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Miguel Cabrera's blast helps Detroit Tigers complete sweep of Boston Red Sox

By
Matt Kalman, The Sports Xchange
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24). Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24). Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

BOSTON -- There are few better ways to end a road trip than completing a sweep of a team that had never been swept.

That's exactly what the Detroit Tigers did Wednesday when they beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Miguel Cabrera's tie-breaking home run in the ninth inning of the finale of the three-game series at Fenway Park.

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The Red Sox (55-44) were the only team in the majors yet to suffer a sweep this season before they fell to the Tigers (54-48).

"I guess if you're a Red Sox fan, a couple bounces went our way," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "I look at it as Miggy hit the ball 385 feet into the wind, a ball without the wind that would have gone into the bullpen with ease."

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Detroit, which went 5-2 on its road trip, squandered a 3-1 lead. But with two outs in the top of the ninth, Cabrera hit Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler's 1-0 offering off the top of the wall and into the Boston bullpen for a 4-3 lead.

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"Just a fastball," Ziegler (0-1) said. "Got a little too much plate and just obviously going 1-0 on him wasn't a great situation either. But still it wasn't a horrible pitch. It just wasn't a great one either."

Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer threw just 98 pitches over 7 2/3 innings but couldn't hold on to a 3-1 lead. Fulmer allowed three earned runs on seven hits, walked none and struck out three.

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Designated hitter Victor Martinez went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and catcher James McCann hit a home run for the Tigers, who left 10 men on base.

Bruce Rondon (4-2) earned the win in relief and Justin Wilson secured his first career save for Detroit.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez left after throwing 101 pitches in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs on nine hits and issued three walks. He also struck out six batters.

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Boston infielders Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts homered and Mookie Betts delivered a game-tying triple in the bottom of the eighth.

"The one to Betts in the eighth inning was just a little up and over the plate," Fulmer said. "He just caught up with it and drove it."

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Travis Shaw led off Boston's half of the eighth with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt and went to third on a groundout. Betts then ripped a line-drive triple to the triangle area in center field to score Shaw. Third base coach Brian Butterfield stopped Betts at third and Rondon struck out Pedroia to end the inning.

"I was thinking I've got to go, I've got to go," Betts said about his race around the bases. "I'm not as fast as I used to be, so it's just a triple."

The Red Sox, who have lost five of their past six games, scored first when Pedroia hit a solo home run to center field as the second batter of the bottom of the first.

Martinez ripped a two-run single in the top of the third to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. McCann homered with one out in the sixth to give Detroit a 3-1 lead.

Bogaerts answered with a solo home run of his own leading off the seventh inning to pull Boston within 3-2.

NOTES: Boston RHP Craig Kimbrel went through his second bullpen session Wednesday in his attempt to return from surgery to repair a left knee medial meniscus injury. The Red Sox closer has been on the disabled list since July 9. He is scheduled to report to Triple-A Pawtucket for a rehabilitation assignment Saturday. His stint with the PawSox could be as short as one game. "That would be the most optimistic scenario," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. ... Red Sox C Ryan Hanigan remained out of the starting lineup with flu-like symptoms. Farrell said Hanigan would only be available in an emergency. ... Boston RHP Brandon Workman, who has been on the disabled list all season while rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to pitch a simulated game prior to the regular game at Class A Lowell on Thursday. ... Red Sox RHP Sean O'Sullivan will start on the path to returning from left knee patellar tendonitis (on the DL since July 9) by pitching three innings for Pawtucket on Thursday. ... Detroit OF Cameron Maybin remained out of the starting lineup because of a back injury. He last played Sunday in the conclusion of Saturday's suspended game and might not return until Friday. ... Tigers RHP Drew VerHagen, who started the season in the majors before being optioned to Triple-A Toledo, is out for the season. He is scheduled to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. VerHagen had been trying to rehabilitate the injury to avoid surgery but he suffered a setback.

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