The long ball helped the Boston Red Sox end their longest losing streak of the season on Wednesday.
They’ll try to carry that momentum into Thursday’s matinee at Detroit.
Boston hit three homers in a 4-1 victory to vaporize its five-game slide. Enrique Hernandez, J.D. Martinez and Jarren Duran victimized Tigers starter Casey Mize.
“It’s good to get some runs on the board and get the win,” Hernandez said in a postgame TV interview. “Everybody goes through a rough stretch, and it’s about minimizing those stretches. Hopefully, that’s it for us.”
The series finale will feature a pair of left-handed starters.
Boston’s Martin Perez (7-7, 4.56 ERA) is coming off one of his worst performances of the season. He allowed six runs, including three home runs, in four innings at Tampa Bay on Friday.
Perez has surrendered seven homers over his last four starts.
He faced the Tigers in Boston on May 5th, giving up two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Perez is 2-4 with a 6.33 ERA in nine career appearances against Detroit.
Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (6-10, 4.53 ERA) has been victimized repeatedly by the long ball, particularly in his last two starts.
The rookie surrendered three to Kansas City on July 25, then gave up three more to Baltimore on Friday. Skubal was tagged with losses in both games.
“I just think if I throw pitches where I’m supposed to throw them, they’re not home runs,” Skubal said. “If they are, then you tip your cap. But the fastball that misses in the middle of the plate, it doesn’t matter if they’re aggressive or not, they’re probably not going to miss them.”
The Tigers missed on a whole bunch of offerings from Boston’s pitching staff on Wednesday. They struck out 18 times while going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“We were in-between pitches a lot tonight,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It looked like if we sat soft, we got beat by the fastball. If we were trying to hunt the fastball, and they did anything to move the ball around, we had a hard time adjusting. … Anything we had going, the at-bat ended in a strikeout.”
Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez recorded 10 of those strikeouts and every reliever who followed whiffed two batters.
“I think these guys, they don’t have to go seven (innings),” manager Alex Cora said of his starting staff. “They’ve just got to give us a chance to win ballgames.”
Rodriguez was thrilled to be the stopper as Boston continues its quest to regain first place in the American League East.
“After this streak that we had, I feel like this is a huge win that we needed,” he said.
Miguel Cabrera’s quest for his 500th home run will continue on Thursday and into the weekend at Cleveland. The Tigers slugger hit his 498th homer in the series opener on Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 on Wednesday while playing first base.
He’ll be the designated hitter on Thursday, according to Hinch. He’ll also play the first two games of the series in Cleveland and likely sit on Sunday.
–Field Level Media