BOSTON -- Following a day-night doubleheader against the Yankees at home on Monday, the Tigers didn't arrive in Boston until 3 a.m. ET, and may have forgotten their bats in the process.While Nicholas Castellanos has been Detroit's best hitter this season, on Tuesday night he was their only hitter through
BOSTON -- Following a day-night doubleheader against the Yankees at home on Monday, the Tigers didn't arrive in Boston until 3 a.m. ET, and may have forgotten their bats in the process.
While Nicholas Castellanos has been Detroit's best hitter this season, on Tuesday night he was their only hitter through 7 2/3 innings, as Red Sox starter Steven Wright stifled the Tigers' lineup to lead Boston to a 6-0 victory at Fenway Park.
The Tigers' only real threat came early, when Castellanos followed a leadoff walk of Leonys Martin by blistering a first-inning double off the Green Monster.
Third-base coach Dave Clark frantically waved home Martin, but the relay from Andrew Benintendi to Xander Bogaerts to Christian Vazquez at the plate proved just in time as the tag was applied before Martin touched home.
Jose Cabrera followed with a walk to put runners at first and second with only one out, but Detroit couldn't cash in, and didn't get a runner past second base the rest of the way.
J.D. Martinez magnified the missed opportunity by jacking a two-run homer, his MLB-leading 20th, in the bottom half of the inning to get the hosts rolling against spot starter Artie Lewicki, who lasted 4 2/3 innings after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks.
"I think they tried to come in off the plate and just kind of yanked it off the middle, cut it right down the middle," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's kind of against where we were going. He just misfired on a pitch and that guy doesn't miss."
"I tried to go inside there. It just leaked over the heart of the plate and he crushed it," Lewicki said. "He's a low-ball hitter. Anything out over the plate when he gets his hands extended, he does a lot of damage. The plan was to go in, I did for a couple of pitches, then when it mattered I wasn't able to."
Boston tacked on two more in both the fourth and fifth innings, highlighted by Bogaerts' ninth home run of the season, a solo shot which landed in the Red Sox's bullpen.
"In our situation, after a doubleheader last night, we were trying to get five innings out of [Lewicki]. We just didn't make it," Gardenhire said.
Wright, also on a spot start, retired the last 13 batters he faced, and departed after seven innings, allowing just two hits and three walks to earn the win.
Detroit finished with just three hits on the night, with Castellanos collecting two and Dixon Machado adding a late-inning single to the final tally.
"It's a slow pitch, but it doesn't ever do the same thing twice in a row," Gardenhire said, of Wright's go-to pitch. "There are theories, 'If it's high, let it fly. If it's low, let it go.' That wasn't working tonight. He did a nice job. I don't think too many of our hitters have seen knuckleballs, especially the younger guys. It was an experience for them. Maybe they'll do better next time. That's not an easy art. You need a tennis racket to hit those things sometimes."
The two hits on the night marked Castellanos' 26th multi-hit game, tying him with Seattle's Jean Segura for most in the American League. The Tigers' outfielder has six multi-hit games over his last eight played, with 15 hits in that stretch.
HE SAID IT
"We couldn't challenge there. We thought he might have been safe, but there wasn't conclusive evidence that they were going to overturn it. In the first inning of a ball game, it's really hard to do. You just can't do that. It wasn't a positive statement, it was, 'We thought he was safe, but …' That's just guessing." -- Gardenhire, on why Detroit didn't challenge the play on Martin at the plate in the first inning
The middle game in the Tigers' three-game road set against the Red Sox sees Blaine Hardy (2-0, 2.77 ERA) take the hill for the visitors at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The left-hander will be making his first Fenway Park start, though he made one relief appearance there in 2015. Boston will counter with Eduardo Rodriguez (6-1, 3.88).
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com based in Boston.