DETROIT The Red Sox continued to slug their way through their road trip, pounding the Tigers, 6-3, Friday night in front of 34,046 at Comerica Park.
The victory, coupled with the Yankees' loss at Seattle, moved the Sox into first place in the A.L. East by one game.
Trailing, 2-1, going into the third inning, the Sox sent eight batters to the plate with five scoring.
Staked to a four-run lead, starter Tim Wakefield cruised through his outing. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He needed just 83 pitches, 58 for strikes.
It is the 195th win of Wakefields 19-season career, 181st with the Sox.
Player of the Game: Tim Wakefield
Wakefield went seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He threw just 83 pitches (58 strikes), cruising to the win. He improved to 2-1 with a 4.14 ERA.
It was his longest outing since going eight innings in a 3-2 win over the Orioles on July 2, 2010.
He has made four starts this season, including his last two outings, as he fills in with John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL. In his last two starts has gone a combined 13 23 innings, giving up three earned runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He has posted a cumulative ERA of 1.98.
I was fighting my mechanics in the first couple of innings, Wakefield said. But was able to make some adjustments after the second inning and was able
to cruise through into the seventh.
"I'm just doing what I can to help us win games. Asked me to fill a role here and do the best that I can.
Honorable Mention: Jacoby Ellsbury
Ellsbury went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. He scored after his first two at-bats of the game. His speed helped him to his first run, while his power gave him the second run. Ellsbury led off the game with a single to right, taking second on his 18th stolen base of the season. He went to third on Adrian Gonzalezs groundout, and scored on Rick Porcellos wild pitch.
He led off the third with his sixth home run of the season, to tie the game. It was his second home run in as many games.
For good measure, he added some strong defense in center field.
Hes a great player, said Dustin Pedroia. We knew. We expect this of him. He can do anything. He hits homers. He steals bases. He plays great defense. Hes a special player, man.
The Goat: Rick Porcello
Porcello lasted just three innings, giving up six runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts, a wild pitch, and two home runs. He was given a slim 2-1 lead in the second on Jhonny Peraltas lead-off homer, but couldnt hold on to it. In the next inning, he gave up five runs as the Sox sent eight batters to the plate.
Turning Point: Third-inning fireworks
Trailing 2-1 going into the third inning, the Sox sent eight batters to the plate, with five scoring.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the third with a home run to right field, his sixth of the season, tying the score. Dustin Pedroia followed with a walk, going to second on Adrian Gonzalezs single. Kevin Youkilis double to center scored Pedroia and Gonzalez. After David Ortiz flied out to center, Carl Crawfords fourth home run of the season put the Sox up, 6-2, before Jed Lowrie grounded out and Josh Reddick popped out.
By the Numbers: 1-2-3
The Sox scored seven runs in the first inning Wednesday against the Indians, five runs in the second inning Thursday against the Tigers, and five runs in the third inning Friday against the Tigers. What can that mean for the fourth inning Saturday? (Oh,yeah, they also scored five runs in the eighth inning on Thursday.)
Quote of Note
"I don't think its unusual I think it's a blessing for us that its happened so far and hopefully we can continue to do so. -- Tim Wakefield, on the four starts he and Alfredo Aceves have made in place of John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who are on the DL. Wakefield and Aceves are a combined 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in those four starts.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen