For the first time this season, Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was asked to put down a sacrifice bunt. It was a decision that helped lead to Monday’s 3-0 loss against the Tigers.
With the Sox down by two runs against Detroit starter Doug Fister, Daniel Nava doubled to start the seventh inning and Mike Napoli walked.
Bunting seemed unlikely. The Sox are 14th in the American League in sacrifices and are an organization that generally adheres to the concept of not giving away outs.
Saltalamacchia also had not put down a successful sacrifice since 2009. He also has 35 doubles and 11 home runs this season.
But manager John Farrell called for a bunt. Saltalamacchia tapped the ball in a little arc in front of the plate and catcher Alex Avila threw Nava out at third. Two batters later, the inning was over.
Farrell said his decision was influenced by the Red Sox grounding into double plays three times earlier in the game.
“We’re looking to do anything we can to put a couple of guys in scoring position,” he said.
Farrell also pointed out that Saltalamacchia has been struggling at the plate in recent days. He was hitless in his previous 12 at-bats including a double-play groundout in the second inning and a strikeout in the fifth.
But even with those at-bats, Saltalamacchia was 5 for 10 in his career against Fister with two doubles and a home run.
“It’s not something I normally do but I understand why we did it. I had to do a better job," Saltalamacchia said.
See the Globe or BostonGlobe.com on Tuesday for more.