The Red Sox won their sixth consecutive series on Tuesday night with another victory over the Tigers. Boston bested Detroit by a final score of 5-3 at Fenway Park to improve to 38-31 on the season.
Rich Hill, making his 13th start of the season for the Sox, allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over five innings of work.
The first of those three runs came right away in the top of the first, as Hill gave up a one-out triple to Javy Baez that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
Despite falling behind early, the Red Sox lineup quickly responded in their half of the first while opposed by another rookie right-hander in Tigers starter Beau Brieske. Jarren Duran led off with a single, went from first to third on a Rafael Devers base hit, and scored from third on a J.D. Martinez sacrifice fly that knotted things up at one run apiece.
In the third, Baez struck again by cranking a solo shot off Hill to give his side a 2-1 lead. Just an inning later, though, Boston again responded when Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo reached base on a pair of one-out singles. Trevor Story followed by unloading on a 1-1, 85 mph slider from Brieske and sending it 387 feet over the Green Monster for a go-ahead three-run home run.
Story’s 11th big fly of the season left his bat at a sizzling 105.5 mph. It also gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 4-2. Hill, meanwhile, yielded one more run on two hits and one walk in the fifth. He ended his outing by fanning Tigers rookie Riley Greene.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 90 (57 strikes), Hill induced six of his 12 swings-and-misses with his curveball, a pitch he threw 31 times. The 42-year-old southpaw’s ERA on the season now sits at 4.50.
In relief of Hill, Ryan Brasier received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The right-hander faced the minimum in the sixth by getting Jonathan Schoop to ground into an inning-ending, 1-4-3 double play. In the seventh, he retired the first two batters on eight pitches before Story robbed Baez of a base hit by making a fantastic leaping grab for the final out of the frame.
Following a Tigers pitching change that saw Andrew Chafin take over for Jason Foley in the bottom of the seventh, Christian Vazquez greeted the new reliever by clubbing a leadoff home run on the very first pitch he saw.
Vazquez took a 90 mph sinker down the heart of the plate from Chafin and deposited it 364 feet over the Green Monster. Vazquez’s fourth home run of the season provided the Sox with some much-needed insurance and gave them a 5-3 lead.
From there, Tyler Danish worked his way around some traffic in a scoreless eighth inning before making way for Matt Strahm in the ninth. Strahm immediately served up a solo homer to Schoop that cut Boston’s lead down to one run at 5-4.
Strahm managed to get the first two outs of the ninth inning. Michigan native John Schreiber was then called upon to face Baez. Schreiber gave up a single to Baez that put the potential tying run on base, but he kept him there by getting Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end the game.
For Schreiber, who was pitching for the third straight day and the fourth time in five days, Tuesday’s performance allowed him to notch his second save of the season.
Next up: Wacha vs. Skubal in finale
The Red Sox will close out their homestand by going for a three-game sweep of the Tigers on Wednesday night. Veteran right-hander Michael Wacha will get the start for Boston while left-hander Tarik Skubal will do the same for Detroit. Top prospect Jeter Downs is also expected to make his major-league debut.
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Trevor Story: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)