The Detroit Tigers are playing as well as any other team in baseball, evidenced by owning the best record in the majors. They could be a particularly difficult matchup for Boston Red Sox starter Jake Peavy given his recent struggles versus Detroit.
The Tigers try to wrap up their first three-game series sweep in Boston in nearly 21 years on Sunday night.
Detroit (26-12) claimed its 10th straight road win and 14th victory in 17 games overall Saturday with a well-rounded 6-1 victory. Rick Porcello yielded a run and six hits over eight innings, while Miguel Cabrera was a triple shy of the cycle with two RBIs.
The reigning two-time AL MVP is batting .400 with 12 RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak.
"We’ve been playing some good baseball right now," said Cabrera, who has a 1.222 OPS while batting .403 with six homers and 20 RBIs over his last 16 matchups with Boston. "We’re aggressive and focused on what we’re going to do on the field and getting it done."
Victor Martinez has also hit safely in 18 of his last 19 contests after singling twice Saturday.
Peavy (1-1, 3.94 ERA) will try to prevent the Tigers from taking three straight at Fenway Park for the first time since Sept. 28-30, 1993, though he’ll have to bounce back from his worst performance of the season and overcome some bad history against the Tigers.
The right-hander was shelled for six runs – five in the second inning – and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings at Minnesota on Tuesday. Boston provided him only two runs in the 8-6 defeat, the seventh time in eight starts he’s been backed with two or fewer runs.
"Just didn’t make a whole lot of quality pitches tonight," Peavy told the team’s website. "I’ve got to get better, and I will get better."
Peavy, who has surrendered exactly one homer in each outing this season, has also been plagued by the long ball lately against Detroit. He’s just 1-3 with a 6.68 ERA in his last five matchups, allowing two or more home runs four times.
For the Red Sox (20-22), Shane Victorino rejoined the lineup Saturday after missing two contests with swelling in his knee, though he was hitless in four at-bats. Brock Holt was also 0 for 3 after being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket in place of Will Middlebrooks, who started his second stint on the disabled list this season after he fractured his right index finger in Friday’s loss.
David Ortiz is hitting .475 (19 for 40) with eight RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak after singling Saturday. He has 11 homers and eight doubles with 29 RBIs over his last 28 games versus Detroit, batting .368 in that span.
Ortiz will get to face Anibal Sanchez (0-2, 3.13), who is making his first start for the Tigers since April 26 after being sidelined by a laceration on his middle finger.
He was crushed in 4 1-3 innings of relief against the Red Sox in an 11-5 loss as a rookie with the Marlins in 2006 in his only matchup against them. He gave up seven runs and eight hits, including three homers, with two by Ortiz.
Mike Napoli may have snapped out of his slump Saturday, going 3 for 4 after he had been 2 for 25 in his previous seven games.