Slumping Red Sox aim to bounce back at Detroit

National Sports

Alex Cora hopes a day off will invigorate his slumping club.

The Boston Red Sox manager has watched his team lose four straight, including three at Tampa Bay over the weekend. The defeats to the Rays dropped the Red Sox into second place in the American League East.

Boston begins a three-game series at Detroit on Tuesday.

“You’ve got to stay the course,” Cora said. “Right now, we’re in second place in the division. We don’t like what happened this weekend, but it’s part of it.

“(The Rays) went on a roll for a month and a half, they won like 25 out of 28 games and we didn’t play extremely well and we’re still here. Obviously, we don’t like losing and we want to be more consistent, but it’s just part of the season.”

Boston left 10 runners on base in a 3-2 loss on Sunday.

“I feel like we’ve had a lot of guys on base, we’ve had a lot of opportunities. We just can’t get that hit,” outfielder/designated hitter J.D. Martinez said. “That seems to be the common thing right now.”

The Red Sox scored 28 runs in a three-game home series against the Tigers in early May, winning two of those contests. They’re hoping their bats heat up again after their lost weekend in Florida.

“I really don’t think there’s room for panic here,” pitcher Nick Pivetta said. “We’ve played incredible baseball up to this point. It’s a 162-game season, and we’ve just got to kind of grind through this and move on to Detroit. I think we go out and we win a series against them and we just kind of move on from there.”

Garrett Richards (6-6, 5.15 ERA) will start the series opener. The 33-year-old right-hander gave up four runs on eight hits in four innings during his last start against Toronto.

Home runs have been an issue for Richards lately. He’s surrendered five over his past two starts and 10 over his past six outings. Richards has eight career appearances against Detroit, going 2-2 with a 3.46 ERA.

He’ll be opposed by right-hander Wily Peralta (3-2, 3.64 ERA), who has also been victimized by the long ball in his past two starts. He gave up a pair while allowing five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to Kansas City on July 23, then was taken deep twice more by Minnesota while allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings on Wednesday.

He’s made four career appearances against the Red Sox with no decisions and a 4.76 ERA.

The Tigers had a much-needed day off on Monday as well. They played 17 games in 16 days prior to getting a breather.

Detroit defeated Baltimore 6-2 on Sunday, salvaging a split of a four-game series.

“We’re at the end of a really long stretch, our longest of the year with quite a lot of travel, lot of day-after-night stuff and some weather,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s been a long stretch since our last off day. You compile all of that; we wanted to end that stretch with a win.”

–Field Level Media

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