The Red Sox backed up a very strong performance from Felix Doubront with seven runs Monday afternoon, as they gained some measure of revenge against the Detroit Tigers with a 7-4 win.
The victory was not without controversy. After the Sox took an early 1-0 lead on an Adrian Gonzalez single and David Ortiz double in the first, Felix Doubront made a mistake to Delmon Young, who took him out of the park to tie the game. The second inning seemed like it would end with the game still tied when, with Ryan Sweeney on base via a double (an appropriate return at bat for the man who did nothing but double for the first month), Mike Aviles seemed to strike out on a foul tip into the glove of Gerald Laird.
Not so fast! Aviles protested to the umpire that the ball had hit the dirt, and the first-base official agreed, giving Mike Aviles new life. The shortstop made good on his chance, singling Sweeney home, and then scoring on a Daniel Nava double. With Dustin Pedroia following him with an RBI single, three runs were in when there could well have been zero.
The Sox would add a fifth run in the third inning when Jarrod Saltalamacchia went deep into the Monster seats for a solo shot. Meanwhile, Felix Doubront had resumed shutting the Tigers down, painting corners and striking out six batters in the process. The fifth inning would prove the only real problem, as Doubront would be punished for another mistake pitch--the only other one he would make in the game, arguably--with another solo shot in the fifth. What's worse, Dustin Pedroia would leave the game with a jammed thumb after making a diving play to end the frame.
Doubront would give way after the sixth inning to Scott Atchison, who would toss two scoreless innings, striking out four batters while the Sox tacked on a pair of insurance runs. Despite the 5-run lead, Bobby Valentine would turn to his closer in Alfredo Aceves, perhaps hoping to instill some confidence in him after his blown save on Sunday. Unfortunately, Aceves wasn't up to the task of giving himself reason to believe, surrendering a two-run shot to Jhonny Peralta before managing to close out both the inning and the game.