Devers, Red Sox slam woebegone Tigers

Detroit News

Detroit – Grim day all the way around for the Tigers on Saturday.

It started with disheartening news that outfielder Austin Meadows has again stepped away from the club to focus on his mental health. His battle with an anxiety disorder, which forced him to end his season last September, continues.

The Tigers scratched Meadows from the lineup just minutes before game-time, plugging in Akil Baddoo, who was with Triple-A Toledo in Omaha Friday night.

Then the game happened.

The bashing Boston Red Sox put a 14-5 pounding on the Tigers at Comerica Park, highlighted by a second-inning grand slam home run by Rafael Devers.

Tigers’ lefty starter Joey Wentz breezed through a clean first inning, needing just 11 pitches. He would throw 36 pitches in the second and not get through the inning.

He lost the strike zone, walking four batters in the inning, the last two forcing in runs with two outs and the bases loaded.

Wentz gave way to right-hander Garrett Hill, who threw a 2-1 sinker on the outer edge of the plate to Devers. Devers took the pitch to the opposite field, just clearing the seven-foot wall in left field. Baddoo got back to the wall but he hit the fence and couldn’t jump as high as he needed to.

Oddly, the velocity on Hill’s sinker was 85 mph. He typically throws that pitch with an average velocity of 93 mph and hit 95 with it Saturday. Clearly it was a misfire.

BOX SCORE: Red Sox 14, Tigers 5

Hill, after walking the leadoff hitter Masataka Yoshida on four pitches to start the third inning, threw another sinker to Adam Duvall. This one was 93 mph and right in the heart of the plate. Duvall smashed it over the visitor’s bullpen on left-center field, 423 feet.

Eight runs on three hits in two innings.

Devers wasn’t done. He scorched a cutter from lefty Tyler Alexander in the seventh, sending it deep into the seats in right field. The ball left his bat at 110 mph.

The Red Sox have hit 14 home runs – four each by Devers and Duvall – and scored 55 runs in their first eight games.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have lost three straight and are 2-6 on the season with a minus-32 run differential.

In the fourth inning against Red Sox starter Tanner Houck, Riley Greene walked, Kerry Carpenter singled and Nick Maton ripped an RBI double down the right-field line.

The second run scored on a sacrifice fly by Spencer Torkelson.

The Tigers scored three runs in the ninth. Greene slapped a two-run single and another run scored on a throwing error by shortstop Kiki Hernandez.

Zach McKinstry, who started the game at second base for the Tigers, pitched the ninth inning and gave up a two-run home run to Raimel Tapia.

Twitter@cmccosky

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