Boston, MA – Andy Dirks drove in the game's first run with a triple in the seventh inning and the Detroit Tigers blanked the Boston Red Sox 3-0 in the opener of an important three-game set between the American League's two top teams.
Austin Jackson went 2-for-4 with a double and crossed the plate in the eighth for the Tigers, who have now won four of their last five.
Doug Fister (12-7) spun seven full frames of shutout ball while only surrendering four hits with four strikeouts. The right-hander picked up his second win in his last three starts.
"A lot of it was the defense. I thought they turned three or four double plays. They were making great plays out there. The defense out in the outfield running down flyballs, Alex worked his butt off behind the plate, it's just a team win today," said Fister.
John Lackey (8-12) lasted 7 1/3 innings before being yanked having allowed three runs on seven hits. The right-hander recorded five strikeouts, but did not receive any run support from an offense that only managed six hits.
Daniel Nava had a strong showing at the plate with a walk, a single and two doubles for Boston, which won seven of eight coming into the contest.
"They had their chances and for the most part we were able to limit them, except for that one inning. You feel for Lackey because he pitched really well and we just haven't been giving him the run support," said Nava.
A Dirks triple to deep center field eluded center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury at the warning track and plated Victor Martinez, who singled on a line drive to left to start off the seventh inning. Omar Infante walked before Don Kelly grounded into a double play that allowed Dirks to cross home plate.
Nava led off the home half of the seventh with a line drive double to right center field. After walking Mike Napoli, Fister retired Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Will Middlebrooks to strand the runners.
Lackey's outing ended in the eighth after allowing Jackson and Torii Hunter to reach second and third with one out via two singles. With Matt Thornton on the hill, Prince Fielder hit a sacrifice line drive to right that brought in Jackson from third.
Dustin Pedroia doubled on a hard line drive off the top of the Green Monster and reached third on a wild pitch from reliever Bruce Rondon in the bottom of the eighth, but was left stranded after David Ortiz struck out.
After giving up a leadoff double to Nava in the ninth, Jose Veras retired the next three batters to earn his 21st save of the season.
Martinez extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Fister gave up a season-high four walks ... Detroit's Miguel Cabrera sat out for his third straight game due to an abdominal strain ... Detroit is 4-1 against Boston this season.