Series: Game 2 of 2

Boston won 2-0

Game 1: Monday, July 21
Game 2: Tuesday, July 22

Tigers 4

(26-72, 14-37 away)

Red Sox 7

(59-40, 32-14 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 22, 2003

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000021001 4 7 0
    BOS 01022200 - 7 11 0

    W: D. Lowe (11-4)

    L: M. Maroth (5-14)

    Trammell says BoSox are 'best team' he's seen

    BOSTON (AP) -- Another loss to the slugging Boston Red Sox convinced Detroit manager Alan Trammell: He hasn't seen a better team all season.

    Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings and Kevin Millar and Jason Varitek hit back-to-back homers in the fourth as the Red Sox beat the Tigers 7-4 Tuesday night.

    "The best team that I've seen really has been Boston," Trammell said, "but we've only seen the Yankees for three games. I don't know if that's quite enough, but I've been very impressed by the Boston Red Sox."

    They Red Sox lead the majors with a .295 batting average and had three homers among their 11 hits Tuesday, the 61st time in 99 games they've had at least 10.

    They trail New York by 2½ games in the AL East with two games against Tampa Bay before a three-game series at home against the Yankees, whose game against Toronto was rained out Tuesday.

    "We match up well with the Yankees always," Boston's Jason Varitek said.

    He singled in a run in the second then combined with Kevin Millar for consecutive homers that made it 3-0 in the fifth against Mike Maroth (5-14). It was the 17th homer of the season for both and Millar's third in four games.

    Bill Mueller also homered for Boston, which is 8-1 against the Tigers this season, 6-0 at Fenway Park.

    Lowe (11-4) gave up homers to Eric Munson and Dmitri Young but allowed just four other hits and threw just 85 pitches. The sinkerballer recorded 18 outs on grounders, struck out four and walked none. Alan Embree gave up Carlos Pena's homer in the ninth.

    "It was pretty much just sinkers away and changeups away," Lowe said. "Mechanically, it was the best I felt in a long time."

    After the start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 20 minutes, Boston had another big offensive performance. In their previous two games, the Red Sox beat Toronto 9-4 and Detroit 14-5.

    "They have so many weapons up and down and I sense their role players contribute and feel part of the team," Trammell said.

    It was another struggle in a disastrous season for the Tigers, who suffered their fifth consecutive loss and fell to 26-72, the worst record in the majors. Those are the teams the Red Sox know they must beat.

    "You have to do that if you plan on playing deeper into the season than everyone else," manager Grady Little said. "It doesn't matter who you are playing. You have to play good baseball to win."

    Lowe retired 12 of 13 batters in the first four innings, giving up just a single in the second to Kevin Witt.

    Detroit reached him for two runs in the fifth on a triple by Pena and Munson's 15th homer. But the Red Sox kept hitting.

    Mueller led off the fifth with a double and scored on Nomar Garciaparra's single. A single by Manny Ramirez and a walk to Millar loaded the bases, and Garciaparra scored on Varitek's double-play grounder for a 5-2 lead.

    "You make a mistake and they are going to hurt you," Maroth said.

    Young matched his career high with his 21st homer of the season, and second in two days, in the sixth, but the Red Sox came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-3 lead on a walk to Gabe Kapler and Mueller's 10th homer. That matched Mueller's career high set with San Francisco in 2000.< ^Notes:@Ramirez went 2-for-4 and is 8-for-12 since an 0-for-14 slump. ... Detroit nearly executed a tripled play in the fifth on Varitek's grounder. After the double-play was recorded, shortstop Shane Halter fired to third baseman Munson, who nearly tagged Ramirez before he could get back to the base. ... Before losing Tuesday, Maroth was 4-2 after going 1-11. ... After scoring 17 runs in six games, Boston has 30 in its last three.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press