DETROIT (AP) — Justin Upton hit a pair of three-run homers and the struggling Detroit Tigers finished their homestand with a 10-5 win over fill-in starter Henry Owen and the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
The Tigers won for just the fourth time in 14 games, and went 2-5 on their stay at Comerica Park. Boston has lost just two of its last 10.
J.D. Martinez had a pair of doubles and Erick Aybar had three hits for the Tigers, but Upton was the star.
Upton came into the game hitting .228 this season, and was 3 for 35 with 11 strikeouts in his last 10. His only extra-base hit in that stretch was Saturday night’s double off the top of the center-field fence that narrowly missed tying the game.
Upton went into his home-run trot too early that time — he was nearly thrown out at second — but it wasn’t a problem in the series finale. Both homers cleared the bullpens before landing deep in the left-field seats.
Justin Verlander (13-7) allowed one run on three hits in six innings before being pulled with a nine-run lead. He is 6-1 in his last 10 starts.
Owens (0-1) didn’t find out he was pitching until late Saturday night and didn’t arrive in Detroit from Triple-A until the early morning hours. He gave up eight runs on six hits and five walks in five innings.
Eduardo Rodriguez was scratched from the start late Saturday night. He was expected to return from a hamstring injury to pitch, but felt discomfort during the game. Owens was summoned from Pawtucket.
The Tigers put runners on second and third with no outs. With two outs, Boston manager John Farrell decided to walk Miguel Cabrera to load the bases for Martinez.
Martinez came into the game hitting .438 since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 3, and he poked a 1-2 pitch down the right-field line for a two-run double. Upton followed with a homer to make it 5-0.
Martinez doubled again in his next at-bat, putting runners on second and third with two out in the fifth, and Upton hit his 15th homer.
The Red Sox scored four times off Shane Greene in the seventh, including a two-run homer by Andrew Benintendi, the first of his career.
In his last scheduled game in Detroit, David Ortiz hit a 111-mph drive down the right-field line in the first. Instead of settling for his usual single, he took second on Martinez, leading to a joking exchange between the Red Sox star and Verlander after the inning.
Ortiz batted for the final time in the eighth and received long standing ovations both before and after he grounded out. He tipped his cap to the crowd as he walked off.
Red Sox: INF Devin Marrero was optioned back to Pawtucket to clear room for Owens.
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (thumb) was activated from the disabled list after feeling comfortable in a simulated game against Jordan Zimmermann on Sunday morning. Zimmermann (neck) is expected to make a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo next weekend.
LAST PRESENT FOR BIG PAPI
While the Tigers presented Ortiz with a large framed photo set on Saturday, he got another gift from his friends on the team on Sunday. Before the game, he was showing off a custom-made Venezuelan guitar that was decorated with scenes from his playing career.
Red Sox: Boston travels to Tampa Bay on Monday, with former Ray David Price (11-8, 4.19) facing his old team in the opener. Blake Snell (4-5, 3.06) is scheduled to start for Tampa Bay.
Tigers: Off on Monday before starting a three-game series in Minnesota on Tuesday. Anibal Sanchez (6-12, 5.94) will face Kyle Gibson (5-7, 4.90). Sanchez is coming off seven shutout innings in his last start.