BOSTON – (Staff Report by Terry Lyons, Editor, Digital Sports Desk) – Fenway Park in Boston is known as America’s Most Beloved Ballpark and, in addition to Wrigley Field in Chicago, Fenway remains one of the classic throwbacks to baseball’s days of yesteryear. The hometown Red Sox seem to enjoy playing in their old park as they won their second straight game against the Detroit Tigers by a 7-1 score, earning their fifth straight victory at home and 11th win of the last 13 games here in Boston.
Boston leads the big leagues in home wins (22-8) and the Red Sox hit, get on base, slug and score better than any other team in baseball when they’re at Fenway. Tonight, the trend continued in front of 35,182 fans.
The Boston bats ignited in the 3rd inning, as the Red Sox rallied from a one-run deficit when catcher Christian Vazquez hit an RBI double to score third baseman Rafael Devers. After the No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. was hit by a pitch, the double barrage continued with consecutive two-base hits by lead-off hitter Andrew Benintendi to knock-in Vazquez and shortstop Xander Bogaerts who knocked in two runs with his long drive off the big left field wall at Fenway. All four runs were charged to Detroit starter Blaine Hardy who pitched 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs.
Vazquez had one of his most productive nights, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, including his solo HR off reliever Buck Farmer to lead-off the 7th inning iced the game for Boston. The catcher was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Earlier, Benintendi hit his 10th HR of the season to lead-off the 5th inning, knocking an 0-1 Hardy change-up deep into the Boston bullpen in centerfield.
The Tigers scored first when LF JaCoby Jones drove a ball down the left field line and used his speed to leg-out a three-base hit. Jones scored an at bat later when SS Jose Iglesias singled off Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez, but that was it off the Sox starter.
Rodriguez, now (7-1) on the year, improved on his trend of allowing three earned runs or fewer in each of his last six starts. Rodriguez went 5.2 innings, allowed five hits and a walk, one run while striking out five batters by throwing 107 pitches and 67 strikes. The Red Sox are 11-1 this season when Rodriguez starts.
With two out in the 6th, Rodriguez gave way to Heath Hembree in the 6th inning with two men but they were stranded when Hembree, after walking Jones and loading the bases, retired Tigers SS Jose Iglesias with a soft fly ball to Mitch Moreland at 1B. Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman and Bobby Poyner finished the game off in relief.
In the home half of the very 1st inning, Boston’s J.D. Martinez missed a home run by inches when he lined a bullet off the Green Monster but was thrown out at second base when the ball rebounded sharply back to Jones who made a precision throw to Niko Goodrum.
GAME NOTES: They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. Well how about Fenway? The fans at Fenway got a little too involved in the action this evening. In the bottom of the 5th inning, a fan ran out on the field and made his way from the third base stands all the way into right field before a Fenway park security guard lowered the boom as he ran on the outfield grass. Several security officials ushered the fan off the field as the crowd cheered. … In the 7th inning, a large number of fans decided to light up their mobile phones equipped with flashlights. After Goodrum struck-out amidst the distracting strobe effect, Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire complained to the umpires, but the fans soon grew tired of the stunt and all was returned to normal. … Last night’s shutout marked the Tiger’s 8th goose-egg of the young season, the second-most in the majors this season behind Milwaukee. … Boston is the only team in MLB with as many as six players with nine or more home runs (Martinez (20), Mookie Betts (17), Moreland (10), Benintendi (10), Bogaerts (9) and Devers (9). … Betts was placed on the DL on June 1st, but retroactive dating to May 29th. He has a left abdominal strain and is likely to play at least one rehab game at Pawtucket before returning to the major league roster. … The Red Sox are in the midst of playing 52 games in 55 days, from April 24th through June 17th. This evening’s game was the 2nd outing of a 13-games in 13-days stretch for Boston. … On Thursday night, LHP Jalen Beeks will make his Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park, and MLB debut when he takes the mound to oppose LHP Matthew Boyd (3-4, 3.23 ERA) and the Tigers in the series finale. … This weekend, Boston will play a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway. The Sox will depart for a 10-game road trip with games scheduled at Baltimore (June 11-13), Seattle (June 14-17) and Minnesota (June 19-21).