DETROIT – Adam Duvall hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth inning and the Boston Red Sox went on to beat the Detroit Tigers 6-3 Thursday.
“He’s off to a great start,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
The 34-year-old Duvall, selected as the AL Player of the Week on Monday, is hitting .458 with three homers and 12 RBIs through his first six games with the Red Sox. He signed a $7 million, one-year contract in January to play for his fifth major league team.
“Duvall has been smoking hot,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Boston, swept at home earlier in the week by Pittsburgh, bounced back with a run in the third and fourth before surging into the lead with a four-run sixth. Rafael Devers hit a solo homer in the fourth and had an RBI double in the sixth.
Chris Sale (1-0) gave up four hits and three runs and three walks while striking out seven in five innings.
Sale, who gave up seven runs in his season debut, got off to a shaky start with two straight walks in Detroit before striking out the next three batters.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown eight straight balls in my life,” he said. “That was definitely interesting. Credit to the mound visit, I got three punches after that.”
John Schreiber, Chris Martin, Ryan Brasier and combined to throw three innings of scoreless relief and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his first save with Boston.
In his final home opener, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-out RBI single in the third inning to put Detroit up 3-1.
“He’s just a pure hitter, up there with (Albert) Pujols,” Cora said. “He can hit for average, hit for power, and that uncanny ability for driving in runs.”
Spencer Turnbull (0-2) allowed five runs and five hits and two walks over 5 2-3 innings. Jose Cisnero gave up the three-run homer to Duvall, the first batter he faced.
Detroit catcher Jake Rogers fired up fans – bundled up on a chilly afternoon – by turning on an inside pitch and sending it 414 feet to left to put Detroit up 2-0 in the second.
The Tigers, though, missed many chances to score more runs by leaving eight runners on base.
“We had our opportunities, especially when we didn’t get to Sale right away and then he settled in,” Hinch said.
CABRERA’S LAST CALL
Cabrera, who turns 40 this month, has announced he’s retiring after this season and he’s trying to enjoy each moment.
“I appreciate this moment because not too many guys in baseball get a chance to say goodbye,” Cabrera said. “I’m not sad. I’m happy.”
The two-time AL MVP and Triple Crown winner joined former Detroit superstars Calvin Johnson, Nicklas Lidstrom and Ben Wallace – Hall of Famers in football, hockey and basketball – on the field to throw a ceremonial first pitch before the game.
Red Sox: RHP Brayan Bello (right elbow inflammation) is expected to make another start for Triple-A Worcester after throwing 72 pitches Wednesday.
Tigers: Turnbull appeared to hurt his neck in the sixth when Enrique Hernandez hit a comebacker and he was removed from the game later in the inning.
“He said it was the equivalent of a whiplash or a stringer,” Hinch said. “It kind of subsided and he was fine.”
After a day off, Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck (1-0, 5.40) and Tigers LHP Joey Wentz (0-1, 5.06) are scheduled to start on Saturday.