By Alejandro Zúñiga and Catherine Slonksnis
DETROIT -- No. 9 hitter Jackie Bradley Jr. made a tremendous over-the-shoulder basket catch and drove in a career-high five runs Sunday afternoon, powering the Red Sox to a 7-2 win and a series victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park.
Bradley Jr., a career .188 hitter, drew a bases-loaded walk against Detroit starter Justin Verlander in the second, then added a solo home run off reliever Tom Gorzelanny in the seventh. The center fielder, whose dazzling catch ended the fourth, capped his career day with a bases-clearing triple as part of Boston's four-run eighth off Detroit's beleaguered bullpen.
Verlander took the loss despite allowing just two unearned runs over six innings. The Tigers managed only four hits, one of them a solo blast by rookie Jefry Marte in the seventh. Ian Kinsler, who knocked a pair of doubles, was the only other Detroit player with an extra-base hit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Owens picks up first win: Making his second start, Red Sox rookie lefty Henry Owens had control issues, but limited the Tigers to one run over five-plus innings to earn his first Major League victory. After a solid debut against the Yankees, he allowed three hits, walked four and struck out three Sunday. More >
Key hits: The Red Sox's offense took advantage of Verlander's lost command in the second. A walk, a forceout and an error by Kinsler put two aboard, then Josh Rutledge followed with an infield single to load the bases. Bradley worked a walk to force in a run and Brock Holt's infield single to Kinsler gave the Red Sox a crucial run to add to a lead they didn't relinquish.
"If you keep frustrating that they keep missing balls badly enough to get infield hits, then all of a sudden you give up a double and then you're in real trouble," Verlander said. "You just have to turn the page and limit the damage as best as you can." More >
Running wild:Rajai Davis has been struggling at the plate, but he took full advantage of a leadoff walk in the third. Three pitches after the free pass, he swiped second base for his 17th steal, and a wild pitch on the play allowed him to cruise into third. Victor Martinez laced a single into center to plate Davis with Detroit's first run.
Cause for celebration: Sunday morning, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had spoken highly of Marte's power, and the first baseman showcased it in the seventh. He connected with a Masterson fastball, flipped his bat and watched the ball soar a projected 435 feet, per Statcast™. The home run, which marked Marte's third of the season, cut Detroit's deficit to 3-2 at the time.
"I was looking for one pitch, a good pitch, something I could drive -- something up," Marte said.
"I was able to watch a game from the stands. The game looks really easy. I mean, it looks so easy. But if you've never played the game, you can't talk. You just can't talk. One day you're hitting the ball right on the nose and you don't get anything. The next day you come in, you get four broken bats and get four singles. That's the way it is." -- Martinez, on Detroit's frustrating season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kinsler has eight multihit performances over his past 10 games. His 44 multihit games lead the Majors.
Bradley had one extra-base hit and four RBIs this season entering Sunday.
AUSMUS UPSET WITH CALL
Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias appeared to reach safely on a first-inning bunt when he inadvertently stepped on Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw's arm and glove, dislodging the ball. First-base umpire Scott Barry called Iglesias safe, but home-plate umpire Ben May overruled the decision. The crew told Ausmus it was because Iglesias had run out of the baseline, and the manager expressed his disagreement during his postgame news conference.
"Iglesias has a right to touch the base," Ausmus said. "It was a bad throw by [Owens] that caused the contact at first base. ... Why [May] immediately called Iglesias out of the baseline is ridiculous. You might as well call a guy out of the baseline on a single to left. There was really no impact. I didn't get it; I didn't understand it. I thought it was a bad call."
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Boston gets Monday off before facing the Marlins on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET in Miami. Steven Wright (5-4, 4.12 ETA) has won his past two starts, and in his last outing, the righty struck out nine in eight innings.
Tigers: Less than a week after taking two of three from the Royals at Comerica Park, Detroit begins a three-game set with Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium. Lefty Matt Boyd (1-2, 7.90) makes his second appearance as a Tiger on Monday at 8:10 p.m. ET.