This boom-boom stuff can work both ways. One day after they lost on back-to-back home runs, the Tigers used the same approach to end their longest losing streak of the season. Ian Kinsler and Torii Hunter hit consecutive two-out drives in the fifth inning to turn a one-run lead into a three-run advantage. The Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-2, at Comerica Park in front of 39,762 on Friday night. On Thursday, Toronto pulled away from a tie in the sixth inning and beat Justin Verlander on consecutive home runs by Juan Francisco and Brett Lawrie. Drew Smyly (3-4) got his first win in a month and delivered only the Tigers’ sixth quality start in the 18 games since their slide began. He allowed a run before he got an out, then didn’t give up anything until an unearned run in the sixth brought Boston within two runs. The bullpen pitched three scoreless innings. The Tigers stopped their losing streak at five and got only their fifth win in 18 games since they swept the Red Sox three weeks ago. In the past 21 games, the Tigers are 4-0 against the world-champion Red Sox and 4-13 against everyone else. Smyly decided to be far more aggressive than in his previous start when he lasted four innings in Seattle and threw more than 100 pitches in a loss. “I don’t know where my mind-set kind of drifted off, but I think that over the past month, I haven’t been as aggressive,” Smyly said. “I still felt like I was maybe still pitching out of the bullpen — scared to give up a hit. So I was nibbling and throwing a lot of pitches. It’s not an efficient way to be a starter.” Smyly’s past three starts had been uneven. They included a five-walk game in Cleveland and a four-homer game in Oakland. “My mind-set, talking to Jonesey (pitching coach Jeff Jones) throughout the week, was be aggressive as I can. Make them show me they can hit my fastball. So I was going to go right at them.” Smyly was so aggressive that he gave up a run when the first two hitters of the game got a hit on an 0-2 pitch. For the night, he had the scintillating ratio of 30 balls and 71 strikes. “This game can eat you alive if you let it get to you,” said Smyly, in his first full season as a starter. “A lot of things can go wrong, even when you’re doing something right. So my mind-set was ‘attack — don’t beat yourself.’ That’s what I was doing my past few games: beating myself. Tonight, if they hit it, they hit it. But I’m going to throw strikes. I’m going to go right at them.” The Tigers tied it in the third on Nick Castellanos’ double and Andrew Romine’s single and went ahead, 2-1 in the fourth. They took charge in the fifth when, after right-handed starter Rubby ) De La Rosa retired the first two hitters, Kinsler and Hunter cleared the fence two pitches apart.
Detroit Tigers 6, Boston 2: Long ball helps end Tigers' 5-game skid
Detroit Free Press | Jun 7