DETROIT -- Twice on the verge of their first win of 2012, the Red Sox bullpen blew multi-run leads in the late innings, ultimately succumbing in the bottom of the 11th, 13-12, to the Detroit Tigers, extending their winless record to 0-3.
Mark Melancon allowed a two-out, two-run homer to Alex Avila in the bottom of the 11th, two innings after Alfredo Aceves yielded a three-run homer to Miguel Cabrera when the Sox seemed poised to win it in the ninth.
Nick Punto, getting his first start of the season and inserted into the leadoff spot to deliver a "spark'' according to his manager, singled home Cody Ross in the top of the 11th inning, giving the Sox a 12-11 lead.
A run-scoring single by Dustin Pedroia gave the Sox another insurance run, but it wasn't enough.
The Sox had seemed poised to wrap things up in the ninth but with three outs to go, Aceves surrendered two singles and a game-tying three-run homer to Miguel Cabrera -- all in the span of seven pitches.
In two appearances as closer, Aceves has faced five hitters and allowed all five to reach -- a hit batsman, three singles and Cabrera's homer.
Adrian Gonzalez had snapped a 7-7 tie in the sixth when he belted Daniel Schlereth's first pitch deep into the seats in right for a two-run homer. The homer was the first for the Red Sox this season after being limited to just two runs in their first two games.
Vicente Padilla contributed four scoreless innings, allowing just two singles while striking out four to pick up the win.
Clay Buchholz, making his first regular season start since the middle of last June, was rocked for four runs in the first inning and was done after four, having allowed seven runs. It snapped a 42-game streak in which Buchholz hadn't allowed more than five earned runs.