The Red Sox have finally attained a winning record, now they just have to keep it as they face off against Drew Smyly and the Tigers Wednesday night.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Fenway Park.
Red Sox 6, Tigers 4, Final -- Aceves shrugs off the fatigue and gets the Tigers 1-2-3 without any trouble. The Red Sox win, and move to 26-24.
Red Sox 6, Tigers 4, End 8th -- Kevin Youkilis goes very deep to lead off the inning, giving the Sox an important insurance run since it looks like Alfredo Aceves is ready for his fourth straight day of work. Even for a rubber arm like Ace's, that's tenuous stuff at best.
Red Sox 5, Tigers 4, Mid 8th -- Andrew Miller, unlike Matt Albers, has been an absolute pleasure to watch. Getting Brennan Boesch to chase a nasty slider for strike three and blowing Jhonny Peralta away with a 96 MPH fastball with late tail, Miller seems to lose it a bit at the end of the inning, giving up a four pitch walk and a line drive that has single written all over it. Marlon Byrd, however, has no time to think, and simply lays out for it, making a tremendous diving grab to end the inning.
Red Sox 5, Tigers 4, End 7th -- And just like that, Adrian Gonzalez makes up for the missed grab in right with a huge hit in the bottom of the inning. After two quick strikeouts against the bottom of the order, Daniel Nava works a great at bat to draw a walk, and Mike Aviles reaches out and taps a ground ball through the right side of the infield to put two on with two out. Jim Leyland goes to the pen to get Phil Coke for the at bat against Gonzalez, but it doesn't work. After two curveballs put Gonzalez down 0-2, he gets one he can handle, hooking a long fly ball into the right field corner and up into the stands for the RBI double.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 4, Mid 7th -- I've been saying it for a while, but Matt Albers just is not very good. He's kept runs off the board this year, but so far all he's done is throw pretty bad sinkers and gotten lucky. When you don't strike guys out, weird stuff happens, and that's what happened tonight. A dribbler to third went for a hit as Will Middlebrooks had no shot of catching the runner at first, and with two on (Lester had allowed a wall ball double before he was pulled), a bloop to right fell just in front of a sliding Adrian Gonzalez, allowing the run to come in.
Albers has some value right now to teams who will bite on the ERA, the Sox have great options in the minor leagues, and the rest of their pen can do without him. It should be an obvious move. One wonders why they don't pull the trigger.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, End 6th -- David Ortiz has one of the hardest hit singles you'll ever see, blasting a ball off the very top of the wall in left to lead off the sixth inning. Once again however, the rest of the lineup isn't able to reach, leaving him stranded.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, Mid 6th -- Jon Lester finally gets his 1-2-3 inning in what could well be the last inning of his outing. A strikeout of Jhonny Peralta puts him at six Ks on a night which has turned out surprisingly solid after the early portents of doom.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, End 5th -- Daniel Nava continues to hit at a torrid pace, doubling to left field, but like Cabrera in the top half of the inning his teammates cannot bring him around to score.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, Mid 5th -- A Miguel Cabrera double down the line in right keeps Lester in search of his first 1-2-3 inning, but with a pair of strikeouts preceding it and Prince Fielder grounding out afterwards, it's not enough to get the Tigers back into a tie.
Red Sox 4, Tigers 3, End 4th -- With all the hard contact in the first few innings, it's not surprising to see the Sox finally get to Smyly, but they really opened up on him in the best possible way. With two outs, Adrian Gonzalez powered a ball out to right-center which bounced up and over the wall for a double. David Ortiz, who has broken out of his slump in impressive fashion the last couple of games, made up for missing some fastballs in the first by destroying one to center field, dropping it a few rows deep into the stands near the camera well for a two-run shot.
Now within one, Kevin Youkilis kept the inning going by blooping a single out to right-center, bringing Will Middlebrooks to the plate. While the young third baseman had mostly managed to stay hot despite being in-and-out of the lineup with the return of Kevin Youkilis, the torrid home run pace had fallen off a bit--a situation Will saw fit to remedy, turning on a bad changeup and hitting one of the fastest Rockets into--and back out of--the Monster seats that you'll ever see to give the Sox the lead.
Tigers 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 4th -- Jon Lester still has not had a 1-2-3 inning, letting Brennan Boesch single up the middle to start the inning. But a fly ball, strikeout, and ground ball kept him from so much as advancing to second base.
Tigers 3, Red Sox 0, End 3rd -- The unexpected happens with Marlon Byrd giving Boston their first baserunner of the night on an "infield" single that ends up basically in right field. The expected follows shortly thereafter as Nick Punto kills any possible rally with a double play. At this point the Sox have to consider letting the pitchers hit, right? Right? At least Beckett. He gets some homers every now and then.
Tigers 3, Red Sox 0, Mid 3rd -- A leadoff wall-scraper costs the Sox three bases as Marlon Byrd tries to make a leaping grab and has the ball bounce above his glove and all the way back to the grass in dead center. A fly ball brings Quintin Berry in from third, and Miguel Cabrera hits a long double to the triangle which Byrd just sort of gives up on to continue Lester's troubles. After a wild pitch moves Cabrera to third, a hard ground ball to third with the infield in doesn't seem likely to score him, but after being looked back, Cabrera takes off as soon as Will Middlebrooks throws to first, and manages to beat the throw home.
Tigers 1, Red Sox 0, End 2nd -- Nothing doing for the Red Sox in the second. David Ortiz struggles against the unfamiliar lefty, going down on three pitches as he foul tips a fastball into Alex Avila's glove for strike three. Kevin Youkilis manages to put the bat on the ball, but hits it right to Peralta at short for the line out, and Will Middlebrooks tops off a curveball for an easy ground ball out to end the frame.
Tigers 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 2nd -- The second inning ends up being a matter of "what could have been" for Lester, as it starts out almost exactly the same with a strikeout and a single flipped into the outfield. This time, however, the ground ball Lester gets off the bat of Gerald Laird is fielded cleanly by Aviles, and te double play is turned with relative ease.
Tigers 1, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Both Daniel Nava and Mike Aviles get some good contact, with Nava flying out to center field and Aviles hitting a rocket towards the wall in left. But Delmon Young is able to track back and make a casual grab right in front of the Monster for the out on Aviles, and Adrian Gonzalez strikes out looking a bit helpless to end the inning.
Tigers 1, Red Sox 0, Mid 1st -- Not the ideal start for Jon Lester, who has some mediocre defense to thank for a run in the first. After striking out Quintin Berry to start the inning, Lester gave up a flare into left field for a single. The next ball in play maybe should have ended the inning, as Miguel Cabrera shot a ground ball towards Mike Aviles, who seemed to have a double play ball right until it shot through him into the outfield. Another ground ball through the left side would load the bases, and with the ensuing Nick Punto and Mike Aviles' double play attempt just late at first, the Tigers took the early lead.