DETROIT (AP) — David Price pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Boston Red Sox kept right on rolling in their first game after the All-Star break, beating the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Friday night.
The Red Sox (69-30) have won 13 of their last 14, and on this night one run in the first inning was enough for the team with baseball’s best record. Price (11-6) walked one and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings.
Steve Pearce hit an RBI double in the first, and the Tigers could never match that one run. Detroit had the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth but didn’t score.
Matthew Boyd (4-9) allowed a run and three hits in five-plus innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Boston reliever Matt Barnes escaped a jam in the eighth after the Tigers put a runner on third with one out. Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 31st save in 33 chances.
Detroit has lost seven of eight.
Price has 97 wins from 2012-18, matching teammate Chris Sale for the most in the American League during that span. He retired the first nine batters he faced Friday, then got in trouble by allowing three straight singles to start the fourth.
John Hicks flied out to shallow left field, starting a wild play that ended with Boston second baseman Brock Holt on the ground injured. Andrew Benintendi caught Hicks’ fly and threw wildly toward the plate, but Detroit’s Niko Goodrum stayed put at third. Jeimer Candelario took off from second to third, then had to go back when he realized Goodrum was still there.
The throw went back to second, but Candelario was able to slide in safely. Holt went down with a right knee injury after Candelario’s slide, although he was able to walk off the field.
Price struck out James McCann and retired Victor Martinez on a flyout to end the inning.
Goodrum led off the eighth by reaching on a strikeout when Barnes threw a wild pitch on strike three. Candelario then struck out, but strike three bounced away again. Candelario wasn’t allowed to take first in that situation, but Goodrum was able to go all the way from first to third.
Nicholas Castellanos followed with a one-out grounder to third, and Goodrum was retired in a rundown between third and home. After a walk to Hicks, McCann struck out to end the inning.
BACK IN MOTOWN
Boston slugger J.D. Martinez was back in Detroit after playing for the Tigers from 2014-17. He was traded to Arizona around this time last year.
That was part of a rebuilding effort in which the Tigers later traded Justin Verlander, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler.
“It was inevitable. I think everybody knew it,” Martinez said. “You can only be good like that for so long.”
Martinez made a fine catch in right field while running into the wall in the third.