BOSTON — Boston manager Bobby Valentine has been around long enough to understand how fiery second baseman Dustin Pedroia takes each at-bat.
“Dustin is the most determined, talented player I’ve ever seen,” Valentine, in his first year with the Red Sox, said after Pedroia’s two-run homer broke a tie and helped Boston to a 7-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
“He was upset after he left the runner on second [in his previous at-bat],” Valentine said. “I knew he was going to do something.”
Pedroia, the 2008 AL MVP, also finished with three RBIs to support Clay Buchholz’s eight solid innings that carried Boston to its third straight win.
With the game tied 2-all in the sixth, Pedroia homered into the first row of seats above the Green Monster after Crawford drew a leadoff walk.
Buchholz (9-3) allowed two earned runs and five hits. He improved to 5-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his last eight starts.
“Everything feels in synch right now,” he said of his recent success.
He not only feel like he’s on a roll, but feels the team may be getting on a run, too.
“It’s pitching and hitting at the same time,” he said. “You’ve got to pitch and hit well to go on a streak like we need to go on.”
The Red Sox opened a 10-game homestand — their longest of the season — after taking the final two of three-game set at Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
Will Middlebrooks had a two-run homer and Carl Crawford added an RBI triple for Boston.
Austin Jackson began the game with a homer and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single for the Tigers, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Max Scherzer (10-6) gave up five runs in 6 1-3 innings, striking out nine.
“Obviously the pitch to Pedroia, I completely missed my spot,” Scherzer said. “That’s what’s frustrating — when you don’t execute pitches the way you want to and you get burned by it. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland felt Scherzer may have been too concerned with the speedy Crawford on first.
“I think in that particular situation, to be honest with you — I don’t know this for a fact — I think he was a little conscious of Crawford and maybe rushed it just a little bit and probably didn’t get it exactly where he wanted to,” he said.
Detroit had taken a 1-0 lead when Jackson hit Buchholz’s second pitch of the game into the first row of seats above the left-field wall. Quintin Berry followed with a double off the wall, but the right-hander retired the next three batters, grabbing Cabrera’s hard one-hop shot back to the mound for the first out before getting the next two easily.
Boston took a 2-1 edge in the bottom half. Jacoby Ellsbury drew a leadoff walk and scored on Crawford triple’s off the left-field wall. Crawford scored on Pedroia’s groundout.
The Tigers tied it at 2 in the third. Omar Infante tripled off the left-field wall and scored on Cabrera’s single. But with the bases loaded, Delmon Young bounced into an inning-ending double play.
Buchholz then retired the next nine batters before Detroit scored an unearned run in the seventh.
Brennan Boesch opened the inning by striking out, but reached when catcher Kelly Shoppach had the ball get away from him and hit Boesch as he was running to first on the missed third strike. One out later, Alex Avila had an RBI double into the right-center field gap, closing the score to 4-3.
In the seventh, Ellsbury’s RBI single — the last batter Scherzer faced — came after Shoppach had his second career triple, sending a drive to the center-field wall that caromed away from Jackson and rolled toward left.
Scherzer was sharp after Boston’s two-run first, holding the Red Sox to a pair of singles until Pedroia’s homer.
Middlebrooks homered off reliever Phil Coke in the eighth.
NOTES: Boston OF Ryan Sweeney left the game for a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. Valentine said he did something with his and hand and couldn’t throw, but Sweeney said he “punched a door” and will have x-rays Tuesday. … Leyland managed his 3,278th game, moving him into 15th place on the career list. … With the non-waiver trading deadline approaching Tuesday, Valentine opened his pregame news conference by joking: “I’ve been assured I’m not going to be traded.” … Valentine also said DH David Ortiz, eligible to come off the 15-day DL after being sidelined with a strained right Achilles, was unable do some agility running over the weekend, but was “running in the pool” on Monday. “He’s not far away (from returning), but I don’t know if Wednesday’s the magical day,” Valentine said. … Shoppach’s other triple came at Kansas City on May 7. … A roar and chats “USA! USA!” were heard when the center-field board showed the Olympic medal count. … The Red Sox took three of four from the Tigers at Fenway Park in late May.
ORIOLES 5, YANKEES 4: Nick Markakis drove in two runs to back a solid outing by rookie Miguel Gonzalez and the Baltimore Orioles held on to beat the struggling New York Yankees 5-4 Monday night.
Gonzalez (3-2) cruised through 6 2-3 innings, giving up just four hits and two runs, before he was chased by consecutive homers from Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki that made it 5-4.
Suzuki had a chance to tie it with two runners on in the ninth against Orioles closer Jim Johnson but grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Darren O’Day relieved Gonzalez and pinch-hitter Russell Martin gave his second pitch a ride to the warning track in straightaway center field for the third out. Derek Jeter led off the eighth with a hit off the glove of reliever Pedro Stroop, but the Yankees failed to advance the runner.
Stroop did not have to face Mark Teixeira, though. The Yankees first baseman was lifted before the eighth after he appeared to injure his wrist while trying to make a diving play on J.J. Hardy’s sharp grounder that went through for an RBI single and a 5-2 lead.
Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Nick Swisher in the ninth. With one out, Chavez walked. Suzuki walked to the plate to chants of “Ee-Chi-ro!” He grounded to shortstop but, still speedy at 38 years old, he beat the relay throw from second to put runners on first and third for Martin. Johnson struck him out for his 31st save.
Wilson Betemit homered in the third off Freddy Garcia (4-5) for Baltimore, which has had trouble scoring of late. The Orioles cut New York’s lead in the AL East to 6 1/2 games despite winning for just the third time in eight games. The Yankees have lost eight of 11 after opening a 10-game advantage.
Baltimore hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1997 and with the trade deadline looming Tuesday afternoon is rumored to be in the market for a starter to shore up the rotation.
Gonzalez could help offer stability to a staff that has had nine pitchers start games this season. Making his fifth big league start, Gonzalez allowed six hits and four runs. He struck out a career-high eight without walking a batter but is having trouble with the long ball, giving up three Monday and nine in five starts.
Raul Ibanez has New York’s other homer with a leadoff shot in the fifth. Suzuki’s drive was his first with New York and, upon his return to right field he was greeted with a warm reception from fans sitting out there.
Gonzalez helped the Yankees get on the board first, balking Ibanez to second after his two-out single in the second inning. Chavez followed with an RBI hit to left field.
Betemit opened the third with a soaring fly to right that left Suzuki standing at the wall watching as the ball landed several rows into the seats, tying the game.
The Orioles went ahead on back-to-back sacrifice flys by Omar Quintanilla and Markakis.
Robinson Cano, a career .340 hitter against Baltimore, went 0 for 4.
Garcia tied a season high by allowing nine hits in six innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.
NOTES: The Orioles are 2-10 on Mondays. … The Yankees have said they are committed to get their payroll for 2014 under the $189 million threshold for paying a luxury tax, and Brian Cashman reiterated that when asked about possibly trading for a high-priced player Monday. “I cannot speak about another team’s player, but if there’s a hypothetical, mythical beast that makes like $25 million a year for the next X amount of years that (hit the market) we certainly could not participate at that type of level of talent, financial talent.” … RHP Joba Chamberlain will make a rehab appearance for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday. … Orioles 2B Robert Andino (left shoulder) played in a rehab game for Triple-A Norfolk Sunday, going 1 for 5. He could join Baltimore in New York on Tuesday if all goes well in Monday’s game. … Orioles slugger Jim Thome will have an MRI Tuesday morning. He has not played since Friday because of neck spasms.