Red Sox Recap: Bradley and Owens put away Tigers, 7-2


The Red Sox and Tigers are two teams who have packed it in with a series of recent moves that removed players and payroll as they both look forward to the future. For Boston that future was on display as Henry Owens picked up his first victory in a 7-2 Boston win with Jackie Bradley having a career day with five RBI.

Owens did display a bit of shaky control in the first inning, but not on pitches.

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Jose Iglesias bunted and an Owens toss to first was more of the slow roller variety that resulted in first baseman Travis Shaw getting spiked on the glove hand and spent the remainder of the game with a bloody wrist instead of a bloody sock. After a two out double by Ian Kinsler, Owens fanned last night’s Tiger hero, Victor Martinez, to escape any damage. A substantial improvement over Owens’ 33 pitch opening frame in New York.

The Red Sox picked up two runs in the second without having a ball leave the infield.

With Alejandro De Aza at first and one out Blake Swihart reached on a questionable error call on Kinsler. Josh Rutledge followed with a bouncer over the mound to load them up for Bradley. Tigers starter Justin Verlander, who was tossing erratic heat, then walked Bradley for a run and Brock Holt added an RBI with an infield hit. Next up was Rusney Castillo, who grounded out to third on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat, but Boston had a 2-0 lead for Owens.

Owens propensity for walks surfaced in the Tigers second with passes to J.D. Martinez and James McCann. Owens then calmed things down by enticing a Jefry Marte fly out and an Anthony Gose ground out to avoid any damage.

Walks will be the undoing of any pitcher and it didn’t escape Owens in the last of the third. No reprieve as in the second inning. This one started with a free pass to Rajai Davis. Owens then went 3-0 on Iglesias before coming back to retire Jose on a pop-up, but not before a steal and wild pitch put Davis on third.

With two outs V. Martinez hit a line shot to center for a run and to get the Tigers into the score book – down 2-1 to Boston.

Kinsler led off the last of the sixth with a ground rule double and that was the day for Owens who was replaced by Justin Masterson. Masterson finished off the Tigers by leaving Kinsler stranded on third to protect the lead and a potential win for Owens.

Verlander (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K), now 1-5, was finished after 113 pitches and replaced by veteran Tom Gorzelanny, who Bradley welcomed with a blast to right-center for a 3-1 lead. There was more to come from the light hitting Bradley.

There was no escape for Masterson in the seventh when Marte cleaned one out to cut it back to a one run game and get Robbie Ross in from the flamable bullpen. This time around Ross put out the flames instead of tossing bullpen gas on them. Credit some good defense for a helping hand.

Isn’t the job description of a lefty specialist to get left-handers out? Maybe not if you are the Tigers Ian Krol.

Krol gave up singles to David Ortiz and Shaw. De Aza sacrificed both up and base and Rutledge was intentionally walked to fill the bases. Up stepped another left-hander hitter in Bradley and that ended with a three run triple. The lefty RBI parade continued when Holt banged out a hit and Boston now had a 7-2 bulge and Comerica Park was being deserted. Nice to see other team have bullpens that can implode.

Boston moves on to Miami for a two game set beginning Tuesday evening. For Miami right-hander David Phelps (4-8, 4.35) will face knuckleballer Steven Wright (5-4, 4.12) of the Red Sox.

Game notes and other detritus

* Great play by Holt in the seventh to get the speedy Davis.

* Bradley was all over the place defensively. Several smooth moves to track down balls.

* Davis Ortiz now had 14 straight 20+ home run seasons – 13 with Boston.

* Kinsler has 44 multi-hit games this season.

* On this date in 1960 a Ted Williams home run ties him with Mel Ott on the career list (511).

* Al Kaline, Norm Cash and Hank Greenberg are the only three Tigers with 300+ home runs in their Tiger careers.

* Xander Bogaerts leads at MLB shortstops in average, doubles and hits.

* Detroit’s GM, Al Avila, is the father of Tigers catcher Alex Avila.

* Owens was the supplemental draft selection for Boston losing Victor Martinez.

* Detroit has the AL record for most losses in a season at 119 (2003).

* Entering today’s game Boston had a 22-34 (.393) road record. Second worst in AL behind Twins.

Henry Owens. STARTING PITCHING . B. . Game Ball

Three innings were led off with a walk. On one it resulted in a nice pick-off of Gose. The line for Owens was 5 IP, 3 H, R, 4 BB, 2 K and 84 pitches. Owens worked his way out of a few jams and certainly showed his potential. Walks are his most significant development issue and today that was demonstrated.

B+. . Game Ball. Robbie Ross. RELIEF PITCHING

Nice rescue job by Masterson in the sixth to prevent an inherited runner from scoring. Then Masterson gave up a bomb to the first batter he faced in the seventh. Ross came in and went clean to keep the game at 3-2.

Junichi Tazawa

came in and gave Bradley a workout with some dangerously long shots that were hauled down.

Jean Machi

entered with a five run bulge and promptly walked the first batter before going 1-2-3. Four innings with one run is exceptional for what this bullpen has been.

B. . Game Ball. Jackie Bradley. OFFENSE

Bradley gets the offensive nod thanks to a home run, three run triple and an RBI walk. That is a five RBI day and if Bradley hits like this 2016 may look far more promising. Holt chipped in with a pair of hits. Ortiz had two hits and Shaw ended an 0-10 stretch with a single. The RISP was a nice 4-8. Bradley gets an A+ and the rest get a C.

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