Tigers breathe sigh of relief after much-needed win
JUN 06, 2014 10:12p ET
DETROIT -- Former Tigers closer Todd Jones said it all the time, "Love winning, hate losing."
The Tigers had been hating life the last couple of weeks, losing five straight and 13 of 17.
So although it might not mean much in the overall scheme of things, Friday night's 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox was sorely needed.
"It feels great," Torii Hunter said. "Losing five in a row, 13 of 17, something like that, it felt good (Friday). We did almost everything right. We played defense, we went first to third, ran the bases well, we did a lot of things we're capable of and it's fun to see that."
With son Torii Jr. in the crowd, Hunter had a 3-for-4 night, including a home run right after Ian Kinsler hit a home run.
"Torii Jr, he might be a good-luck charm," Hunter said. "His birthday is (Saturday) and I told him I'm going to try to hit one and I was able to get it so that's his present for (Saturday)."
Victor Martinez also hit a home run.
"It's certainly a start considering where we were the last few days, the last five days," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We'll take the win."
Drew Smyly (3-4) gave up a first-inning run on back-to-back hits by Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts but settled down nicely after that to earn the win.
"He rebounded well," Hunter said. "Gave up the first run, you could easily say, 'Oh, here we go again.' But he didn't, he came in the dugout after that inning and was like, 'Let's go!' You see that, you see a guy clapping and telling us to go, that kind of helped us, too."
It was an improvement for Smyly as he lasted just four innings in his last start in Seattle (3-2 loss) and five innings before that in Oakland (10-0 loss).
"It feels great for the team because we've been in a rut lately," Smyly said. "It feels great for me because I've been in a bad rut lately, it seems like. This game will eat you alive if you let it."
“I wore my Zubaz just to let them know that doesn't mean anything. I'm going to wear it anyways. ”
"Nice to see a lot of guys do a lot of good things," Nathan said. "Smyly, after the first two hitters was just spot-on. From there, Krol goes out and we just kind of pass the ball along. It was nice for everyone to go out and have a smooth night and get some confidence.
"As far as our hitters, they were swinging the bat good, even some of the outs were loud outs so I think everybody's at least got a good feeling coming off of this one."
Hunter even busted out the Zubaz again before the game.
"We came in with a lot of energy, tried to change up some things," Hunter said. "I wore my Zubaz just to let them know that doesn't mean anything. I'm going to wear it anyways. We had a lot of fun before the game and it carried over to the field."
Chamberlain said Hunter proved that the Zubaz were never the problem.
"(Hunter) had on the full suit, and look at what he did out there," Chamberlain said. "The Zubaz was just a way to have some fun. This is a long, long season, and you spend a lot of time together. You have to find some ways to relax and get through everything, and that was just something that lightened the mood."
After all, baseball is a game and it's supposed to be fun. But it's a lot more fun when you win.
"There's no feeling like winning. None," Castellanos said. "It's good that we're going through adversity now, in the beginning of the year, because when we hit a bump later down the stretch, we're going to know how to handle it."