After a promising streak of four wins in five games Monday through Friday, the Red Sox delivered a brilliant performance against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
The Tigers hit four home runs en route to a convincing 6-2 win at Fenway Park. Red Sox starter Brayan Bello allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, and the relievers let the damage escalate.
“It just wasn’t my day,” Bello said.
Justin Turner, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a bruised right foot bone, finished the game with a home run 2-4. That’s about all that went right for the Red Sox that particular night.
Brayan Bello couldn’t find a rhythm.
After a searing May (2.67 ERA) and June (2.14), Bello struggled in July (5.48) and August (5.33).
This was the second time in his last five starts that he has not made it to the fifth inning and the sixth time in the last seven that he has conceded at least one home run.
Kerry Carpenter sent a punch over the Green Monster in the second and Eric Haase did the same in the fifth. Bello also conceded an RBI single to Riley Greene in the third, and in the fifth the Tigers scored another from a fielder’s choice.
“It was again a problem that he had to overcome,” manager Alex Cora said of Bello.
Bello did score five and didn’t walk once, but otherwise it wasn’t his sharpest performance. His overall numbers are still solid (8-6, 3.81), but he hasn’t looked quite like himself lately.
Justin Torkelson (4-4) hit a sixth-round home run through Brennan Bernardino and Carpenter hit another in the eighth through Kyle Barraclough.
Justin Turner returned in style.
The Red Sox have missed Turner’s consistency over the past few weeks. This was only his fourth game in August but he has continued to be reliable when he has played.
The 38-year-old shot a single to the left and scored a penalty in the fourth round that reduced the deficit to 2-1. He then launched a solo shot over the monster in the eighth round.
In the singles, Turner made a conscious decision to stay in first rather than sprint to second for a double. When Pablo Reyes’ grounder splattered through the infield, he was able to push his way home with ease.
Turner took the smart approach, staying patient and holding out on the base paths. The Red Sox need him healthy and in the lineup to have any chance of making waves in the coming weeks.
The Red Sox had their chances.
The Red Sox didn’t score their first goal until the fourth inning, but finished in eight and had numerous chances to extend the lead.
They finished 0-11 with runners on goal, leaving eight men on base.
After Turner’s shot in the eighth, Rafael Devers hit a single down the middle and Triston Casas hit a single to the right. Devers moved up to third after a grounder from Reyes, but Adam Duvall missed short.
In the ninth, Reese McGuire hit a single down the middle, but the Red Sox failed to rally as Alex Verdugo landed a double play to seal the ball.
“One of those weird games,” Cora told reporters.
The Red Sox are now 7-39 this season if they hit three runs or fewer.
They are 10-2 this season and 25-6 overall in their Nike City Connect Series jerseys.
The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 12:05 p.m., then Boston travels to Washington to face the Nationals in a three-game set Tuesday through Thursday.
After that there will be a big series against the Yankees in New York from Friday to Sunday.
They’re still in contention for the final wild card spot, but time is of the essence.
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