Tigers 4, Red Sox 3
DETROIT (AP)—Boston and Detroit have been awful in one-run games this season. That fact doesn’t diminish the Tigers’ turnaround, but it just might be what ruins the Red Sox’s promising year.
Dmitri Young had three hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the sixth, and the Tigers held on for a 4-3 victory over Boston on Friday night.
Carlos Guillen had three hits, including a game-winning single to help the Tigers end a four-game losing streak.
“It stops the bleeding,” Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “That’s most important.”
Detroit improved to 9-19 in one-run games, and Boston dropped to 7-15—the two worst records in the AL.
“I don’t think it is bad luck; we’ve just had a lot of games where we have been one run worse than the other team,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We need to find a way to be one run better.”
Boston lost for the fourth time in six games and dropped a season-high 10 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees. The largest deficit the Red Sox have ever overcome to win the division was 10 games, in 1988.
“We need to forget about them and just worry about ourselves,” Johnny Damon said. “That’s a lot of games to make up, especially when not a lot of teams are able to play the Yankees well.”
Boston trails Texas by two games in the wild-card race.
Roberto Novoa (1-0) gave up only one walk while striking out four over 1 1-3 innings to earn his first major league victory.
“The little we know about him, he’s not afraid,” Trammell said.
After relieving Mike Maroth with the bases loaded in the sixth, Novoa walked home the tying run, then struck out Orlando Cabrera to get out of the inning. Novoa, who made his major league debut on July 29, struck out the side in the seventh.
“That was the difference in the game,” catcher Ivan Rodriguez said.
Derek Lowe (9-10) gave up four runs—for the fifth straight start—and nine hits over seven innings. He had won two straight and three of his last four decisions. The Michigan native was 5-0 with nine saves and a 1.39 ERA in 25 games against the Tigers.
“The big hit was the leadoff double (by Young) in the sixth,” Lowe said. “We had just tied the game and had the momentum, and I gave it right back.”
Maroth gave up three runs, 10 hits and three walks over 5 2-3 innings.
The game was delayed by rain for 34 minutes, with the game scoreless in the top of the third.
Then, Detroit made two strong plays defensively. Second baseman Omar Infante went deep to his left to make a stop and throw for the second out, and Infante’s relay home after Bill Mueller’s double was in time to put out Millar.
Varitek led off the sixth with a 438-foot homer to left—his 14th and third in six games—to pull Boston within one and Maroth was chased after loading the bases with one out.
The Red Sox acquired left-handed reliever Mike Myers from Seattle for a player to be named, or cash. Myers, who was 4-1 with a 4.88 ERA in 50 appearances with the Mariners, got one out in the eighth in his Red Sox debut. … Boston’s David Ortiz can play Saturday after serving his five-game suspension for throwing bats onto the field after he was ejected from a game July 16 at Anaheim. … Detroit OF Craig Monroe (hamstring, DL since July 21) will be activated Saturday, and Mike DiFelice was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room. … Varitek has seven triples in his seven major league seasons. … Bill Mueller’s single in the sixth was his 1,000th career hit. … The game drew a sellout crowd of 40,674.