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Detroit at Boston

Venue: Fenway Park
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Like Boston Red Sox counterpart John Lackey, the Detroit Tigers' Rick Porcello will carry a win streak into Saturday night's game at Fenway Park.

Porcello, though, hasn't been at his best in recent matchups with the Red Sox.

The right-hander will try to reverse that trend as he goes for a sixth consecutive victory in helping the Tigers seek their 10th in a row away from home.

Porcello (6-1, 3.22 ERA) has played a significant role in helping the Tigers (25-12) post the best record in the majors and the AL's lowest ERA (2.72) among starting rotations. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last five starts and yielded one run over six innings in a 4-1 win in Baltimore on Monday.

"I feel good," Porcello told the team's website. "I think there's a lot of things I can keep improving on. I want to keep getting better, don't want to plateau."

Porcello has been in the valley in his last three starts against Boston (20-21), going 1-2 with an 11.85 ERA. He matched a career high by giving up nine runs over five innings in his only matchup last season, a 20-4 rout at Fenway on Sept. 4.

The Tigers did a much better job of stifling Boston in the first meeting this season, a 1-0 victory Friday. Max Scherzer pitched six innings as Detroit secured its longest road win streak since opening its 1984 World Series-winning campaign with 17 consecutive victories.

Torii Hunter singled in the lone run in the first inning in return to Fenway, where he fell into the bullpen while trying to catch David Ortiz's eighth-inning grand slam in Game 2 of last year's AL championship series. Porcello took the loss pitching in relief in that game.

Lackey (5-2, 3.57) will seek to cool off Detroit, winners in four straight and 15 of 19, while earning a fourth consecutive victory. The right-hander has a 2.17 ERA during his streak, spanning four starts, and gave up two runs over seven innings in Sunday's 5-2 victory at Texas.

Lackey is 0-3 with a 4.94 ERA in his last four regular-season starts against Detroit but went 6 2-3 innings in a 1-0 victory in Game 3 of the ALCS.

Boston is 5-10 in one-run games after Friday's loss, and the absence of Shane Victorino due to an ailing left knee hardly helped. The outfielder's status is unknown for Saturday's game.

"I don't think we've hit our stride on both ends of the baseball,'' losing pitcher Jon Lester said. "The nights we pitch well and hit well, we don't play good defense. Nights we don't pitch well, he hit well."

Ian Kinsler, batting .339 in his last 15 games, is 15 for 35 (.429) with four homers in his career versus Lackey. Victor Martinez, hitting .387 in his past eight contests, is 11 for 27 (.407), and Rajai Davis is 11 for 28 (.393).

Among Red Sox players with more than two at-bats against Porcello, only Mike Napoli is hitting better than .300, going 4 for 12 with two doubles and a triple. Ortiz, who is 18 for 36 with five home runs during a nine-game hit streak, is 2 for 7 with one homer lifetime against the right-hander.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Detroit1st AL Central8468.553-7-3 L 2
Boston5th AL East6687.43126 ½ 3-7 L 3
 
 
Injuries
Detroit
PlayerInjury
A. AvilaHead
A. DirksBack
J. HanrahanElbow
J. IglesiasShin
P. McCoyHamstring
L. PutkonenElbow
B. RondonElbow
A. SanchezPectoral
J. VerlanderThumb
Boston
PlayerInjury
R. DempsterNeck
B. HoltConcussion
D. PedroiaWrist
S. VictorinoBack
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Mar 31BALBAL 2-1Britton Lester 
Apr 2BALBOS 6-2Lackey Jimenez 
Apr 3BALBOS 4-3Doubront Chen 
Apr 18BOSBAL 8-4Tillman Lackey 
Apr 19BOSBOS 4-2Tazawa Norris 
Apr 20BOSBOS 6-5Mujica Matusz 
Apr 21BOSBAL 7-6Chen Buchholz 
Jun 9BALBAL 4-0Norris Peavy 
Jun 10BALBOS 1-0Workman Tillman 
Jun 11BALBAL 6-0Chen De La Rosa 
Jul 4BOSPPD   
Jul 5BOSBOS 3-2Uehara McFarland 
Jul 5BOSBAL 7-4Brach Lackey 
Jul 6BOSBAL 7-6Brach Mujica 
Sep 8BOSBAL 4-0Gonzalez Kelly 
Sep 9BOSBAL 4-1Tillman Ranaudo 
Sep 10BOSBAL 10-6Chen Workman 
Sep 19BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20BAL 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21BAL 1:35 PM EDT