By Alejandro Zúñiga and Catherine Slonksnis
DETROIT -- Victor Martinez's two-run homer in the seventh inning capped a two-out rally as the Tigers came from behind to edge the Red Sox, 7-6, on Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Boston had taken the lead with three runs in the top of the seventh, but Detroit didn't stay down for long. After reliever Junichi Tazawa retired Rajai Davis and Jose Iglesias, Ian Kinsler reached on a sharp ground ball to left. Then, Martinez worked a 2-2 count before sending a forkball a projected 413 feet away from home plate, per Statcast™. It marked his third home run in the past three games.
"It's good to end up on the good side," Martinez said. "We've been having some battles and coming up on the bad side. But it definitely felt great to pull this game out."
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz enjoyed another big night against the Tigers. He hit a double in the second inning, belted a solo shot in the sixth and handed his club a 6-5 lead with a two-run single in the seventh. But Martinez's blast gave Detroit the victory in a back-and-forth affair.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Davis goes deep: Davis hadn't looked comfortable against Red Sox starter Wade Miley, striking out in his first two at-bats and falling into an 0-2 hole in his third. But Detroit's left fielder recovered to blast his third home run of the season. The two-run shot, which was projected by Statcast™ to land 387 feet from home plate, tied the game at 2 in the fifth.
Papi goes yard: Ortiz made good use of his 425th plate appearance this year by drilling a double to dead center, one that even Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose thought had left the park. Ortiz, though, topped that when he blasted the 21st home run of his career at Comerica Park in the sixth, putting the Red Sox up, 3-2, just after the Tigers had tied the game. More >
"I went and looked at video, and that ball was right down the middle," said reliever Blaine Hardy, who surrendered the homer but recovered to earn the win. "I'm just glad I was able to minimize after that."
'El Capitan' McCann: Hours after former teammate David Price tweeted James McCann would wear a captain's patch someday, the rookie catcher enjoyed his 23rd multihit performance. McCann singled in the third but was stranded on second base, then laced a game-tying double down the left-field line in the sixth.
Brute strength: After the Red Sox retook the lead in the seventh, the Tigers fought back again. Kinsler singled for his eighth three-hit game of the year with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Martinez then muscled a 2-2 forkball over the right-field wall and past the Belle Tire section for his go-ahead two-run shot. More >
"Any time you have games that go back and forth, it's enjoyable to watch for both teams. It's like, 'Oh, we're up!' 'Aww, down now. Dang it.' The fact that it never really got out of hand, it was within one or two runs the whole day, it's a fun game to watch. These are the games that fans come to see." -- Hardy, on the back-and-forth nature of the game
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Ortiz is batting .333 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs over his past 15 games.
With two on and one out in the fifth, Brock Holt hit a line drive at Davis. The Detroit left fielder misread the ball, then recovered for a shoestring grab, but Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged whether Davis had made the catch. The call stood after a three-minute, eight-second review.
Umpires went to the monitor again in the bottom of the seventh. Detroit appeared to turn a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play, but a 54-second review determined Boston catcher Blake Swihart had beaten the relay to first base.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Rookie lefty Henry Owens (0-1, 5.40 ERA) makes his second career start in Sunday's 1:08 p.m. ET rubber game. On Tuesday against the Yankees, Owens went five innings and gave up three runs on five hits, striking out five in his debut. Since 2012, the 23-year-old amassed a 3.30 ERA and has held opposing hitters to a .207 batting average.
Tigers: Righty Justin Verlander (1-4, 5.05) takes the mound in Sunday's series finale at Comerica Park. He struggled in his last start, surrendering five runs over seven innings, but previously had consecutive outings in which he allowed just one run over eight frames.