Henry Owens didn't have it for the Red Sox on Sunday in Detroit. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Henry Owens pummeled as Tigers salvage split with Red Sox

John Tomase
August 21, 2016 - 12:19 pm
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DETROIT -- Henry Owens had quite a travel odyssey to reach Comerica Park in time for Sunday's start against the Tigers. Notified at 6 p.m. on Saturday, he was immediately scratched from his start with Triple-A Pawtucket in Scranton Wilkes-Barre and drove to Philadelphia, where he caught a 6:30 a.m. flight to Detroit. If only the journey had been worth the effort. Owens wasn't ready for prime time in his return to the Red Sox rotation. Filling in for Eduardo Rodriguez (hamstring), Owens delivered the type of outing typical for his frustrating Red Sox career. He walked five, struck out six, and allowed a pair of mammoth home runs to Justin Upton. All of that damage accounted for eight runs and the Red Sox never recovered in a 10-5 defeat. "This one came down to base on balls and Justin Upton," manager John Farrell said. The Red Sox now head to Tampa for four games after a 5-2 start to this road trip. They lost for just the second time in their last 10 games. This one was over early. Owens navigated the first two innings on five strikeouts and two walks, but fell apart with two outs in the third. The pivotal moment came when manager John Farrell intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera in order to face the scorching J.D. Martinez, who poked an outside offering into the right field corner for a two-run double. Upton followed with the first of his two three-run homers and that was the end of that. "It's a pick your poison situation with Cabrera and J.D. Martinez," Farrell said. "Load the bases, he's working through the at-bat with Martinez in pretty good shape, he gets in a 1-2 count. Martinez ends up putting the bat on the ball on a changeup that was off the plate away, and pokes it inside the first base bag. We're sitting there in a two-run ballgame, and then all of a sudden it's the Upton show at that point." The lone highlight for the Red Sox came in the seventh when rookie Andrew Benintendi blasted the first home run of his career over the right field fence as part of a four-run frame. "A good-looking hitter, as we've talked about, and today it was on display," Farrell said. Closing Time note The Red Sox snapped a streak of 10 straight games allowing no more than four runs. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Benintendi's first homer was a two-run shot on a picture-perfect swing in the seventh. He went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and is hitting .328. His other hit was a triple. -- Catcher Sandy Leon remained red-hot, stroking two more hits and pushing his average to .386. -- DH David Ortiz stroked his league-leading 39th double. WHAT WENT WRONG -- Owens went wrong. He walked the first batter of the game and then struggled with his command, even while piling up early strikeouts. Because he lacks an out pitch, it only felt like a matter of time before the Tigers got to Owens, and they did. He allowed six hits and eight runs in five innings. -- Oh how the mighty have fallen. Setup man Junichi Tazawa was pressed into service in a mop-up role. He allowed three hits and two runs in two innings. -- Mookie Betts went 0-for-3, snapping an eight-game hitting streak.