[May 19, 2014]BOSTON -- Brad Ausmus may be in his
first season as Detroit's manager, but the formula the Tigers are using
to pile up wins is as old as the game itself.
The rotation sets the tempo, the bullpen follows suit, and the
bats keep pounding out big hits.
It all adds up to the best record in baseball.
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer, and Miguel Cabrera added three
hits and two RBIs to power the sizzling Tigers to a 6-2 victory over
the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night and a rare three-game sweep at
Right fielder Torii Hunter hit a solo home run, and second baseman
Ian Kinsler had four hits for the Tigers, who won their sixth game
in a row.
"It really comes down to the starting pitching and the bullpen,"
said Ausmus, whose team won for the 15th time in 18 games to move to
a majors-best 27-12. "The starters have set the tempo and got us
deep into the game. We've also got some big hits. Miggy and Victor
have been hitting well all season long."
The Tigers won their 11th straight on the road and earned their
first sweep in Boston since taking four straight from June 6-9,
"The truth is we probably caught Boston a little cold," Ausmus said.
"You catch them on a hot streak, it's probably a different story."
That may be true, but Boston manager John Farrell believes Detroit
is the best team the Red Sox have faced this season.
"There doesn't appear to be a weak link," he said. "Their bullpen
pitched outstanding, their defense overall played very well,
starting rotation was strong, and as well as the top half of that
lineup is swinging the bat right now, they're a very, very good
Detroit's starters are paving the way, leading the majors with a
2.64 ERA while allowing three earned runs or fewer in 18 of 19 games
dating to April 26.
Anibal Sanchez picked up where the rest of the rotation left off.
Activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to game, Sanchez (1-2)
allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits in five innings. The
right-hander struck out three, walked three, one intentional, and
threw 80 pitches in his return from a right middle finger
Five relievers held Boston to one hit the rest of the way.
"It's special," Cabrera said of the starting pitching. "Every night
they give you a chance to win games. That's what you look forward to
-- a chance to win games."
Martinez's 10th homer of the season, off Boston starter Jake Peavy
in the third, gave the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish.
Hunter belted his fifth of the year off Junichi Tazawa in the
The top four hitters in Detroit's lineup went 10-for-19 with five
RBIs and five runs.
The Red Sox, who scored just three runs in the series, lost their
fourth consecutive game, their longest skid since dropping the final
eight of 2012.
"We've got to regroup, we've got to be better in all phases,"
Farrell said. "Collectively, we have to be better all the way
Peavy (1-2) allowed five runs and a season-high 11 hits over six
innings, striking out two and walking none.
Boston took its first lead of the series in the second inning on
shortstop Xander Bogaerts' RBI single, but Detroit answered with
three runs in the third.
Kinsler doubled and scored on Cabrera's soft liner. Martinez,
Detroit's designated hitter, made it 3-1 with a blast into Boston's
The Tigers tacked on another in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from
first baseman Cabrera before the Red Sox cut it to 4-2 in the bottom
With the bases loaded and one out, Mike Napoli grounded to third
baseman Don Kelly, whose low throw to home couldn't be corralled by
catcher Alex Avila. Sanchez limited the damage, though, starting a
double play on center fielder Grady Sizemore's liner back to the
"We're still looking for a key base hit with runners in scoring
position," Farrell said.
Avila's RBI single in the sixth restored the three-run cushion.
NOTES: 1B Miguel Cabrera's first-inning double was the 242nd of his
career with Detroit, moving him into sole possession of 12th place
on the club's all-time list. He is two shy of tying Harvey Kuenn.
... Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr. snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a
single in the second inning. ... Boston RHP Jake Peavy allowed a
homer in each of his nine starts this season. It is the longest
active streak in the majors. ... The teams meet only once more this
season. Boston travels to Detroit for three games June 6-8.