BOSTON — Mike Lowell, who entered the game after Kevin Youkilis was ejected for charging the mound and inciting a bench-clearing scuffle, hit two home runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Lowell hit a solo homer in the third to break a 3-3 tie, then added a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 6-3. He also scored on Jason Bay’s three-run homer after entering the game in the second inning as a pinch-runner when Detroit starter Rick Porcello was ejected for hitting Youkilis and sparking the melee.
Junichi Tazawa allowed three runs — just one earned — while walking two and striking out six in five innings in his first major-league start. In his only other appearance, he lost to the New York Yankees took after giving up Alex Rodriguez’s two-run, game-ending homer in the 15th inning.
Chris Lambert (0-1) allowed five runs on five hits and four walks in five innings, striking out three in relief after Porcello hit Youkilis in apparent retaliation for Tazawa’s plunking of Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera, who like Youkilis was also hit in the series opener on Monday night, left the game with a bruise on his left hand.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona was ejected later in the second inning for arguing about a play at second base. Rain delayed the game for 81 minutes before the start of the seventh with Boston still leading 6-3, and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a seventh-inning balk to make it 7-3.
Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon with two out in the ninth to cut the deficit to 7-5, but the Red Sox closer struck out Placido Polanco to end the game.
The hostilities had been brewing since Monday night, when Cabrera was hit in the top of the fourth and Youkilis was plunked in the bottom half; Detroit’s Brandon Inge was hit in the eighth.
They resumed in the first inning on Tuesday, when Tazawa hit Cabrera in the left hand; in the bottom half, Porcello threw one inside to Boston first baseman Victor Martinez, who took a few menacing steps toward the mound before returning to the batter’s box.
Youkilis led off the second inning and was hit in the back with the first pitch. He dropped his bat and ran toward Porcello, throwing his batting helmet at the pitcher — and missing — before wrapping him up and bringing him to the ground. Players ran out of the dugouts and trickled in from the bullpens, but they mostly milled around as the umpires sorted things out.
Youkilis headed straight to the dugout and, after a discussion, Porcello was tossed, turning back to bark at the umpire on his way off the field.
Lowell pinch ran for Youkilis and Lambert relieved Porcello. David Ortiz singled and Bay followed with a three-run homer to tie it.
NOTES: The Red Sox showed a video tribute to Eunice Shriver on the scoreboard between innings, playing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” to a video of her throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park and a message commending her work with the Special Olympics. … Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (back) will start his rehab for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday against Gwinnett (Ga.) … RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 40 pitches, all fastballs, as he tries to come back from a mild shoulder strain. … Bay homered for the third time in four games. … It was Lowell’s 13th career multihomer game, his first since 2007. … Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 52nd base, tying Tris Speaker (1912) for the second-highest single season in franchise history.