Notes: Porcello too much for Sox

Notes: Porcello too much for Sox
May 18, 2014, 12:00 am
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BOSTON - Well, another tip of the cap to the Tigers pitching staff.

For the second night in a row, the Red Sox bats had no answers. As the youngsters would say, the Sox offense got "owned" again.

Rick Porcello was the latest Tiger to do it, going eight innings and allowing just one run on six hits and one walk. That one run came on a Xander Bogaerts solo shot in the fifth inning.

Boston had one real threat in the game. It came in the fourth inning with the Tigers leading, 2-0. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back singles with one out to get things going. After a Grady Sizemore fielder's choice that moved both runners up, Mike Carp walked.

A.J. Pierzynski took a curveball for ball one, swung at a changeup for strike one, and then . . . grounded out to second base on a four-seam fastball. End of threat.

". . . the way Porcello has been pitching all season and again tonight," John Farrell said, "early runs, we find ourselves behind. One real scoring threat in the fourth inning that we come up empty. And that was pretty much the story here tonight."

Porcello improved to 7-1 while lowering his ERA to 2.91. It's his sixth consecutive win, a career-high. Porcello's seven wins puts him into a tie for first place in the majors with Mark Buehrle and Zach Greinke. It doesn't get much better than that for a No. 3 starter.

"Well, they throw a lot of strikes," Farrell said of the Tigers pitching staff. "For the second night in a row, induce a groundball double-play when needed. [Porcello] attacked the strike zone. Didn't issue any walks to help build an inning other than Carp in the fourth inning. But they've done a good job. And their infield defense has obviously got improved range from a year ago and it's a good team."

***
With one out in the eighth inning, Shane Victorino hit a slow roller down the first base side.

He took off from the batter's box full-steam ahead for first base, hoping to run it out.

As Porcello raced toward the ball and Victorino raced toward first base, the two nearly ran into one another - but didn't.

Victorino didn't touch Porcello or the ball on his way to first. The ball rolled into foul territory as Victorino passed by. But Victorino was ruled out by home plate umpire Clint Fagan for runner interference.

Farrell ran out of the dugout and argued the call to no avail.

"To me, my view was he was already past the ball," Farrell said. "And still Clint felt that he interfered with the play and called him out."

****

BASE KNOCKS

- Miguel Cabrera homered in the third inning, giving him his fifth home run in May (and seventh of the season). He has recorded at least one RBI in six of his past seven games. Meanwhile, Victor Martinez went 2-for-5 and scored a run. He's hitting .400 (22-for-55) in May and has hit safely in 18 of his past 19 games. Martinez leads the AL in batting average this season at .336.

"Yeah. They're pretty good," John Lackey said of the Tigers lineup. "They're deep all the way through the lineup. Obviously they have the MVP from last year (Cabrera), they have a guy leading the league in hitting right now [Martinez] so they're pretty good."

- Bogaerts' solo shot was his second home run of the season and his first-ever home run at Fenway Park. At 21 years and 228 days old, he became the youngest Red Sox player to homer at Fenway since Jim Rice in 1974 (21 years, 207 days).

- David Ortiz was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He is hitting .475 (19-40) during that stretch.

- Koji Uehara threw a scoreless 9th inning, his 15th scoreless outing in 17 appearances this season.

- The Tigers have now won 10 straight road games, their third-best single-season road winning streak in franchise history and longest since a 17-gamer in 1984.

- The Curse of Torii Hunter continues for the Red Sox: Hunter is hitting .319 (120-for-376) against the Red Sox in his career, the second-best mark among all active players (minimum 200 at-bats).

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