Now that the Detroit Tigers have ended their longest losing streak of the season, they’ll try to keep playing relaxed and win consecutive games at Fenway Park for the first time in nearly five years when their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox continues on Tuesday.
The Tigers (77-41) snapped their five-game losing streak with a 7-4 victory in Monday’s series opener. Detroit had not won the first game of a series in Boston (68-49) since July 5, 2002, and has not won consecutive games at Fenway Park since Sept. 22-23, 2001.
“We came in here loose,” said Nate Robertson, Monday’s starter and winning pitcher. “Everybody’s going to look to their leader, their manager. He’s loose, and that helps us.”
Detroit manager Jim Leyland wouldn’t let his team worry about its losing streak or having lost 12 of 13 games at Fenway entering this series.
Curtis Granderson tripled on the first pitch of Monday’s game, and the Tigers scored three runs in the first inning.
Magglio Ordonez singled in the contest, and is batting .374 (46-for-123) with 13 doubles and 18 RBIs in 32 career games at Fenway Park.
Jeremy Bonderman (11-5, 3.76 ERA) looks to get out of his recent winless funk, and tries to win his fourth straight start over the Red Sox.
Bonderman is 0-1 in his last three outings following a personal four-game winning streak. He allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings on Wednesday, but did not factor in the decision in Detroit’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota.
The 23-year-old right-hander lost his first four career starts against Boston, but since the start of last season he’s three consecutive meetings.
Bonderman is 3-4 with a 5.49 ERA in seven career starts against the Red Sox, and gave up two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings in his only start against them this season, a 6-5 victory on June 3.
Detroit owns the best record in the majors and a 5 1/2 -game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. The Red Sox fell three games behind the White Sox in the wild-card race with Monday’s defeat, and are two games back of the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Curt Schilling (14-5, 3.89) takes the mound for Boston on Tuesday looking to become the first 15-game winner in the majors. Schilling has lost two of his last three starts, though, and has been knocked around in both of the losses, allowing 11 runs and 22 hits in 12 1-3 innings.
He is also coming off a historically bad outing in a 5-4 loss to Kansas City on Friday.
The six-time All-Star gave up 10 extra-base hits—nine doubles and a home run—tying the AL record for most extra-base hits allowed in a game set by Washington’s Dale Gear in 1901 and equaled by Cleveland’s Luis Tiant—while facing Boston—in 1969.
“I don’t know if there’s any in-depth explanation other than I didn’t get the job done when I had to make the pitches,” said Schilling, who also gave up a single and five runs. “I felt fine. I felt fine.”
The 39-year-old right-hander has come back strong after his losses this season, though, going 3-0 with a 4.21 ERA in his four starts after a defeat. He has not lost consecutive starts since Aug. 22-27, 2003, while pitching for Arizona.
He is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in five career games against the Tigers, and gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings in his only start against them this season, a 3-2 win on June 2, although he did not factor in the decision.
Manny Ramirez is batting .388 (19-for-49) with three homers and nine RBIs in 13 games in August, and is 5-for-10 with a double and a homer in his career against Bonderman.