DETROIT (AP) -- It might have been cold and rainy at Comerica
Park on Wednesday night, but Derek Lowe wasn't about to let that
dampen his homecoming.
Derek Lowe has been helped greatly by the Red Sox's new way of conditioning.
The native of nearby Dearborn became the American League's first
nine-game winner, allowing two hits in six innings as the Boston
Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 11-0 Wednesday. "I had about 30 friends and family here tonight,'' Lowe said.
"I'm sure everyone saw them, because with the weather, there were
only about 45 people here, and they were all friends and family of
someone in the game.'' Nomar Garciaparra, Johnny Damon and Carlos Baerga each drove in
three runs for the Red Sox, who improved to 24-6 on the road. "We have a lot of confidence when Derek is out there,'' said
Damon, who has 10 hits in three games against Detroit. "Once we
get a run for him, we know he will do the job.'' Lowe (9-2) left after six innings, allowing two infield singles
and a walk, striking out two. Lowe has now gone 104 innings without
allowing a homer. "He pitched a heck of a game,'' Boston manager Grady Little
said. "They got two hits and neither of them even got out of the
infield. That's what we have come to expect from him.'' Lowe extended his scoreless streak against the Tigers to 28 1/3
innings. "His ball moves all over the place and he never throws you a
pitch down the middle,'' Detroit's Bobby Higginson said. "That's
what makes him tough. He'll give up a homer someday, since it only
takes one mistake, but he's got great stuff.'' Chris Haney, called up Monday, pitched the final three innings
for his first major league save in 173 appearances. Adam Bernero (1-2) took the loss, allowing nine runs on 10 hits
and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. In three games against Boston, no
Tigers starter has lasted longer than 3 1/3 innings. The Tigers
have lost six of seven. "I've never had a streak like this, and I hope I don't have
another,'' Tigers manager Luis Pujols said. Boston's first seven hitters reached base in the second inning
on five singles, a walk and a double. The only out in that span
came when rightfielder Robert Fick threw Trot Nixon out at the
plate. Boston scored four runs in the inning, and came back in the
third with four more. "They got me a big lead, and that makes it easy,'' Lowe said.
"I threw about 80 percent sinkers and just mixed in enough other
stuff to keep them honest. You want to make them hit the ball and
let them the guys behind you make the plays.'' The Red Sox loaded the bases with two out in the third. Damon
walked to force in a run, chasing Bernero. Baerga followed with
what looked like a routine grounder to short, but Damon beat the
throw to second, allowing Shea Hillenbrand to score. Garciaparra
followed with a two-run single to make it 9-0. "Bernero was struggling with just about everything today,
especially his command,'' Pujols said. "When you pitch from behind
against that team, they will eat you alive.'' Fick reached over the wall to rob ex-teammate Tony Clark of a
seventh-inning home run, but the Red Sox made it 11-0 later in the
inning on RBI singles by Damon and Baerga.
Chris Truby hit both infield singles off of Lowe. ... In
the last three games, Detroit's starting pitchers have allowed 19
runs in just 8 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 19.73. ... All nine Red
Sox starters had at least one hit. ... With the last innings played
in rain showers, rookie Bry Nelson pinch-hit for Garciaparra. ...
Steve Sparks pitched four innings in relief -- two outs more than he
managed as a starter in Monday's series opener. He last pitched in
relief on June 17, 2001 in Arizona. ... Dmitri Young extended his
hitting streak to 18 games, with a two-out double in the ninth.
Bobby Higginson's ended at 13. ... The game-time temperature was 61