DETROIT (AP) – Torii Hunter hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning after two Boston errors helped load the bases, and Prince Fielder added a two-run single to help the Detroit Tigers to a sloppy 7-5 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday.
Justin Verlander struggled, and Detroit trailed 4-3 in the seventh before Andrew Miller (0-2) hit Jhonny Peralta with a pitch with the bases loaded to tie it.
In the eighth, umpires ruled Boston’s Daniel Nava dropped Avisail Garcia’s deep fly to right, and Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected for arguing.
Joaquin Benoit (2-0) got the final four outs for the Tigers, although he allowed a run in the ninth.
Nava was in right because Shane Victorino left the game with lower back tightness.
Nava’s error helped swing the game in Detroit’s favor. He went back toward the wall in right but tried to make a basket catch. A replay showed he may have lost the ball while transferring it from his glove to his throwing hand.
Garcia ended up on second, and Bryan Holaday’s bunt also worked out nicely for Detroit when Miller threw wildly to first for another error, putting runners at first and third with nobody out.
Austin Jackson walked, and Alex Wilson came on and allowed Hunter’s sac fly that gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead.
Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Fielder singled up the middle off Craig Breslow.
The Tigers were also fortunate when they tied the game in the seventh. After Jackson’s leadoff single, Hunter hit a line drive that second baseman Dustin Pedroia dropped. It appeared the Red Sox might get a double play out of it, because Hunter was slow getting out of the batter’s box, but Jackson retreated to first.
Pedroia threw to first, retiring Hunter while Jackson was still standing on the base. When Boston retired Hunter, it meant Jackson was no longer forced to second, so he remained safely at first.
Cabrera and Fielder followed with singles to load the bases, and after Victor Martinez struck out, Peralta was hit by a pitch to tie it at 4.
The Red Sox took a 4-3 lead in the fourth when Ryan Lavarnway drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a one-out double by Jacoby Ellsbury and scored on Victorino’s groundout.
Verlander allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four, and his ERA went up to 3.90.
Detroit led 2-0 after the first inning, but Verlander gave up two runs in the second on an RBI single by Lavarnway and a sacrifice fly by Ellsbury.
The Tigers went ahead in the bottom of the inning when Lavarnway’s passed ball allowed Holaday to score, but Verlander again couldn’t hold the lead. Pedroia reached on an infield single and David Ortiz’s single put runners on first and third. Mike Napoli’s grounder tied it at 3.
Boston starter Felix Doubront was in trouble at the start, walking the first two Detroit hitters and then allowing Cabrera’s double that bounced over the wall in center field for the slugger’s 75th RBI of the year.
Fielder’s RBI groundout made it 2-0, but Ellsbury made a nice sliding catch in center on Peralta’s drive for the third out, preventing any more scoring.
Detroit loaded the bases for Hunter with two outs in the fourth, but Victorino made a nice catch and held on while slamming into the wall in foul ground in right.
Boston is giving Andrew Bailey a break from closing after he lost Thursday’s game at Detroit in the ninth inning. He came on with a one-run lead in the seventh Sunday but allowed singles to Jackson and Cabrera before giving way to Miller.
Detroit’s bullpen has also been maligned this year, but Drew Smyly pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings before Benoit finished.
Fielder was Detroit’s designated hitter, leaving Martinez to make a rare appearance at first base. Martinez made a nice play in the sixth, diving to his left to knock down Ellsbury’s grounder, then flipping the ball backward to Smyly, who covered for the 3-1 putout.
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