Garcia ended up on second, and Bryan Holaday’s bunt also worked out nicely for Detroit when pitcher Andrew Miller (0-2) threw wildly to first for another error, putting runners at first and third with nobody out in a tie game.
Austin Jackson walked, and Alex Wilson came on and allowed Torii Hunter’s sacrifice fly that gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead. Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Prince Fielder hit a two-run single off Craig Breslow.
Joaquin Benoit (2-0) got the final four outs for the Tigers, although he allowed a run in the ninth.
The Tigers were fortunate just to tie it in the seventh. After Jackson’s leadoff single, Hunter hit a line drive that second baseman Dustin Pedroia dropped. It appeared the Red Sox might get a double play out of it, because Hunter was slow getting out of the batter’s box, but Jackson retreated to first.
Pedroia threw to first, retiring Hunter while Jackson was still standing on the base. When Boston retired Hunter, it meant Jackson was no longer forced to second, so he remained safely at first.
Cabrera and Fielder followed with singles to load the bases, and after Victor Martinez struck out, Jhonny Peralta was hit by a pitch to tie it at 4.
The Red Sox took a 4-3 lead in the fourth on Victorino’s run-scoring groundout.
Verlander allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four, and his ERA went up to 3.90. It was the second straight start in which he lasted only five innings.
“That’s sports. There’s ups and downs. Nobody’s at the peak of their game forever,” Verlander said. “I’ll get back there. I will. It’s just, like I said, finding that click — finding that rhythm.”