BOSTON -- Before the Tigers took Wednesday's series finale, 4-3, at Fenway Park, the Red Sox were the only team in the Major Leagues that had gone all of 2016 without being swept. Miguel Cabrera mauled the go-ahead home run in the ninth to make sure the Red Sox joined the ranks of the swept. It was his 21st homer of the year and his 12th go-ahead shot in the ninth inning or later over the last 10 seasons, most in the Major Leagues.
"It became electric in the dugout instantaneously," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It was tough to get the ball out to right today. The wind was kind of blowing in from left field, Miggy hit it low enough and hard that he was able to cut it through the wind. But most stuff hit that way was getting knocked down."
Right-hander Michael Fulmer cruised through six innings before getting counterpunched by a powerful Boston lineup in the seventh and eighth, but the rookie limited Boston to seven hits and three runs over 7 2/3 innings.
Though the Red Sox battled back, it wasn't enough steam. Xander Bogaerts crushed a homer into the Green Monster seats to bring Boston within one in the seventh, and Mookie Betts added a game-tying RBI triple into deep center field an inning later.
"Our offense is still doing a great job," Bogaerts said. "We're getting on base, we're scoring runs, we're getting guys over. It's just a matter of the pitching getting back intact with the offense as they did early on in the year."
All but two batters in the Tigers' lineup reached base by either a walk or hit against the Red Sox. Catcher James McCann went deep in the sixth, adding an insurance run over the Green Monster for a 3-1 Tigers lead.
It didn't help Boston that left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez couldn't make it through six innings. He allowed nine hits, three earned runs and three walks (one intentional) while whiffing six. After allowing the homer to McCann, Rodriguez has given up at least one home run in each of his last eight starts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Betts foot forward: With two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth, Betts laced a triple off Fulmer just beyond the reach of diving center fielder Tyler Collins. Travis Shaw scored easily to tie the game, and Betts took a hard turn around third base before being held up by third-base coach Brian Butterfield.
"Yeah, I was thinking an inside-the-park home run," Betts said. "I was thinking, 'I gotta go, I gotta go.' I guess I'm not as fast as I used to be."
Nice try Leon: Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon, who's having a breakout year, sparked the third off with a leadoff double. He moved to third on a grounder by Brock Holt. Betts then flied out to Collins. Leon tagged from third but Collins threw a perfect shot to catcher McCann to nab Leon at the plate. As a handful of Tigers hovered on the edge of the dugout to high-five Collins, Fulmer pointed to the center fielder to acknowledge the assist.
Bogey ball: After fouling off three two-strike pitches from Fulmer, Bogaerts belted a fastball into the Green Monster seats to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the seventh. Bogaerts has 12 home runs on the year, matching his career high set in 2014.
"He threw me some good pitches -- I think he threw five or six sliders in a row," Bogaerts said. "He left [a fastball] there and I hit it good."
Wilson's first save: With the Tigers' trusty closer Francisco Rodriguez unavailable to pitch due to personal issues on Wednesday, Ausmus was forced to go to left-hander Justin Wilson for the three-out save in the ninth. Wilson struck out Bogaerts and induced flyouts from Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. to seal the game and earn his first save in the Major Leagues.
"He did an excellent job against the heart of their lineup. That was the teeth of the Boston Red Sox right there and he was able to get through 'em," Ausmus said.
"I haven't looked at the schedule. I know there's 162 on there. That's about all I know." -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, asked about an upcoming stretch of 41 of 63 games on the road to finish the season
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Cabrera became the 11th Detroit hitter since 1913 to amass nine or more 60-plus RBI seasons and one of six active Major League players with 14 or more seasons of 60-plus RBIs.
WHAT'S NEXT Tigers: Detroit enjoys an off-day before welcoming the Astros to Comerica Park for a three-game series on Friday. Left-hander Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.63 ERA) will get the nod for the first of a nine-game homestand, the club's longest of the second half. Boyd is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last three starts, improving significantly from a rocky start. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Red Sox:David Price (9-7, 4.51 ERA) gets the ball as Boston begins an 11-game West Coast trip against the Angels on Thursday. Price's struggles have continued in two starts since the All-Star break, as the southpaw has allowed eight runs on 22 hits and recorded only five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m. ET.