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Red Sox 6, Tigers 4

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  May 30, 2012 07:19 PM

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The Red Sox climbed two games above the .500 mark after improving to 26-24 with a 6-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday night before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,195.

The Sox erupted for 12 hits, including a pair of two-run homers in the fourth by David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks and a solo homer by Kevin Youkilis in the eighth.

Matt Albers (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief of starter Jon Lester, who recorded his fourth no-decision of the season after allowing 4 runs on 10 hits while striking out 7 in 6.2 IP.

Bottom of 8th: Red Sox 6, Tigers 4 Kevin Youkilis tacked on an insurance run when he hit a leadoff homer, his fourth of the season, off Joaquin Benoit to the Green Monster seats.

Top of 8th: Red Sox 5, Tigers 4 Strong inning for Andrew Miller, who started the inning in relief of Matt Albers (1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB). Miller fanned the first two batters he faced before getting a huge play from Marlon Byrd, who came charging in on Gerald Laird's soft fly to center and made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning. Offense, defense, pitching ... it all adds up.

Bottom of 7th: Red Sox 5, Tigers 4 Gonzalez atoned for failing to come up with Cabrera's run-scoring pop fly that tied it in the top of the frame with his second ground-rule double of the game. This one went to right field off reliever Phil Coke and scored Daniel Nava, who reached on a walk, with the go-ahead run.

Top of 7th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 4 Lester gave up a leadoff single to Alex Avila but left fielder Daniel Nava gunned him down at second, marking the fourth career assist for Nava. Lester then appeared done for the night after DH Gerald Laird doubled to center, promptiing Bobby Valentine to emerge from the dugout. Lester, however, managed to convince Valentine to leave him in, which he did, much to the crowd's delight. Lester fanned Berry with his 120th pitch of the night (a 93 sinker) and was done for the night, handing it over to Matt Albers, who gave up an infield hit to pinch hitter Andy Dirks.

Miguel Cabrera came up with two men aboard and hit a popup to shallow right that hugged the line and eluded a sliding Gonzalez. It enabled Laird to score the tying run, spoiling Lester's bid for his fourth win of the season. After issuing an intentional walk to Fielder, Albers got out of the inning by getting Brennan Boesch to ground to short for the force at second on Fielder.

Octavio Dotel has replaced Drew Smyly (6 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 4 K, 2 HR) and will pitch in the bottom of the seventh.

Bottom of 6th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 After Ortiz led off with a sharply struck single off the walll, the Sox went down in order, with Byrd grounding one to third for a fielder's choice that wiped out Ortiz at second.

Top of 6th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 Strong 1-2-3 inning for Lester, who struck out Peralta for the second time in the game to end the inning. He has now allowed three runs on eight hits and no walks while ringing up six strikeouts. He has thrown 101 pitches, 71 strikes.

Bottom of 5th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 Adrian Gonzalez struck out to end the inning and stranded Daniel Nava, who doubled to left and went to third on Mike Aviles's groundout to first.

Top of 5th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 Lester has retired eight of the last 10 batters he faced, striking out three in the process including the first two batters he faced in the fifth: Berry (swinging, 94 sinker) and Worth (swinging, 87 changeup). Cabrera battled back from an 0-2 count to double to right, giving him three hits in as many at-bats against Lester, the last two doubles. This after Cabrera had entered the game 1 for 9 for the series.

Bottom of 4th, 2 out: Red Sox 4, Tigers 3 A pair of two-run homers by David Ortiz (a bomb to straightaway center) and by Will Middlebrooks (a rope to the Green Monster seats) turned it around for the Sox, who took a 4-3 lead. Ortiz is simply savaging lefthanded pitching this season. He is now hitting 23 for 72 (.319) off lefties with 6 HRs.

This nugget comes from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press:

Third time in last four starts Smyly has given up two homers, all of them two-run shots:

At Chicago [May14]: by Dunn, Viciedo

Vs. Pittsburgh [May 19]: both by McCutchen

Bottom of 3d: Tigers 3, Red Sox 0 Marlon Byrd got a leadoff infield hit, but was erased on an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play by Nick Punto, who grounded one to the mound.

Top of 3d: Tigers 3, Red Sox 0 After he recorded the first triple of his career, Quintin Berry scored from third on Danny Worth's sac fly to center, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Miguel Cabrera then followed with a towering double to the triangle in center, marking the sixth hit Lester had allowed through 2-1/3 innings, and advanced on a wild pitch. Cabrera scored on Fielder's groundout to third.

Bottom of 2d: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0 Another 1-2-3 inning for Smyly.

Top of 2d: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0 After striking out Peralta and allowing Alex Avila to reach on a single to center, Lester got out of the inning on a 4-6-3 double play ball by DH Gerald Laird, giving the Sox lefty 36 pitches through two innings.

Bottom of 1st: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0 The Sox were unable to muster much of a response against Drew Smyly,who retired the first three batters he faced, striking out Adrian Gonzalez (looking) for the third out.

Top of 1st: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0 Lester got off to a rough start, giving up three consecutive singles after striking out leadoff hitter Quinton Berry, loading the bases for Delmon Young. Lester minimized the damage, though, when he held Young to a fielder's choice that scored Danny Worth from first and erased Prince Fielder at second. Lester got out of the 27-pitch inning after he induced Brennan Boesch to fly to center.

Pregame Welcome to Fenway Park where the Red Sox, now 3-1/2 games out of first place in the American League East, will host the Detroit Tigers in the third game of this four-game series that will conclude a seven-game homestand.

LHP Jon Lester (3-4, 4.72 ERA) will take the mound in opposition of LHP Drew Smyly (2-1, 3.14).

Please feel free to post your comments here. Enjoy the game.

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