DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers insisted they were not concerned about their worst skid of the year a few hours before playing the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in a rematch of the AL championship series.
Detroit later showed it still has what it takes to win with strong pitching, big hits and usually sound defense.
Ian Kinsler and Torii Hunter hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning and Victor Martinez cleared the fences in the eighth, helping Detroit beat Boston 6-2 and end a season-high five-game losing streak Friday.
"This was a good night for everyone," Drew Smyly said after pitching six strong innings.
Detroit had lost 13 of 17 games, including the previous four, since sweeping the Red Sox on the road a few weeks ago.
"I've spoken to players a couple times over this stretch," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "There's no reason to throw a fit unless it's a lack of effort or concentration. This stretch has not been caused by a lack of concentration or effort."
Smyly (3-4) snapped a skid of his own. He was 0-2 in his last two starts, giving up a total of nine runs over nine innings, and was 0-3 in his previous six outings. The left-hander allowed two runs on five hits over six innings and struck out four, walking only one against the Red Sox.
"He was locating his pitches and keeping us off balance," Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said after going 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. "He had command on both sides of the plate."