9th inning homer from Cabrera propels Tigers to 4-3 victory, sweep of Red Sox

On Wednesday, the Tigers wrapped up their seven-game road trip with a chance to go for their second three-game road sweep of the Boston Red Sox in their last three trips to Fenway Park, and third such sweep since the 198 campaign when they did it in four games.

Detroit was giving the ball to rookie sensation Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.41 ERA), who allowed more than 2 ER his last time out against the White Sox for the first time since May 15. Boston countered with young southpaw Eduardo Rodríguez (2-4, 6.70 ERA), who has been good in his last two outings (1-1, 3 ER over 12.1 IP).


The Tigers had a chance to score early and often in this one, with back-to-back two-out singles from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martínez. However, Nick Castellanos struck out to end the inning. Boston responded in the home half with a one-out solo homer deep to center off the bat of Dustin Pedroia.

Nothing doing for either team in the 2nd. Mike Aviles for the Tigers singled with one out but then James McCann hit into a 5-4-3 double play. Boston in the bottom half hit the ball on the ground three times.

Detroit got to Rodriguez in the 3rd. Ian Kinsler got the rally started with a one-out infield knock and Jose Iglesias moved him to third with a double off the Green Monster in left. After an intentional walk to Cabrera, it was Martinez singing to left and plating both Kinsler and Iglesias, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom half, Sandy León led off with a ground-rule double and was advanced to third in the next at-bat on a ground out to second. The next batter, Mookie Betts hit a fly ball to center fielder Tyler Collins who threw a perfect strike on one hop to gun down León trying to score from third, preserve a lead and end the inning.



Not much doing for either team in the 4th inning. Detroit stranded a one-out walk to McCann. In the home half, Pedroia reached base safely on an error by Castellanos to lead off the inning, but that was erased in the next AB as Xander Bogaerts grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Same thing doing for both teams in the 5th, unable to drive in base runners. The Tigers again had both Cabrera and Martínez on first and second in the inning but were unable to capitalize. The Red Sox meanwhile stranded a one-out double from Aaron Hill.

Detroit got some insurance in the 6th. With one out, McCann crushed one to deep left center over the Monster for a solo shot, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

Boston starter Rodríguez then walked Collins in the next AB, signaling the end of his afternoon. Reliever Matt Barnes came in to get the final two outs unscathed.

(Final line on Rodríguez: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K)

Boston led off the 6th with a base hit to left from the No. 9 hitter Brock Holt, but again, Fulmer erased that immediately with a 6-4-3 ground ball double play off the bat of Betts. Pedroia grounded out to second in the next AB to end the inning. To this point, Fulmer had only thrown 73 pitches through six innings.



Nothing doing for the Tigers in the 7th still facing Barnes, they stranded a one-out single from Martínez, who singled for the fourth time in the game. Boston did get one back in the bottom half, a lead-off solo shot to left center from Bogaerts to cut Detroit’s lead to 3-2.

Detroit Tigers may have just lost ANOTHER starting pitcher

Detroit went down in order in the 8th off new Sox reliever Clay Buchholz, a pair of fly ball outs and a ground out. Fulmer came back out for an eighth inning of work and 90 pitches in. Travis Shaw for Boston led off with a single to right and was advanced to third in the next two ABs via sacrifice put-outs. However, the next batter Mookie Betts crushed one deep to center for a stand-up triple, nearly an inside-the-park HR to tie it at 3-3.

That signaled the end for Fulmer. In came Bruce Rondón who punched out Pedroia to end the inning, stranding Betts at third.

(Final line on Fulmer: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 K (2 solo HR allowed)

Recently acquired and temporary Red Sox closer Brad Ziegler came in to pitch the 9th for Boston. After getting two quick outs of Kinsler and Iglesias, Cabrera hit one just over the right center field wall for a solo homer, re-claiming the lead for the Tigers 4-3.

That 9th inning blast from Miggy warranted a save opportunity, manager Brad Ausmus opted for lefty Justin Wilson in a rare closing situation. It was a tad bit nerve-wracking going through the 3-4-5 part of the order, but Wilson tossed a clean inning to lock down a sweep of the Red Sox.




After an off day on Thursday, the Tigers will return home and begin a nine-game homestand, beginning with a weekend series against the Houston Astros on Friday night, coverage begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports Detroit.

Houston will give the ball to Collin McHugh (7-6, 4.18 ERA), who has a 2.66 ERA in four starts this month. Detroit will counter with southpaw Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63 ERA), he has a 2.35 ERA in three July starts.

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