Detroit (59-51) at Boston (62-48)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 42° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Mon Aug 10, 2009
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Returning home to face the Detroit Tigers might be what the Boston Red Sox need to help end their longest losing streak of the season.

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.

“I think that everybody feels the weight of, you know, not scoring enough runs,” Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay(notes) said.

This four-game set against Detroit (59-51), however, could help turn things around for the Red Sox.

“We’re excited to head back home and start fresh,” Boston’s Dustin Pedroia(notes) said.

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.

“They’re definitely going to come out and try to do some damage.”catcher Gerald Laird(notes) told the Tigers’ official Web site of the Red Sox.

Boston should have struggling slugger David Ortiz(notes) in the starting lineup after he pinch-hit Sunday, one day after he told a press conference that he never knowingly used steroids.

Though Ortiz is batting .219, he’s 6 for 14 with a homer against Detroit starter Edwin Jackson(notes) (8-5, 2.62).

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.

Detroit’s Placido Polanco(notes) and Miguel Cabrera(notes) are each batting .364 against Penny.

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.

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Starting Pitchers

E. Jackson Atl vs. B. Penny CWS
13-9 Record 11-9
3.62 ERA 4.88
161 K 109
70 BB 51
1.26 WHIP 1.40


Monday, Aug 10