BOSTON — Doug Fister rebounded from a miserable start with seven shutout innings as the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 Monday in a matchup of teams with the AL’s best records.
The Tigers won despite missing Miguel Cabrera for the third straight game. He has been sidelined by a strained abdomen, though general manager Dave Dombrowski said the Triple Crown winner has been more hampered by a groin problem.
Prince Fielder and Andy Dirks each drove in a run for the AL Central-leading Tigers, who won for the fourth time in five games.
The AL East-leading Red Sox lost for just the second time in nine games.
Fister (12-7) held Boston to four hits, struck out four and walked four. He gave up 13 hits and seven runs in a loss to Oakland in his previous start on Wednesday.
John Lackey (8-12) was the tough-luck loser, giving up three runs on seven hits over 7 1-3 innings. It was the 11th time Boston’s been shutout, six coming when he’s pitched.
Jose Veras, the fourth Tigers pitcher, worked the ninth for his 21st save and second with the Tigers, finishing the six-hit shutout.
Detroit broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the seventh. Victor Martinez singled leading off and scored on Dirks’ triple to the triangle just over the glove of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Dirks scored on a double-play grounder, making it 2-0.
Fielder’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in eighth.
The Red Sox didn’t get their first hit off Fister until Daniel Nava, who went 3 for 3 with two doubles, singled with two outs in the fourth.
Boston had the first two runners reach in the seventh, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia bunted into a forceout at third and the next two hitters bounced out.
Austin Jackson opened the game with a double, but Lackey got the next three hitters – with help from second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who ranged far to his left to make a play on Martinez’s inning-ending grounder.