Max Scherzer may have been the American League's best pitcher this season, but on Tuesday night, Jon Lester was better.
Scherzer came into the game looking for his 20th victory of the season, but Lester outpitched him, limiting the Detroit Tigers to a single run on eight hits over even innings as the Red Sox held off Detroit 2-1.
The Sox hung Scherzer with only his second loss of the season and first since July 13.
Will Middlebrooks' two-out single to center scored Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew in the fifth, providing the only runs the Red Sox scored -- and the only runs they would need.
Lester, 13-8, was nicked for a run in the second when former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias lined a double to center which scored Omar Infante all the way from first.
The Tigers threatened in the fifth when an error by Will Middlebrooks and two-out singles from Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter loaded the bases.
But Lester got the game's best hitter, Miguel Cabrera, back after a three-game absence, to hit into an inning-ending force play.
John Farrell used three relievers to get three outs in the eighth then turned the game over to Koji Uehara in the ninth to notch his 17th save, which required just nine pitches.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
In what was his most impressive start of the season, Lester outdueled Max Scherzer with a brilliant performance, fanning a season-high nine while limiting the highest-scoring offense in the league to a single run over seven innings.
HONORABLE MENTION: Will Middlebrooks
It's been a difficult year for Middlebrooks, who lost his starting job and then was sent to the minors for a few months. But he contributed a two-run single in what was undoubtedly his biggest hit of the season, providing the only run of the night.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera returned after missing the last three games with an abdominal pull and groin issue, and wasn't the same. He flied out with a man on second in the first, struck out to end the third, and hit into an inning-ending force play in the fifth.
TURNING POINT: The Tigers had the potential tying run on in the eighth when Junichi Tazawa came on to get Omar Infante to strike out for the final out in the eighth.
BY THE NUMBERS: The loss for Scherzer was just his second all season and his first since July 13.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "It was a great atmosphere. The fans were really into it, and the players were, too. It was a great pitcher's duel and I had fun calling (the game)." - David Ross