When Jon Lester left the mound after the seventh inning, the applause on his way to the dugout drowned out almost every other sound in the ballpark.
It was weirdly similar to the one John Lackey got Monday night, but the circumstances were clearly different.
After striking out nine with no walks and refusing to blink at any point in his seven-inning staredown with Detroit Tigers win-hoarder Max Scherzer, Lester was leaving with a lead, albeit slim.
It was left to the Red Sox bullpen to protect the one-run lead Lester left the Sox and John Farrell called on a trio of arms to navigate the most treacherous stretch of the Tigers lineup. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.