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Ortiz's 9th-inning blast end Red Sox's skid

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 08 2014 10:43:43 PM MDT
Updated On: Jun 08 2014 11:45:56 PM MDT
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DETROIT -

Who better to come to the plate for the Boston Red Sox with the game on the line than David Ortiz?

"He's the guy you definitely want up there in that spot," said right-hander John Lackey, who became the winning pitcher because Ortiz responded to the situation with a three-run, ninth-inning home run Sunday night, allowing Boston to end its five-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

"We needed that win, no doubt about it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "David Ortiz gave us a huge lift. That makes John Lackey's eight innings of outstanding work hold up."

Boston left fielder Brock Holt opened the ninth with a ground single to center, his fourth hit, and one out later, second baseman Dustin Pedroia coaxed a walk from an 0-2 count.

Ortiz then hit a belt-high slider from right-hander Joba Chamberlain (1-3) over the wall in right, the 14th home run of the season for the Boston designated hitter. Chamberlain was trying to close the game because struggling right-hander Joe Nathan threw 32 pitches the night before.

"One thing we continue to talk about is not trying to do too much," Farrell said. "David sits on a breaking ball and rides it out of the ballpark."

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, "You certainly don't want to be giving up runs like that in the ninth inning. I'm not overly concerned about it, but it's got to stop at some point."

Red Sox right-hander Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save, helping Boston beat Detroit for the first time in six games this season.

Detroit rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez stung a line single to left with one out in the seventh, scoring fellow rookie Nick Castellanos from second base and giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead.

Castellanos, Detroit's third baseman, lined a single to center off Lackey (7-4) to open the seventh. He was safe at second when Boston third baseman Xander Bogaerts muffed a grounder off the bat of Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson.

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was removed from the game due to left hamstring tightness after singling with two outs in the sixth. He is listed day-to-day.

"It's similar to what happened to him against Texas," Ausmus said. "We'll see how he is Monday."

Lackey threw eight innings of three-run ball, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out five.

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two. He was removed after throwing 112 pitches.

"That's the hard part," Sanchez said. "They fouled off a lot of (two-strike) pitches. That got my pitch count up. They were fighting all the at-bats."

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, fresh off the disabled list, led off the sixth inning with a home run, his sixth, to create the 2-2 tie. It was the first home run Sanchez allowed this season.

Cabrera hit Lackey's first pitch of the fourth inning into the right field corner for a double, and designated hitter Victor Martinez hit the next pitch into nearly the same spot for an RBI single and a 2-1 Detroit lead.

Boston scored first on two singles plus a sacrifice fly by Pedroia in the third.

Detroit squared the score in the bottom of the third when Jackson singled, stole second and scored on Suarez's line single to left.

Since the Tigers swept the Red Sox at Fenway Park in a series that began May 16, Boston has had streaks of 10 losses, seven wins and five defeats.

"If I remember rightly, David hit a three-run home run in the fifth at Atlanta the last time we got on a winning streak," Farrell said. "Hopefully this jumpstarts us again."

NOTES: The Red Sox optioned OF Alex Hassan to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for 1B Mike Napoli, who came off the disabled list after missing the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left ring finger. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz (hyperextended left knee) threw 48 pitches over three simulated innings Sunday. He likely is headed for a rehab assignment soon. ... Detroit RHP Joe Nathan, who didn't pitch Sunday, allowed two or more runs in five of his last six outings. "I'm not overly concerned," manager Brad Ausmus said. ... INF Brock Holt made his first career start in the outfield so the Red Sox could keep his hot bat in the lineup with the return of Napoli. He went 4-for-5, raising his average to .339. ... 3B Nick Castellanos is the fifth Detroit rookie in the last 100 years to have three three-hit games in a row, a streak that ended Sunday when he went 1-for-4.