BOSTON -- The conditions weren't good for either side on Tuesday night at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox took advantage of a wild Justin Verlander, who walked four batters in five innings while allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in five innings.
He picked up his seventh loss of the season, and that's because he allowed four runs in the bottom of the fourth -- an inning in which he walked in the go-ahead run with bases loaded.
"Verlander was having a little trouble with his control, obviously," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after Boston's 4-1, rain-shortened victory. "But when he threw it over, Cody gets a hit and Salty gets a hit. With bases loaded, you get Ciriaco up there, who just drives in a couple. We got good fortune on the hop from Carl Crawford, but in those conditions, a lot of weird things happen."
Cody Ross led the inning off with a single, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed that up with a single of his own. Following a Will Middlebrooks strikeout, Kelly Shoppach walked to load the bases.
Then, it was Pedro Ciriaco coming through in the clutch once again, as he lined an RBI single to right field, tying the score at 1-1. Then came the Ellsbury walk, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. To top it off Carl Crawford hit a grounder to the right side of the infield that neither Verlander or second baseman Omar Infante could handle, helping the Red Sox score two runs.
It marks the second loss in as many starts for Verlander, the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, at Fenway this season. In fact, the Tigers have now lost all four of Verlander's starts at Fenway Park since 2010, and six of his 10 starts against the Red Sox.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.