Boston — A phrase that manager AJ Hinch has uttered way too frequently this season was apropos again Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
The Tigers didn’t do enough to win a baseball game. They battled. They stayed in the fight. They lost. For the eighth time in 10 games they lost. For the 42nd time in 68 games, they lost.
Powered by two blasts over the Green Monster — a three-run home run by Trevor Story and a solo shot by Christian Vazquez — the Red Sox beat the Tigers for the second straight night, 5-4.
The Tigers got 11 hits. Jonathan Schoop hit his sixth home run, clearing the Monster in the ninth inning.
With two outs, Red Sox manager brought Rockford’s John Schreiber in to face Javier Báez. He did the same on Monday. Báez rolled a single into right field to keep the game alive.
But Schreiber got Miguel Cabrera to ground out to end it.
Cabrera had three singles. Báez ripped a triple and a homer. Rookie Riley Greene had two singles. Robbie Grossman and Eric Haase both hit balls to the wall in left and left-center that were caught.
With 42-year-old lefty Rich Hill starting for Boston, Hinch moved Báez up into the two-hole in his batting order. Why? Baez came in hitting .347 and slugging .531 against left-handed pitching.
Báez responded by hitting a 386-foot triple to the cutout in right-center field in the first inning, then a 390-foot home run in just about the same spot in the third, his fifth home run.
Cabrera’s first of his three singles plated Báez in the first.
Cabrera’s third single came with two outs in the fifth and the Tigers trailing 4-2. It came right after Hill was struck in the chest by the throw back from his catcher Vazquez. Cabrera had just fouled the ball off. Hill seemed to be looking toward first base and never saw the ball until it struck him.
Cabrera whacked the very next pitch up the middle and Haase followed with an RBI single. Hill rallied to strike out Greene to end the fifth but that was his last batter.
It was a laborious outing for Tigers’ rookie starter Beau Brieske. A 27-pitch first inning set the tone.
The Red Sox first two hitters, Jarren Duran and Rafael Devers singled. Brieske would get out of the inning allowing only a run on a sacrifice fly by J.D. Martinez. He won a 10-pitch battle with Xander Bogaerts, which contributed to the long inning.
Brieske kept winning long at-bats, putting down 10 straight Red Sox hitters until the fourth inning. That’s when he left a slider spinning over the heart of the plate to Story.
With two on and one out, Story sent that pitch high over the Monster in left field, the three-run shot putting the Red Sox up 4-1 at the time.
Brieske worked a clean fifth inning, ending his outing by striking out Martinez, throwing a 94-mph fastball by him. It was his 93rd and last pitch.
Vazquez’s homer came on the first pitch delivered by lefty reliever Andrew Chafin leading off the bottom of the seventh. Chafin had a streak of six straight strikeouts covering his previous two outings.