Sale remains winless as Tigers beat Red Sox in DH opener

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Sale remains winless as Tigers beat Red Sox in DH opener

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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(custom Boston Red Sox championship rings) 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. "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. Brandon Dixon greeted Marcus Walden with a three-run double after the Tigers loaded the bases against Game Two starter Hector Velazquez (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." 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. 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.

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(world series rings) first win that Greene did not save. Boston stranded seven runners against Turnbull and 13 in all. 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 Alcantara 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. Detroit has won four of five and swept a doubleheader for the first time since Sept. 22, 2016, at Minnesota.

Sale remained struck out a season-high 10 in five innings but remained winless after five starts as the Boston Red Sox lost to the Detroit Tigers 7-4 in a doubleheader opener Tuesday. "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. 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. Sale clearly felt better that 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 with the score 2-2. "I at least gave my team a chance to win when I left the ballgame, but still relying on my bullpen guys too much," Sale said. "We've been leaning on those guys down there a lot -- myself, mostly. It'd just be nice to be able to go out there and fill up seven or eight innings or even finish a game for these guys and give them a day off." That would have been especially nice Tuesday after the opener of the four-game series was rained out Monday night. "I felt that he was better than the last one as far as like command," Boston (custom championship rings)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."

Detroit (Detroit Tigers championship rings)manager Ron Gardenhire was impressed how his lineup capitalized on Sale's mistakes. "He's tough and he's going to punch out guys. That's what he's known for and that's what he does, and you've just got to find a way, try to get a couple here and there off him," Gardenhire said. "We did that -- when he made a mistake we got aggressive on him and jumped him, kind of ambushed him a little bit." Matthew Boyd (2-1) combined with three relievers on a five-hitter. Boston, starting a 10-game homestand after a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay, dropped to 9-14. 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. Ronny Rodriguez had three hits, including a home run, and Greiner also homered for the Tigers. Xander. Bogaerts homered twice for Boston, doubling his season total.




Boyd allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings. "It was a little funky out there on the mound today in terms of just feel and whatnot, but we just rolled with it. We adapted, and it was good," Boyd said. Mookie Betts had a two-run single in the third, but Rodriguez hit an RBI double in the fourth, Greiner homered in the fifth and Rodriguez homered in the sixth for a 3-2 lead. Bogaerts' first homer tied the score in the bottom half. Miguel Cabrera added an RBI single in the ninth against Bobby Poyner, who was optioned to Pawiucket after the opener. Bogaerts homered against Drew VerHagen in the bottom half.