Lester, Middlebrooks lead Red Sox past Tigers in possible playoff preview

BOSTON — With two first place teams facing off in September, like Monday’s game, it had a playoff-like atmosphere, especially with two top starters going head-to-head. In playoff games, taking advantage of opportunities becomes more important than ever, which is just what the Red Sox did in their 2-1 win over the Tigers Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

“That was a lot of fun tonight,” Red Sox catcher David Ross said. “You know, one the crowd and playing them [Tigers] kind of made it kind of a playoff atmosphere and the crowd was really into it. There were some big hits and the guys were really into it. That atmosphere, and what the pitchers were doing, that made that game a lot of fun to call.”

After being limited to just one hit through the first four innings, the Red Sox finally got to Tigers ace and 19-game winner Max Scherzer in the fifth. Jonny Gomes singled to left, which was followed by a ground-rule double from Stephen Drew setting up second and third with one out. David Ross struck out, setting the stage for Will Middlebrooks who came through with a clutch single to center field giving the Sox a 2-1 advantage. Scherzer was as advertised as three of his five hits allowed came in the fifth inning.

Jon Lester gave the Red Sox one of his best starts of the season, going up against the best offenses in the AL, as the Tigers came into the game leading the league in runs per game. The left-hander went seven innings, allowing just one run (in the second inning), while scattering eight hits and striking out a season-high nine hitters. Brandon Workman came in to retire Miguel Cabrera to lead-off the eighth, followed by Craig Breslow who retired Price Fielder, but then allowed a single to Victor Martinez. Junichi Tazawa then came in to strikeout Omar Infante and get out of the eighth and ending the threat. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth to pick up his 17th save and continue his dominance of late as it was his sixth straight perfect outing in a save opportunity.

The teams will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will be opposed by Rick Porcello.

What they’ll be saying: The story of the game for the Red Sox was Lester who ever since the All-Star break has emerged as arguably the best pitcher on the staff. Over his last 10 starts he has a 2.59 ERA, lowering his season ERA to 3.88. He now has earned a quality start in each of his last six outings, with a 1.81 ERA in that stretch … Middlebrooks came through with the game-winning hit in the fifth inning, it was his seventh go-ahead RBI of the year, all of which ave plated the game’s winning run … There is no denying it was a playoff-type atmosphere and Red Sox manager John Farrell managed like it was a playoff game, using three pitchers in the eighth.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTO: Australian hockey players get photobombed by Queen…

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…