BOSTON (AP) — Detroit’s Rick Porcello would rather forget the last time he pitched in Fenway Park. He’s likely to remember his outing Saturday night.
Porcello pitched eight solid innings to win his sixth straight start and the red-hot Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 6-1.
It was the 10th consecutive road win for the Tigers, who are a majors’ best 26-12. Detroit won for the 14th time in 17 games.
In his last Fenway start, the right-hander was tagged for nine runs and seven hits — three homers — in five innings during a 20-4 loss to the Red Sox on Sept. 4.
“I got beat around. That’s the way it is,” he said. “Everybody gets their butt kicked and the difference is how well you can rebound from it.”
On Saturday, Porcello (7-1) gave up one run on six hits, striking out four and walking one. It was the fifth time in six starts he’s allowed two or fewer runs.
Miguel Cabrera had a homer, RBI single and one of Detroit’s six doubles, and Victor Martinez added a pair of singles.
“We’ve been playing some good baseball right now,” Cabrera said. “We’re aggressive and focused on what we’re going to do on the field and getting it done.”
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus felt Porcello had good command of all of his pitches.
“That was probably his best outing,” he said. “His fastball is always the key, but he threw good curveballs and some changeups.”
Xander Bogaerts had a solo homer and Mike Napoli three singles for the slumping Red Sox, who have scored just one run in the first two games of the three-game series. Boston lost the opener 1-0 Friday.
“Early runs, we find ourselves behind,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “One real scoring threat in the fourth inning and we come up empty. That was pretty much the story here tonight.”
John Lackey (5-3) gave up more than two runs for the first time in five starts, allowing six — five earned — on nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He felt like he was just slightly missing in the strike zone.
“Just didn’t get some locations there in the fifth inning,” he said. “That was pretty much the inning I’d like to take back. I just didn’t locate some balls in that inning for sure.”
Boston’s David Ortiz had a single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, going 19 for 40 with five homers and eight RBIs during that stretch.
With Detroit leading 1-0 in the third, Cabrera hit a fly ball down the right field line, hooking it around the Pesky Pole about 10 to 15 feet and a couple of rows into the seats.
“It was lucky shot. Right on the line,” Cabrera said, smiling. “In other ballparks it’s a fly.”
In the fourth, Torii Hunter had an RBI double and scored on Cabrera’s single to make it 4-0.
The Red Sox were scoreless for 14 straight innings until Bogaerts homered into the seats above the Green Monster leading off the fifth. Rajai Davis’ RBI double made it 5-1 and chased Lackey in the sixth. Davis scored on Ian Kinsler’s sacrifice fly.
The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs against Lackey in the second, but only managed one run on Alex Avila’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Boston’s slumbering offense loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but A.J. Pierzynski grounded weakly to second.
NOTES: The Red Sox placed 3B Will Middlebrooks on the 15-day disabled list before the game for the second time this season. This time, he was sidelined with a fractured right index finger he hurt in Friday’s loss. He missed 19 games in April with a strained right calf. To take his place on the roster, the team recalled INF Brock Holt from Triple-A Pawtucket. Holt played third and batted ninth, going 0 for 3. ... Switch-hitting Tigers DH Martinez didn’t even try to mess with facing the shift his first time up, pushing a soft grounder into left field against Lackey on the first pitch he saw. He came in with excellent career numbers against the right-hander, hitting .407 (11 for 27). ... Boston 1B Napoli made a nice catch on Cabrera’s foul pop, leaning over the railing and into the first row of seats and Dustin Pedroia made a diving stab of Martinez’s liner. ... Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 3.13 ERA) faces RHP Jake Peavy (1-1, 3.94) in a nationally televised Sunday night series finale.