DETROIT (AP) — It’s no Fenway Park, but David Ortiz sure is comfortable in the Motor City.
Ortiz homered while Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts added two-run doubles to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Daniel Norris (2-2) struggled with his command and gave up three hits in a 39-pitch first inning, including Ramirez’s double that staked Joe Kelly (4-6) to an early lead.
Ortiz made it 4-0 in the third with a drive to deep right field, his 22nd of the season. It was his 20th homer at Comerica Park, the most by a visiting player in the 15 seasons since it opened. He averages a home run almost every 10 at-bats here in his career.
Kelly didn’t need any more help.
“He was very good,” manager John Farrell said. “He attacked the zone, he was down in the strike zone. I thought he had probably one of the best changeups of the season.”
Boston improved to 2-2 on its eight-game trip.
J.D. Martinez hit his 30th homer for the Tigers.
Norris, one of three left-handers acquired July 30 in a trade that sent All-Star David Price to Toronto, allowed four hits and a run in 7 1-3 innings at Baltimore on Sunday in his Tigers’ debut.
His first game before his new hometown fans lasted just 3 1-3 innings. He allowed five runs and nine hits with three strikeouts.
“I think he just had trouble with his command,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He had a high pitch count. I think he was just off.”
Norris was hoping for better in his first game in Detroit.
“I kept leaving sliders up the whole time,” he said. “That’s what hurt me.”
Martinez made it 5-2 in the fourth with a two-run homer into the Red Sox bullpen but Bogaerts restored Kelly’s five-run lead with a sixth-inning double off reliever Buck Farmer.
The Tigers got runners to second and third with one out in the sixth to chase Kelly but reliever Robbie Ross stranded them by striking out Rajai Davis and getting Nick Castellanos to ground out.
Boston’s Justin Masterson loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth but Koji Uehara killed any hopes of a rally and earned his 25th save in 27 chances by striking out Jose Iglesias and getting Ian Kinsler to meekly ground out.
Kelly, in his first career start against Detroit, allowed seven hits and struck out seven — including a stretch of five straight — with two walks.
“We thought he was going to be throwing a lot of fastballs and he didn’t do that,” said Detroit’s Anthony Gose, who struck out the first two times he faced Kelly.
“It took us a little bit to get into a rhythm.”
Kelly, who had won just once in his last six starts, didn’t mind being a pest as Boston defeated the Tigers for the third time in four meetings.
“I had a good mix of pitches going early,” he said. “I think that was just part of trying to throw strikes and get ahead of guys and let (the defense) work out there, especially with the big field here.”
ON THE MOVE
The Red Sox traded INF Mike Napoli and sent cash to Texas just before the start of Friday’s game, forcing a late shift in the lineup. Pablo Sandoval, originally given a night off, played third and took Napoli’s spot in the order while Travis Shaw moved from third to first.
Napoli, one of several players reportedly placed on revocable waivers by the club after the July 31 trade deadline, hit .207 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs in 98 games this season. He’s a free agent this offseason.
The Rangers will receive a player to be named later or cash.
Fox Sports Detroit cameras captured a dustup between Tigers SS Iglesias and C James McCann in the dugout midway through the sixth inning. Iglesias shoved his teammate before the two were separated.
Neither player spoke to reporters and others refused to say anything beyond that the matter was settled.
Ausmus said he wished the disagreement wasn’t caught by cameras and compared it to brothers fighting.
“You spend seven months with each other, there’s going to be disagreements and sometimes it leads to pushing and shoving,” he said.
“I’ve seen it dozens of times during my playing career. It generally just because they care about winning and losing and that’s what it was tonight.”
Boston: OF Mookie Betts could return to the lineup as early as Tuesday, when the Red Sox begin a two-game series at Miami. Farrell said Betts, who’s been on the 7-day concussion DL since July 29, has been cleared to play but the club still is waiting for Major League Baseball to receive administrative paperwork confirming his passage of the league’s concussion protocol.
Detroit: Ausmus said he expects RHP Alfredo Simon to start Saturday night. The club pushed his start back three days to allow him to shake off the effects of a groin injury that forced him to leave a July 26 win at Boston.
Simon (10-6, 4.55) looks for his third straight victory against Boston LHP Wade Miley (8-9, 4.55). Miley has gone six starts since his last win.
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