Boston, MA – After a rocky start put Detroit in an early hole, it was smooth sailing for the Tigers and Max Scherzer, who beat the Red Sox, 7-3, and avoided a four-game sweep.
Scherzer (5-3) allowed three runs on seven hits in six-plus innings, but only gave up one hit after the third. He also struck out six and walked two in the win.
"He really pitched well," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He did a good job against a team that's really playing well now...so it's a good win for us."
Quintin Berry led the charge for Detroit, filling up the box score with three hits, two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases.
Delmon Young knocked in two runs for Detroit, including a long homer.
Josh Beckett (4-5), who had allowed only three runs in his previous three starts, gave up four runs on 10 hits with just one strikeout over seven innings.
The Tigers took the lead for good in the fifth inning after Berry led off with a bunt single. After stealing second and advancing to third when the throw hit him in the helmet, he came around to score when Miguel Cabrera singled to center field.
The Red Sox took an early lead in the second inning when Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his 10th homer of the season. Ryan Sweeney followed with a base hit and then scored when Scott Podsednik delivered a two-out double over the head of Berry to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
Detroit quickly responded after Don Kelly singled to lead off the third. Danny Worth followed with a double to left, then Kelly scored and Worth advanced to third on a Berry single up the middle. Worth scored on a Brennan Boesch sacrifice fly and, after he stole second, Berry gave Detroit the lead when Prince Fielder delivered a two-out hit.
The Sox tied it with a two-out rally in the third. Kevin Youkilis doubled down the left field line and Saltalamacchia brought him home with a base hit to tie it.
From there, Scherzer was lights out, retiring nine straight Red Sox and keeping Boston off the board while Detroit regained the lead.
"We just let him off the hook," Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine said. "We had his pitch count up in the 80s after four [innings] and we were having good at- bats, we kind of let it slip away."
Boston had its best chance to tie the game when Scherzer walked Nick Punto to leadoff the seventh inning. However, after Podsednik sacrificed Punto to second, Phil Coke ended the rally by surviving a long fly ball from Daniel Nava and forcing Adrian Gonzalez to fly out to left.
The game got out of reach after Young launched a long home run over the Green Monster in the eighth and Fielder knocked in Cabrera with a triple to right- center field and scored when Young singled to right.
Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect three innings to seal the win.
Tigers first base coach Tom Brookens was ejected after the first inning...Tiger catcher Alex Avila left the game in the third inning after getting hit in the mask with a foul ball...The Red Sox wrapped up a seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record...The Red Sox have a major league-best 36 RBI from the leadoff spot...The Red Sox lead the majors with 201 extra-base hits and 132 doubles...The Tigers wrapped up a stretch of 19 of 24 games on the road in which the team went 10-14...Fielder is hitting .426 (29-for-68) with eight doubles, a triple, three home runs and 17 RBI in his last 17 games dating back to May 14...Tigers relievers have combined to post a 1.59 ERA (six earned runs in 34 innings) in the team's last 14 games...Scherzer is third in the majors with 78 strikeouts...Coming into the night, Scherzer had an 11.81 ERA in 16 innings in four career starts against the Red Sox...Scherzer led all starters with 51 strikeouts in May...The Tigers went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position.