Price, Red Sox win again by blanking Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — One run was enough for David Price and the Red Sox — but only after Boston escaped a couple of dicey jams.
Price pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Red Sox kept right on rolling in their first game after the All-Star break, beating the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Friday night. Price worked out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out situation in the fourth, and reliever Matt Barnes maneuvered through a tough spot of his own in the eighth.
The Red Sox (69-30) have won 13 of their last 14, have baseball’s best record and extended their lead to 5 1/2 games over the New York Yankees in the AL East. Price (11-6) walked one and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings.
“Any time you can win 1-0, that’s a good game,” Price said. “We got a run there in that first inning, and everybody did their job after that.”
Steve Pearce hit an RBI double in the first, and the Tigers could never match that one run. Matthew Boyd (4-9) allowed a run and three hits in five-plus innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Barnes wriggled out of a jam in the eighth after the Tigers put a runner on third with one out. Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 31st save in 33 chances.
Detroit has lost seven of eight.
Price has 97 wins from 2012-18, matching teammate Chris Sale for the most in the American League during that span. He retired the first nine batters he faced Friday, then got in trouble by allowing three straight singles to start the fourth.
“We had some chances, but he made a lot of good pitches in big spots and when he made a mistake, we fouled them off,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s a very good pitcher who can move the ball all over the plate, and he’s been doing it to teams for a long time.”
With the bases loaded, John Hicks flied out to shallow left field, starting a wild play that ended with Boston second baseman Brock Holt on the ground injured. Andrew Benintendi caught Hicks’ fly and threw wildly toward the plate, but Detroit’s Niko Goodrum stayed put at third. Jeimer Candelario took off from second to third, then had to go back when he realized Goodrum was still there.
The throw went back to second, but Candelario was able to slide in safely. Holt went down with a right knee injury after Candelario’s slide, although he was able to walk off the field.
Price struck out James McCann and retired Victor Martinez on a flyout to end the inning.
Goodrum led off the eighth by reaching on a strikeout when Barnes threw a wild pitch on strike three. Candelario then struck out, but strike three bounced away again. Candelario wasn’t allowed to take first in that situation, but Goodrum was able to go all the way from first to third.
Nicholas Castellanos followed with a one-out grounder to third, and Goodrum was retired in a rundown between third and home.
“That’s 100 percent going on contact — you have to go there,” Gardenhire said. “We hadn’t scored a run and we wanted to try to make something happen. Even if it doesn’t work, we still have a runner on second, so it is worth the chance.”
After a walk to Hicks, McCann struck out to end the inning.
BACK IN MOTOWN
Boston slugger J.D. Martinez was back in Detroit after playing for the Tigers from 2014-17. He was traded to Arizona around this time last year, part of a rebuilding effort in which the Tigers later traded Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler.
“It was inevitable. I think everybody knew it,” Martinez said before the game. “You can only be good like that for so long.”
Martinez made a fine catch in right field while running into the wall in the third.
Red Sox: Holt left with a bruised knee. … LHP Drew Pomeranz (left biceps tendinitis) is expected to return Tuesday at Baltimore. … Manager Alex Cora said 3B Rafael Devers (left shoulder inflammation) will be back and part of the roster Saturday.
Tigers: Detroit put RHP Michael Fulmer on the disabled list before the game with a left oblique strain, and Gardenhire said Fulmer will be “out for a while.” OF Leonys Martin (left hamstring strain) returned from the DL and started.
Boston LHP Brian Johnson (1-2) takes the mound Saturday night against Detroit RHP Mike Fiers (6-6).