BOSTON — It took the Red Sox 49 games to finally get over the .500 mark; and in the 50th game, they stayed there.
Adrian Gonzalez, whose first double of the game triggered a four-run uprising in the fourth inning, lined a two-out, go-ahead RBI ground-rule double in the seventh and Boston beat the Tigers for the third consecutive game, this time 6-4.
The Red Sox (26-24) wiped out a 3-0 deficit on two-run homers by David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks in the fourth, but saw the Tigers tie the game on Miguel Cabrera’s fourth consecutive hit and third consecutive double in the top of the seventh. Cabrera’s pop fly fell just off the glove of Gonzalez, playing right field again for the injury riddled Red Sox.
The hit made a winner of reliever Matt Albers (1-0), who gave up the Cabrera hit, and a loser of reliever Octavio Dotel (1-2), with Gonzalez delivering off lefty Phil Coke.
Kevin Youkilis added a solo home run in the eighth inning and Alfredo Aceves, pitching in his fourth straight game, worked a perfect ninth for his 13th save. He retired Cabrera on a groundout to end the game.
Boston starter Jon Lester battled through 6 2/3 innings while Tiger rookie Drew Smyly was gone after six as the Tigers fell four games under .500.
Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava and center fielder Marlon Byrd both made key defensive plays in the late innings, Nava with a throw and Byrd a diving catch.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when, with one out, Danny Worth, Cabrera and Prince Fielder all singled, loading the bases. Delmon Young forced Fielder as Worth scored.
The Red Sox helped Detroit make it 3-0 in the third. Quintin Berry lined a long triple to right-center and scored on Worth’s sacrifice fly. Cabrera then hit a long double and went to third on a wild pitch. Fielder then hit a grounder at a drawn-in Middlebrooks. The third baseman glanced back at Cabrera, but then lobbed the ball to first. Cabrera took off and scored easily.
The Sox did nothing against Smyly until there were two out in the fourth. Gonzalez roped a long double into the Boston bullpen and Ortiz then crushed his second homer in as many nights, his 12th of the season. Youkilis dropped a single into short right and Middlebrooks then ripped the next pitch for his sixth homer in 93 at-bats in the major leagues.
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NOTES: Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia hopes to avoid the disabled list with his torn adductor muscle in his right thumb. He has two braces to wear, one for hitting, the other at other times, but can’t play until the discomfort subsides. ... Tiger righty Doug Fister went back on the disabled list with the same side strain that placed him on the disabled list the first time and lefty Casey Crosby was called up from Toledo and starts against the Yankees in his major league debut Friday night. Catcher Omir Santos was purchased from Toledo and utility player Ryan Raburn was optioned to the same team. That move was made to add a righty bat. Detroit was hitting .234 (.300 on base percentage) against lefties (.273 against righties) before facing Lester. ... The Tigers end a 10-game road trip and a stretch of 19 of 24 games on the road when Max Scherzer (4-3) faces Josh Beckett (4-4) Thursday night. Detroit hit five homers off Beckett in a 10-0 win in Detroit in the second game of the season. ... Former Tiger right fielder Magglio Ordonez will announce his retirement and be honored in a pre-game ceremony Sunday in Detroit. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka makes another rehab start for the Red Sox in Pawtucket Thursday night as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery and recent upper back troubles.