Jose Iglesias hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning, Justin Verlander pitched six solid innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Red Sox 4-2 on Monday night to spoil Drew Pomeranz’s second start with Boston.
Victor Martinez and James McCann also drove in runs for the Tigers. Detroit pulled within 5 1/2 games of idle AL Central-leading Cleveland.
Verlander (10-6) allowed one run and five hits and struck out five to pick up the victory. He is 3-0 in his last five starts.
Francisco Rodriguez earned his 28th save.
Pomeranz (8-8), recently acquired from the San Diego Padres, gave up four hits and struck out seven in six innings. Both of the runs he allowed came via Iglesias’ homer.
Boston failed to homer Monday, ending a streak of 15 straight games with at least one.
Pomeranz entered Monday’s start looking to bounce back from his dismal Boston debut last week against San Francisco, in which he gave up five runs in just three innings.
He was cruising through five innings Monday, allowing just two hits. That changed in the sixth when Iglesias crushed Pomeranz’s fastball high over the Green Monster in left for a two-run homer to put the Tigers up 2-1.
Iglesias scored his second run of the game in the eighth, trotting across home plate on Martinez’s single off reliever Clay Buchholz to make it 4-1.
Boston loaded the bases on three straight singles off Justin Wilson to begin its half of the eighth. A single by Sandy Leon pulled the Red Sox within 4-2, but Wilson settled down to get an out and Rodriguez came on to help end the rally.
Boston’s hitters had several long at-bats against Verlander, pushing his pitch count above 40 through just two innings. In the second, Travis Shaw lined a double into the right-field corner, scoring Jackie Bradley Jr.
Tigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann, who has been sidelined since July 1 with a right neck strain, began a rehab assignment in Triple-A Toledo on Sunday night. He threw four scoreless innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.
Red Sox: CF Mookie Betts returned to the lineup Monday after missing a pair of games with right knee soreness. … Manager John Farrell said RHP Craig Kimbrel (left knee surgery) is progressing well and looked good in a short bullpen session. He could make a rehab start as soon as this weekend.
Tigers: RHP Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78 ERA) is coming off a victory at Chicago last week, in which he allowed the White Sox just one run in 5 1/3 innings. Pelfrey hasn’t allowed a home run his last eight road starts, spanning 45 1/3 innings.
Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (12-5, 2.67) has won his last four starts. His lone appearance against Detroit was last July, when he allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings in a loss.
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