Josh Beckett tries to pitch the Boston Red Sox to a four- game sweep of the Detroit Tigers this evening at Fenway Park.
Detroit's struggles in Boston continued on Wednesday, as David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks each hit a two-run homer to help the Red Sox to a 6-4 win. Kevin Youkilis added a solo shot with two runs scored, while Adrian Gonzalez doubled twice, drove in a run and scored once for Boston, which has won three in a row and eight of its last 11.
Matt Albers (1-0) picked up the win in relief and Alfredo Aceves turned in a scoreless ninth for his 13th save.
"Aceves is like our pitching [Dustin] Pedroia," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "You just wind him up. He was throwing harder tonight than he has in any of the other four days."
Miguel Cabrera finished 4-for-5 with three doubles and drove in a run for the Tigers, who have lost six of nine overall. Detroit has also lost seven in a row and 14 of its past 17 at Fenway.
Octavio Dotel (1-2), who retired two batters in the seventh, was charged with the deciding run.
"Dotel struck out the first two, then you had a walk and then they got a big hit," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "You have to give them credit."
Beckett, meanwhile, has been terrific his last three times out (2-0). He did not get a decision on Saturday against Tampa Bay, but allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings and struck out five without walking a batter in his team's 3-2 win. He had allowed just one run in his previous two outings spanning 14 2/3 innings.
Beckett, who is 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA on the year, was roughed up by the Tigers to the tune of seven runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings back on April 7. He is 3-3 lifetime against them with a 3.65 ERA in seven starts.
Detroit will counter with a streaking righty of its own in Max Scherzer, who has won his last three decisions. Scherzer improved to 4-3 on Saturday in Minnesota, as he held the Twins to three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He also struck out nine without walking a batter and has fanned 24 batters in his last 12 1/3 innings.
"For me, it's always the walks," said Scherzer, who has struck out at least nine batters in four of his last five starts. "That's one of the main things I can control. When I'm commanding the zone, I'm keeping the runners on base, and you can pitch deeper into games. I'm definitely more pleased with that than anything."
Scherzer is 0-2 in four starts versus the Red Sox and has surrendered 21 runs in 16 innings of those outings.