3.38). … Boston is off Monday before opening a three-game series at home against Toronto when LHP Felix Doubront (2-3, 4.54) goes against the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ (2-1, 3.57). After the series against Toronto, the Red Sox play 24 of their next 36 games away from Fenway. … Peavy gave up a season-high six runs in his last start, Tuesday at Minnesota. … The Tigers’ rotation entered with a majors-best ERA of 2.66. … The Tigers won a one-game series in Boston in 1984.