MLB: Tigers look to keep it going on road against Red Sox

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A night after Jack Flaherty took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, the Detroit Tigers will look to post their second straight win to begin a four-game series against the host Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Flaherty got the backing of three solo home runs on the way to a 5-0 win Thursday, including Akil Baddoo’s first of the season.

Riley Greene and Gio Urshela also homered late, helping the Tigers move to 5-1 in their past six games and break a four-game skid on the road.

“(Boston starter Nick Pivetta) is one of those guys you just grind out, have good ABs and try to get to the ‘pen,” Greene said.

Kenta Maeda (2-1, 5.80 ERA) looks to keep Detroit up to its winning ways. He returned from the 15-day injured list due to illness to make his most recent start, pitching five shutout innings while allowing just four hits against the Toronto Blue Jays last Friday.

Maeda will have quite the act to follow after Flaherty allowed one hit and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings in the series opener.

“I’ve seen a pretty good version of Jack Flaherty (before), but this might have been his best game just given the ballpark and the atmosphere and just the variety of pitches that he needed to throw,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said.

Maeda has not lost a decision since April 6 against the Oakland Athletics. He is 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA across three career starts (12 innings) against Boston.

The Red Sox were limited to two hits and fell to 2-5 in their past seven games and 2-6 in their past eight at home.

Tanner Houck (4-5, 1.90) will look to carry Boston out of those skids after he took a tough-luck no-decision Sunday in his start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts in six innings in Boston’s 2-1 win.

Despite logging just one win in his past seven starts, Houck has worked at least 5 2/3 innings in each of his 11 outings and ranks fourth among qualifying MLB pitchers in ERA this season.

It’s early but he was asked about the American League Cy Young Award. According to MassLive, Houck is not allowing himself to look that far ahead.

“Only 11 starts deep. So not even on the radar,” Houck said. “Take it day by day. Keep getting better each day. Have a quality game of catch and then show up the next day and do it all again. And just try to repeat that as many times as you can.”

Houck, who shut out the Tampa Bay Rays over seven innings in his latest win on May 20, is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two appearances (one start) against Detroit.

–Field Level Media

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