DETROIT — Andrew Benintendi had a chance to give the Boston Red Sox an early lead Saturday when he came to the plate in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Instead he grounded an inning-ending double play.

Perhaps Benintendi can be forgiven. By the sixth inning, Manager John Farrell said, Benintendi was throwing up – presumably adding him to the list of victims of a flu that has ravaged the Boston clubhouse in the last two weeks.

And in its wake, the Red Sox suffered a second straight setback, falling 4-1 to the Tigers.

That Benintendi managed to reach base in the eighth inning as part of a brief rally looked in hindsight like a minor miracle.

“We’re hopeful that that was just a one-time deal,” Farrell said. “We’ll see how he feels when he comes in (Sunday).”

So it goes for the Red Sox, who lost Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez and Robbie Ross to the flu before the four-game series in Detroit began – in addition to losing Xander Bogaerts and Matt Barnes to the bereavement list.

And there’s more: Pitcher Joe Kelly couldn’t leave his hotel room after becming ill, and even the television play-by-play announcer, Dave O’Brien, had to leave the park in the sixth inning, with Tom Caron stepping in from the studio in Boston.

Boston has scored in only four of the 38 innings it has played this season and lost meekly to the Tigers.

Jordan Zimmermann of Detroit was hardly overpowering but still yielded just one run in six strong innings before three relief pitchers saw the game out.

Rather than Betts and Ramirez hitting third and fourth for the Red Sox, as they did on Opening Day, Benintendi and Mitch Moreland hit third and fourth on Friday and Saturday – both games Boston lost. Moreland doubled and scored Saturday.

“It’s not like we can go home and quit,” said Dustin Pedroia, one of the few survivors left in the Boston clubhouse. “We’ve got games to play, man. We’ve got a job to do. We’re going to try to do it the best we can.”

“You take out the middle of an order, it’s going to create a little void,” Farrell said.

The Red Sox seemed to dodge an even more damaging loss in the ninth inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. had just flown out to left field when he lost his footing in the dirt beyond first base. He crumpled to the ground and required the assistance of a trainer, but eventually walked off under his own power. Early indications were he avoided serious injury.

“I’m built like Secretariat,” he said later.

The value of Bradley to the Red Sox has been increasingly evident in the first week of the season. The rangy center fielder made a pair of highlight-reel catches Saturday, both to rob Nick Castellanos of Detroit – including an eighth-inning catch that saw him crash into the fence in right-center field.

“It’s a joke. He’s making plays that I don’t know if anybody else can make,” Pedroia said. “It’s pretty special the routes he’s taking and the way he’s getting the ball.”

“He’s been exceptional in center field – the ground he’s covering and the range that he has, whether it’s coming in on balls or going back deep in the corners,” Farrell said.

Eduardo Rodriguez navigated the loaded top half of the Detroit batting order relatively well in his first start of the season. He blew a fastball past Miguel Cabrera in the first inning. He got Victor Martinez to bounce into a double play in the fourth.

But nine-hole hitter Jose Iglesias hit a home run and an RBI double, and James McCann hit his second home run in as many games.

David Price threw out to 120 feet Saturday in what Boston Manager John Farrell described as “another consistent work day” for the left-hander who is recovering from an elbow strain.

Farrell said Price threw with increments at 60, 90 and 120 feet and “was able to spin the ball on flat ground” before the Red Sox took on the Detroit Tigers.

Boston again fielded a short-handed lineup. Several players have been ill recently.

Farrell said: “There’s three different things that are going around. One’s a respiratory one, one’s flu-like symptoms, and one is the full-blown flu.”

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (forearm strain) threw Saturday and is on track to start Tuesday against Baltimore.