Bailey loses BoSox closer job

The Boston Red Sox took the lead against Detroit’s bullpen, then realized their own closer was becoming far too unreliable.

Andrew Bailey allowed a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night. Boston manager John Farrell said after the game Bailey would be given a break from closing.

”We’re going to back him out of there right now and try to get him fixed, so we’ll look at some other internal options to close,” Farrell said. ”His velocity hasn’t come back since the DL stint, and although he says he feels fine, the results obviously aren’t there.”

Bailey (3-1) missed time in May because of a biceps problem. Joel Hanrahan, Boston’s top choice to close, is out for the season after elbow surgery.

Boston led 3-2 when Victor Martinez drew a leadoff walk off Bailey, and Peralta followed with a line drive over the fence in left field for his seventh homer of the year.

”I know I’m capable of closing games at this level, but I need to go out there and get it done,” Bailey said. ”I’ve obviously had struggles before, but never anything where I’ve let this many games get away in a short period of time.”

This was Bailey’s third blown save in five chances in an 11-day span.

David Ortiz homered and drove in a tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single to put Boston up, but Drew Smyly (3-0) replaced Phil Coke for Detroit and prevented any further scoring by the Red Sox. He struck out four in two innings of relief.

Detroit improved to only 2-19 when trailing after eight innings. The Tigers are searching for answers with their bullpen, but on this night it was Boston’s closer who faltered.

”I don’t try to hit a home run, but I try to have good contact with the ball,” Peralta said. ”That’s what happened when I had good contact.”

The Red Sox wasted a nice performance by John Lackey, who allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect eighth, but Bailey didn’t get an out.