He racked up his second straight save in this one. But the Red Sox took the game by leaning on Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks.
Both homered while Adrian Gonzalez contributed two doubles that drove in runs on the night.
After starting off shaky through three innings, Jon Lester cruised from that point on.
End 8th, Red Sox 6-4: Whether he stays with the Sox or eventually gets dealt, Youkilis is proving he can still contribute.
With Youkilis and Middlebrooks in the lineup, the order has been downright potent.
Now, Aceves is coming into the game to notch another save. He got one on Tuesday, but let’s see if he can maintain that momentum.
9:58 p.m.: Kevin Youkilis homers in the bottom of the eighth. It’s his fourth round-tripper of the season and second returning from the disabled list.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-4: Marlon Byrd made a spectacular catch in center field, which is likely one of his high points during his stint with the Sox.
But Andrew Miller continues to be a force in the bullpen, striking out two batters and getting a fly out to lower his ERA to 2.38.
The Red Sox also yanked Adrian Gonzalez in favor of Ryan Sweeney to ensure a well-rounded defensive effort.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-4: Adrian Gonzalez may have two strikeouts, but he’s also clubbed two doubles.
He collected No. 18 in the seventh and drove in Daniel Nava, giving the team a one-run cushion.
Now, Andrew Miller will come to bridge the gap for a possible appearance from closer Alfredo Aceves.
9:39 p.m.: Octavio Dotel has exited for the Tigers. By the way, he’s played for a major-league record 13 teams in his career.
Phil Coke is entering the game for Dotel.
Mid 7th, 4-4: With one out, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine came out to talk to Jon Lester.
The pitcher wanted one more batter and Valentine decided to leave him in. The decision paid off as Lester struck out Quintin Berry.
But the risk of having Adrian Gonzalez also backfired. He just missed on a sliding catch, allowing Gerald Laird to score.
9:18 p.m.: Matt Albers is coming in for Jon Lester, who struck out seven and allowed 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-3: David Ortiz almost unloaded his second homer of the game, but it fell short just a couple inches.
And then, there’s the unfortunate part of the Green Monster. Instead of a homer, it wound up going for a single.
After allowing the hit, Smyly went back to shutting down the lineup.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-3: That’s 101 pitches for Lester. He went sinker and curveball for that inning for the most part.
Also, I expect to see Adrian Gonzalez in right field for the rest of game because if Valentine yanks an infielder out, there’s really no more backups available.
Earlier, Valentine said Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach would try and patrol second base. That’d be interesting.
End 5th, Red Sox 4-3: Daniel Nava is building off the momentum of hammering Justin Verlander’s 100 mph pitch and got a double here.
But Drew Smyly rebounded from a disasterous fourth inning by getting Punto to pop up, Aviles to ground out and Gonzalez to strike out.
That’s the second time that Smyly has struck out Gonzalez. The Sox slugger’s batting average has dropped down to .269.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 4-3: At least, Jon Lester is gaining momentum now, striking out two batters in fifth.
If he keeps it up, it’ll be a nice bounce back for him and he could be in line for a quality start and, of course, the victory.
Still, Miguel Cabrera managed to knock him around, belting his second double of the game.
End 4th, Red Sox 4-3: Those are the benefits of Adrian Gonzalez’ sacrifice to go to right field.
By moving over — in this inning — Kevin Youkilis collected a single and Will Middlebrooks followed it up with his sixth blast of the season.
It’s allowed the Red Sox’ offense to remain potent and now the team has soared back into the lead.
8:26 p.m.: David Ortiz unloaded on a two-run bomb, trimming the deficit to one run. That’s No. 12 for the season.
Mid 4th, Tigers 3-0: Jon Lester came in strong in that inning, hammering the Tigers’ batters with some heat.
He racked up a strikeout on Alex Avila and his stuff is in the 94 to 95 mph range. He’ll need to continue taking steps forward, but he also exhausted a good amount of pitches.
End 3rd, Tigers 3-0: Prince Fielder hasn’t had the best defensive stretch at Fenway, allowing another single to get past him.
But Nick Punto couldn’t capitalize, grounding into a double play to end the inning. That lowers his batting average to .136.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Red Sox call up Pedro Ciriaco or Jose Iglesias — who is unlikely since he is battling an injury — from Pawtucket
Mid 3rd, Tigers 3-0: Quintin Berry led off with a triple, already giving Lester a cause for concern.
Danny Worth brought him in with a a sac fly before Miguel Cabrera complicated matters by slugging out a double.
Lester is seemingly missing his spots and Detroit is making him pay. A wild pitch in that frame simply validates it.
End 2nd, Tigers 1-0: Smyly is being aggressive with those fastballs and sliders against the Red Sox hitters.
He’s mixed in a few changeups, but he managed to get David Ortiz to strike out on three straight pitches, so that’s got to count for something.
Mid 2nd, Tigers 1-0: That was a much better inning for Jon Lester, who only needed nine pitches to handle the Tigers’ order.
Nick Punto and Mike Aviles did a nice job of turning that double play and it’s worth monitoring how their chemistry develops.
And the Red Sox don’t have any back up infielders, so they’ll keep their fingers crossed.
End 1st, Tigers 1-0: Drew Smyly, who probably has one of the weirdest last names in baseball, looked sharp in the first inning.
He allowed a fly out to Daniel Nava, a line out to Mike Aviles and struck out Adrian Gonzalez.
The No. 2 hole is an interesting look for Aviles, who is holding it down for Pedroia. That’s worth seeing how he settles into it.
Mid 1st, Tigers 1-0: Jon Lester was fortunate that more runs didn’t score, but he tossed 27 pitches in that inning.
Lester loaded up the bases by yielding singles and Delmon Young drove in a run after beating out a double play attempt.
We’ve seen before what happens when Lester has a pretty high pitch count early on. He’ll try to rebound.
6 p.m.: Here are the lineups.
Daniel Nava, LF
Mike Aviles, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Marlon Byrd, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Nick Punto, 2B
Jon Lester, P
Quintin Berry, CF
Danny Worth, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Delmon Young, LF
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Gerald Laird, DH
Drew Smyly, P
8 a.m. ET: Now that the Red Sox (25-24) have vaulted over the .500 barrier that kept them down for so long this season, they’re looking to string together a few wins. Leading that effort will be Jon Lester (3-4), who will face the Tigers for the first time since Detroit edged him in a 3-2 win on Opening Day.
Lester ‘s last outing, a four-inning, seven-run loss to Tampa Bay, spoiled an otherwise strong start to the season. He’ll be aiming to regain his form as Drew Smyly (2-1) pitches for Detroit (23-26).
After two straight nights of hot hitting against the Tigers, the Red Sox will be leaning on their bats to do it again. They’ll likely be without Dustin Pedroia, though, as he tries to figure out the extent of his thumb injury. The team has also not shared any word on whether Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be in the lineup after the catcher left Tuesday night’s game with “illness.”
For more details and analysis from Fenway, follow NESN.com’s live blog. Tune into NESN’s pregame show at 6 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.