Major League Baseball
Preview
Detroit at Boston
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

The Detroit Tigers are proving they are still very much in the race for a playoff spot in the American League and a series victory against a fellow contender could convince the front office to buy at the trade deadline. The Tigers will try to clinch that series triumph when they visit the Boston Red Sox in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday.

Detroit has five games left before the deadline – all against fellow wild card contenders Boston and Houston – and sits four games over .500 after pulling out a tough win over the Red Sox 4-2 on Monday. The Tigers are averaging only 3.3 runs since the break but got the key hits when necessary in the series opener, taking a 2-1 lead on Jose Iglesias’ home run and tacking on two more before holding on for the win. The loss dropped the Red Sox to 4-3 on their nine-game homestand and 2 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. Boston could use a strong finish to the homestand with an 11-game west coast road trip looming and 22 of the next 28 away from Fenway Park.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, NESN (Boston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Steven Wright (12-5, 2.67)

Pelfrey enjoyed strong efforts in three of his last four outings, including a win at the Chicago White Sox on Thursday in which he yielded one run in 5 1/3 innings. That was a bounce-back for the Wichita State product, who could not make it out of the second inning in his first start after the break on July 16. Pelfrey has always been sharp against Boston, scattering four runs over 21 innings in three career starts.

Wright leads the AL in ERA and dominated the Minnesota Twins on Thursday, allowing two runs – one earned – while striking out nine in eight innings to earn the win. The knuckleball specialist surrendered a total of seven hits in 14 innings over his last two starts and earned the win in nine of his last 10 decisions. Wright is seeing Detroit for the second time in his career and is 7-1 with a 3.20 ERA in 10 starts at home this season.

WALK-OFFS

1. Red Sox closer and RHP Craig Kimbrel, who underwent knee surgery on July 9, threw his first bullpen session on Monday and could return to the team as soon as this weekend.

2. Detroit INF/OF Mike Aviles is in a 1-for-14 slump over his last four games to drop his batting average to .203.

3. Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely in 28 straight games.

PREDICTION: Red Sox 6, Tigers 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Detroit 52-48 W1 26-19 26-29 14-11 18-23 10-10 10-4
Boston 55-42 L1 34-23 21-19 21-20 11-12 15-7 8-3
Last Meeting
Detroit Boston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/25/16 DET 4 BOS 2 .235 1 .690 .270 0 .622
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit M. Cabrera .500 1 1.250
Boston J. Bradley Jr. .667 2 1.417
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit J. Iglesias 1 2 2
Boston J. Bradley Jr. 0 1 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 2.00 .235 8
Boston 4.00 .270 8
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Detroit M. Cabrera .296 110 .884
Boston X. Bogaerts .332 133 .860
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Detroit I. Kinsler 20 80 57
Boston D. Ortiz 24 49 81
Pitching ERA Avg K
Detroit 4.42 .265 735
Boston 4.38 .291 818