BOSTON — David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks each hit two-run homers, Kevin Youkilis had a solo shot and the surging Boston Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox have won for the 14th time in 19 games but remain in last in a jammed AL East.
Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with three doubles and drove in a run for Detroit, which has dropped the first three of a four-game series in Fenway Park.
Adrian Gonzalez had a pair of doubles for Boston, his second breaking a 4-all tie in the seventh.
The Red Sox can close out the sweep Thursday night when Josh Beckett faces Tigers righty Max Scherzer.
Matt Albers (1-0) gave up a game-tying hit, but retired one batter to get the win. Alfredo Aceves collected his 13th save in 16 chances.
With the Tigers trailing 4-3 in the seventh, Jon Lester was pulled after he fanned the final batter he faced — Quintin Berry — and Albers entered with a runner on second. Danny Worth reached on an infield hit before Cabrera looped one down the right-field line that bounced off Gonzalez’s glove as he attempted a sliding catch near the short wall, tying the game.
But Gonzalez’s ground-rule double moved Boston back in front 5-4 in the bottom of the inning. Daniel Nava drew a two-out walk and Mike Aviles singled off reliever Octavio Dotel (1-2).
The Tigers had built a 3-0 lead against Lester with a run in the first and two in the third before Boston rallied with four after two outs in the fourth against starter Drew Smyly.
The Red Sox entered the game leading the majors with homers (24) and extra base hits (61) against left-handed pitching. After being held to just an infield single, they added to those numbers with their big fourth.
After Smyly got the first two batters on a fly to the track in center and a strikeout, Boston collected five consecutive hits — highlighted by the two-run homers by Ortiz and Middlebrooks. Ortiz hit a shot into the center-field bleachers — his 12th of the season — and Middlebrooks had a line drive into the first row of the seats above the Green Monster.
Lester gave up four runs, 10 hits, struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone over 6 2-3 innings.
Smyly allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings.
Lester, coming off his second-worst start of the season when he lasted only four innings and gave up seven runs in a loss to Tampa Bay last Friday, gave up three straight singles to load the bases before Delmon Young’s run-scoring grounder made it 1-0.
Worth had a sacrifice fly and Prince Fielder a run-scoring grounder to make it 3-0 in the third.
NOTES: The Tigers placed RHP Doug Fister on the 15-day DL before the game with and will promoted 23-year old lefty Casey Crosby from Triple-A Toledo to make his first major league start at home against the Yankees on Friday. … Detroit purchased the contract of C Omir Santos from Toledo on Wednesday after they optioned INF-OF Ryan Raburn back to Toledo following Tuesday’s game. … Manager Bobby Valentine said OF Darnell McDonald, on the 15-day DL with a strained right oblique, would stay with the club for a few days until he felt better. He had played with Triple-A Pawtucket in three rehab appearances. … A big cheer went up when highlights of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference final was shown on the center-field scoreboard.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is still out of the lineup with a right thumb injury, but is still not on the disabled list despite the team playing short on Wednesday night.
Pedroia said after Tuesday’s win that an MRI revealed he had a slightly torn muscle in the thumb. He hoped rest would get him back quickly and he’d avoid the DL.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine called his injury “day-to-day,” but also said Pedroia was told not to swing a bat until the swelling subsided.
Valentine called the injury “the same” and Pedroia could play defense if the team needed him in an emergency.
Pedroia had no further update from Tuesday night.
With first baseman Adrian Gonzalez starting in right Wednesday against Detroit and David Ortiz, who plays some first when not the DH, the club has no other regular infielders on the 25-man roster.