The Detroit Tigers roughed up 24-year-old Boston left-hander Jalen Beeks in his major league debut, scoring five runs in the first inning of a 7-2 win over the host Red Sox on Thursday night.
The Tigers won the final game of the series after losing the first two, while snapping Boston’s four-game winning streak. The Tigers had 10 hits Thursday, as many as they had in the first two games combined.
John Hicks and Leonys Martin drove in two runs apiece in the first inning, Martin’s coming on a home run over the Green Monster in left field.
Beeks, getting a start with left-hander Drew Pomeranz sidelined with biceps tendinitis, was overpowering this season for Pawtucket in the International League. His 80 strikeouts led the league, and he was averaging about 13 strikeouts per nine innings. He was 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 starts.
Against the Tigers, however, it was a different story. Beeks (0-1) fanned JaCoby Jones to start the game, but Nicholas Castellanos ripped a double to center field, and Miguel Cabrera walked on a full count.
Beeks got designated hitter Victor Martinez to fly out, but Jeimer Candelario doubled to left to put runners at second and third, and Hicks grounded a single to right field to score both runners. Martin’s opposite-field blast, his eighth home run, came three pitches later.
That offense was more than enough for Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd (4-4), who allowed a first-inning home run to Andrew Benintendi, his 11th of the season, and another run in the fifth.
Boyd, who threw 101 pitches in 6 1/3 innings, also survived a bases-loaded jam in the second when Benintendi hit a hard grounder up the middle that shortstop Jose Iglesias turned into an inning-ending double play.
Boyd allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, while striking out six.
The Tigers scored in the third, when Martin tripled to right field with one out and Iglesias followed with a double to left.
Beeks went four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out four — including Jones three times.
In the Boston fifth, Blake Swihart, making his first start behind the plate this season, led off with a double to center field. He went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Xander Bogaerts grounded out.
Against Boston lefty reliever Brian Johnson, Iglesias added an RBI single in the eighth, following singles by Candelario and Hicks. Johnson worked four innings, allowing three hits and just the one run. He struck out five with no walks.
—Field Level Media