BOSTON — Mike Aviles wanted to take advantage of his second chance, even though he wasn’t entirely sure he earned it.
After an umpire’s mistake on what should have been the third strike, Aviles lined a single to center to spark a three-run second inning that gave the Boston Red Sox the lead for good in a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.
“I got another swing, got another hit, one run scored there and we ended up scoring two more right after that,” Aviles said. “It helped us out, gave us momentum and we kept rolling from there.”
Felix Doubront pitched six innings of four-hit ball, Ryan Sweeney had three hits after being activated from the disabled list and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for Boston. The victory was tainted by an injury to 2008 AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, who left in the fifth inning with a jammed right thumb.
“He’ll probably have some tests,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “Right now I don’t think he could play tomorrow, if I was a betting man. But don’t bet on it.”
Detroit played most of the game without manager Jim Leyland and third-base coach Gene Lamont, who were ejected after the umpires appeared to blow the call on Aviles’ foul tip. Leyland argued with the umpires until they tossed him from the game, then erupted in the visitor’s clubhouse after it was over.
“There shouldn’t have been a second-inning rally,” he said, his voice rising. “There were three outs. I’ve been in the game a long time. … You guys need to write something and hold people accountable.”
With two outs and a runner on second, Aviles swung at what would have been strike three. It was ruled a foul tip by plate umpire Jeff Nelson, and on appeal to first base ump Bill Welke the ball was determined to hit the dirt before catcher Gerald Laird could glove it.
Replays appeared to show a clean swing and miss by Aviles, and Laird clearly caught the ball before it could hit the ground, meaning Aviles should have been out.
Aviles lined an RBI single to center. Daniel Nava doubled him home and scored on Pedroia’s single to make it 4-1 before Adrian Gonzales hit an inning-ending groundout to first base.
“I’m pretty sure he caught it, but I’m not sure,” said Aviles, who hadn’t seen the replay. “The first thing I said was ‘bounce.’ I didn’t want to strike out. I don’t know anybody that wants to strike out. I honestly don’t know a hundred percent but he might have caught it.”
Leyland came out to argue with third-base umpire Tim Tschida, joining an already angry Lamont. The manager had retreated to the dugout but was apparently still yelling at the crew when Welke tossed him.
After making a “Who, me?” expression, Leyland came back onto the field to argue some more.
In the visiting manager’s office afterward, Leyland held forth in a profane rant about holding everyone in the game accountable, asking reporters, “Was that a ridiculous call? Then write that it was a ridiculous … call!”
“I’m not going to sit here and rip umpires,” Leyland said, alternating between enraged and merely agitated. “I’m the most protective person in the world of umpires. I protect them more than anybody in the game.”
Doubront (5-2) gave up home runs to Gerald Laird and Delmon Young and just a pair of singles. He struck out six and walked one.
Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer in the ninth, and Doug Fister (0-3) allowed six runs and 11 hits in five-plus innings.
Saltalamacchia, Aviles and David Ortiz all had two hits for Boston, which bounced back after blowing a ninth-inning lead against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Red Sox scored one in the first and then three more in the second, taking advantage of a controversial call that led to the ejections.
Boston added one more in the third on Saltalamacchia’s homer, then solo runs on Will Middlebrooks’ infield single in the sixth and Aviles’ RBI double in the eighth.
Laird had two hits for the Tigers.
NOTES: The Red Sox honored former right fielder Trot Nixon before the game for his contributions to the 2004 team that ended the franchise’s 86-year championship drought. Nixon was presented with a No. 7 insert from the manual scoreboard and a mounted pine tar-stained helmet like the one he used to wear. … Pedroia was hurt diving for Danny Worth’s grounder at the end of the fifth inning. He was replaced by Nick Punto. .. Sweeney was activated from the DL before the game and OF Che-Hsuan Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.