Fresh off being swept by their biggest rivals, the reeling Red Sox look to avoid a seventh straight loss while trying to continue their recent success over the Tigers on Monday night.
Boston (62-48) opened its nine-game road trip by sweeping Baltimore, but then dropped two at Tampa Bay and were swept in four by the New York Yankees after falling 5-2 on Sunday for its sixth straight loss.
The Red Sox, who haven’t lost seven in a row since a nine-game skid from Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2001, are 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East and tied with Texas in the wild-card standings after going 8-14 since the All-Star break.
Victor Martinez’s(notes) two-run homer in the eighth inning Sunday snapped a 31-inning scoreless streak and gave Boston a 2-1 lead before the Yankees scored four in the bottom of the frame. The Red Sox are batting .174 while being outscored 35-14 during the losing skid.
This four-game set against Detroit (59-51), however, could help turn things around for the Red Sox.
Boston outscored Detroit 21-9 in sweeping a three-game road set from June 2-4, and has won four in a row and seven of eight between the clubs. Though the Tigers have won seven of 11 and own a three-game lead in the AL Central, they’ve dropped four of five at Fenway Park.
Jackson’s enjoyed an All-Star season, but is 2-4 with a 5.56 ERA in eight starts against Boston, including an 0-4 record and 7.67 ERA in five at Fenway.
The right-hander might not be too concerned about his past there after giving up two runs and three hits while striking out eight in eight innings to earn the victory in a 4-2 win over Baltimore on Wednesday.
“It’s nothing new to pitch against Boston,” Jackson said. “You have to be aggressive. You have to stay with your game plan, regardless of what they do.”
While the Red Sox look to revive their offense, they hope Brad Penny(notes) (7-6, 5.20) can avoid losing a third straight start after allowing five runs - off three homers - in six innings of a 6-4 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
The right-hander, who has a 9.82 ERA in his last two starts, is 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA against the Tigers.
Cabrera, who has three homers in 11 lifetime at-bats versus Penny, hit his 23rd while Polanco drove in the go-ahead run with an eighth-inning single to help give Detroit an 8-7 victory over Minnesota on Sunday.
“Every win is big for us now,” said Cabrera, who is a lifetime .196 hitter against Boston despite his success versus Penny.
Polanco is batting .396 with six RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.