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.