Red Sox down Tigers in opener
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Mike Aviles knocked in two runs, Jarrod Saltalamacchia clubbed a solo homer and the Boston Red Sox posted a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
David Ortiz doubled, singled and drove in a run for Boston, which has won 12 of its last 17 games.
Felix Doubront (5-2) gave up two runs on solo homers over six innings.
"Felix has been (a) pretty consistent pitcher for us," said Boston manager Bobby Valentine. "Made a couple mistakes with some power hitters, but other than that, he pitched well today."
Doug Fister (0-3) surrendered six runs on 11 hits in five-plus innings for the Tigers, who were coming off a weekend sweep of Minnesota.
Ortiz stroked a two-out double in the first inning off the Green Monster, scoring Adrian Gonzalez from first base for a 1-0 Boston lead.
The Tigers quickly responded on Delmon Young's blast over the towering left- field wall in the second, but the Red Sox capitalized on a blown call by first base umpire Bill Welke to score three times in the bottom of the frame.
With two outs and a runner on second, Aviles swung and missed at a breaking ball for strike three. However, Welke ruled that the ball hit the ground even though replays showed Detroit catcher Gerald Laird had caught the curveball before it hit the dirt.
Instead of the inning being over, Aviles was given a second chance and delivered a go-ahead RBI single to center field. Daniel Nava followed with a run-scoring double and scored when Dustin Pedroia's sharp ground ball deflected off first baseman Prince Fielder into shallow center field.
Prior to the start of the third, Tigers manager Jim Leyland and third base coach Gene Lamont, still visibly upset over the call, were ejected for arguing.
Saltalamacchia extended the lead to 5-1 in the home third with his ninth home run of the season.
Laird took Doubront deep in the fifth, but an infield single by Will Middlebrooks, the third consecutive hit allowed by Fister to start the sixth, plated Saltalamacchia to make it 6-2.
Aviles added an RBI double in the eighth, and Detroit's Jhonny Peralta belted a two-run homer in the ninth.
Boston and Detroit entered the game with identical 23-24 records...The Tigers recorded a season-opening, three-game sweep of Boston at Comerica Park (April 5-8)...Fister pitched 3 2/3 innings April 7 against the Red Sox before leaving with a muscle strain in his left side that forced him to miss a month...Pedroia left the game after jamming his right thumb while making an inning-ending defensive play in the fifth. He was replaced at second base by Nick Punto...Boston outfielder Ryan Sweeney went 3-for-4 in his return from the seven-day concussion disabled list. Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Sweeney.