BOSTON (AP) — Day or night, Tigers have Red Sox number.

 

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 23: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after a fly-out in the eighth inning during the second game of a double header against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

 

Chris Sale remained winless and frustrated, but at least he saw a slight improvement. That was about the closest thing to good news for the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

Sale struck out 10, but it wasn’t enough as Detroit beat Boston 7-4 to start the Tigers’ first doubleheader sweep at Fenway Park since August 1965. Spencer Turnbull (1-2) pitched five shutout innings for his first major league win, leading the Tigers to a 4-2 victory in the nightcap that left the Red Sox at 9-15.

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the top of the first inning during game one of the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

 

“It’s a long day. Fortunately for us, we came out on top and healthy,” Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, came out of it confused and wondering what it will take to turn around what has been a dismal month for the World Series champions.

 

 

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 21: Manager Ron Gardenhire #15 of the Detroit Tigers talks with Dustin Peterson #13 of the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on April 21, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the White Sox 4-3. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

 

Brandon Dixon greeted Marcus Walden with a three-run double after the Tigers loaded the bases against Game Two starter Hector Velázquez (0-2), and the Red Sox were swept in a twin-bill for the first time since the Los Angeles Angels accomplished the feat on July 20, 2015.

“Obviously, you don’t want to lose two,” manager Alex Cora said. “We had a lot of traffic out there and we just didn’t get the big hit.”

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Pitching coach Dana LeVangie #60 of the Boston Red Sox makes a mound visit to talk with Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of game one of the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

 

About all Boston had to celebrate at the end of the day was Sale avoiding another loss (he didn’t figure in the decision) and the Bruins’ 5-1 win over Toronto in Game 7 of the opening round of the NHL playoffs.

Sale gave up two runs, five hits and two walks, lowering his ERA from 8.50 to 7.43. The 30-year-old, who signed a $160 million, six-year contract late in spring training, had never gone his first five starts in a big league season without a victory.

“A step in the right direction, but I’m still not satisfied,” said Sale, who managed not to take a loss for the first time this year.

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Starting pitcher Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the mound at the top of the fifth inning of game one of the doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

 

Sale clearly felt better than after an 8-0 loss last week at the New York Yankees, which he called “flat-out embarrassing.”

Sale said his velocity continued to improve, but had some command issues again.

“I need to clean some things up around the edges, but we’ll get there,” Sale said. “I can’t make them put the ball in play, but I can fill up the strike zone and throw strikes.”

Sale, who won his first nine starts with the Chicago White Sox in 2016, left after 97 pitches with the score 2-2.

 

 

 

“I felt that he was better than the last one as far as like command,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “Give them credit for getting the pitch count up in five innings, then they did what they did with the bullpen.”

Matthew Boyd (2-1) combined with three relievers on a five-hitter against Boston, starting a 10-game homestand after a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay. Josh Harrison hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth off Colten Brewer (0-2) and scored two pitches later on a single by Grayson Greiner.

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Grayson Greiner #17 of the Detroit Tigers rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the top of the fifth inning of game one of the doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

 

In the second game, Shane Greene struck out two in a one-hit ninth for his 11th save in as many tries. The opener was Detroit’s first win that Greene did not save.

Boston stranded seven runners against Turnbull and 13 in all.

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Niko Goodrum #28 of the Detroit Tigers low-fives Josh Harrison #1 of the Detroit Tigers after the victory in game one of the doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

 

Bogaerts blooped an RBI single in the seventh off Joe Jimenez and Mike Chavis cut the deficit to 3-2 in the eighth against Victor Alcántara with his first big league homer. John Hicks hit an RBI double in the ninth against Travis Lakins, who made his big league debut and allowed four hits in 2 2/3 innings.

 

 

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 23: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers returns to the dugout after scoring in the fourth inning during the second game of a double header against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

 

Detroit has won four of five and swept a doubleheader for the first time since Sept. 22, 2016, at Minnesota.

MOVES

Boston recalled Lakins from Pawtucket and LHP Darwinzon Hernandez from Double-A Portland ahead of the nightcap. Hernandez made his debut when he started the fifth inning Tuesday night. He was replaced with one out and two on in the seventh by Lakins, who struck out Jeimer Candelario and retired Nicholas Castellanos on a groundout. Hernandez allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four in 2 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: SS Jordy Mercer, placed on the 10-day IL last week with a right quadriceps strain, will continue his rehab at extended spring training in Lakeland, Florida. Gardenhire said Mercer could be back in four or five days. … Gardenhire dropped Harrison from leadoff to seventh in the batting order and hit Candelario first. Harrison had a pair of hits in the opener and two more in the nightcap to raise his average from .122 to .159.

Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi had surgery Tuesday to remove a loose body in his right elbow and is expected to miss about six weeks. Eovaldi had similar surgery on March 30 last year while with Tampa Bay and made his season debut May 30. He also has had two Tommy John operations.

UP NEXT

Detroit RHP Tyson Ross (1-2, 3.38 ERA) takes on Boston LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 7.20) on Wednesday night.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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