Red Sox-Tigers Live: Jon Lester Outduels Max Scherzer As Red Sox Pull Out Dramatic 2-1 Win


Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli

Final, Red Sox 2-1: Koji Uehara strikes out Jose Iglesias for the final out, and the Red Sox come away with a 2-1 victory over Max Scherzer and the Tigers.

Scherzer was his usual dominant self, but Jon Lester matched him step for step, allowing just one run over seven innings of work to pick up his 13th win of the season.

These two teams will close out their three-game set Wednesday night, with Ryan Dempster taking the mound for the Red Sox opposite Rick Porcello.

End 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Mike Napoli’s base hit loaded the bases, but Luke Putkonen rallied to retire Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew in order to end the inning.

It’s Koji time at Fenway, as Koji Uehara looks to close out the Tigers here in the ninth.

Bottom 8th, Red Sox 2-1: The Tigers are employing a multi-reliever approach here in the eighth, as well. Luke Putkonen replaces Phil Coke after Coke gets David Ortiz to fly out to right field.

Mike Napoli, pinch-hitting for Mike Carp, will be the first to bat against Putkonen.

Bottom 8th, Red Sox 2-1: That’s the night for Max Scherzer, who walks Daniel Nava and allows a base hit to Dustin Pedroia before being lifted.

Phil Coke, who jogged in from the bullpen at a brisk pace, is now in to pitch for Detroit.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Junichi Tazawa fans Omar Infante, and the Red Sox will look to add to their one-run cushion in the bottom of the eighth.

They’ll do so against starter Max Scherzer, who returns to the mound despite having thrown 104 pitches already tonight.

Top 8th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox are now on to their third pitcher of the inning, as Junichi Tazawa relieves Craig Breslow with two outs.

Breslow faced two batters, getting Prince Fielder to ground out into the shift before allowing a base hit by Victor Martinez that Will Middlebrooks was unable to come up with.

Top 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Brandon Workman’s outing was a short one.

After getting Miguel Cabrera to fly out to right field, and with left Prince Fielder coming to the plate, Workman is replaced by southpaw Craig Breslow.

End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Max Scherzer has tired in the later innings, losing a bit of the dominant command he possessed earlier in the game.

Scherzer issued a one-out walk to Stephen Drew, just missing on a 3-2 curve; hit David Ross in the hand with a pitch one batter later and missed very high and inside with his first pitch to Will Middlebrooks.

Scherzer’s erratic pitching didn’t harm the Tigers on the scoreboard — two flyouts and a popout got him out of the inning unscathed — but his pitch total is now up to 103. Detroit had a pair of relievers warming in the seventh, meaning the ace’s night may be over.

One person whose night is definitely over is Jon Lester, as Brandon Workman comes in to protect a one-run lead in the eighth. Lester was stellar in this ballgame, allowing just the one run on eight hits and zero walks while racking up a season-high nine strikeouts.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: Jon Lester leaves the mound to a standing ovation in what is likely his final inning of the night.

It was a quick one, as the lefty retired Jose Iglesias, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter on just 10 pitches, but with Lester’s pitch count now up to 111, it seems like a prime time to go to the ‘pen.

End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: Apart from a David Ortiz walk, the first free pass issued by Max Scherzer tonight, the Red Sox are silent in the sixth.

Jon Lester returns to the mound for the top of the seventh, but it appears he will be on a short leash. With Lester up to 101 pitches, the Sox have Craig Breslow and Brandon Workman warming in the bullpen.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-1: The Tigers put another two runners on against Jon Lester in the sixth, but they were unable to push the tying run across.

Prince Fielder led off the inning with an infield single that gave Red Sox fans a brief scare. The first baseman’s sharp comebacker bounced off Lester’s side, prompting John Farrell and the training staff to make a visit to the mound. Lester appeared to be fine after throwing a few warm-up pitches, though, and he remained in the game.

He then got Victor Martinez to fly out to Shane Victorino in center field before allowing another single to Omar Infante, this one coming in the form of a soft looper that bounced just under Stephen Drew’s glove at shortstop.

That’s all the Tigers would get in the frame, though, as Matt Tuiasosopo struck out swinging and Brayan Pena flied out to center to end it.

End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: Max Scherzer is not invincible after all.

The Red Sox finally got to the Tigers starter, touching him for three hits and a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to take their first lead of the night.

After Mike Carp struck out to lead off the inning, Jonny Gomes came to the plate looking for his second hit in two at-bats. He thought he had it when he ripped a 1-2 changeup down the right field line, but, after originally signaling fair ball, the third base umpire ruled the hit foul.

The Fenway crowd was not pleased, but Gomes was undeterred. He singled to left field on the very next pitch. Stephen Drew then responded by drilling a ground-rule double over the Red Sox bullpen, putting runners in scoring position for the first time tonight.

After Scherzer blew three high-90s fastballs by David Ross, Will Middlebrooks connected on a base hit up the middle, scoring both Gomes and Drew and giving Boston a 2-0 advantage.

Middlebrooks proceeded to steal second — just his second steal of the season — but Shane Victorino flied out softly to first base to end the inning.

Mid 5th, Tigers 1-0: After cruising through the third and fourth innings, Jon Lester had to buckle down in the fifth.

Lester opened the inning by retiring Matt Tuiasosopo on strikes, catching the outside corner with a 1-2 fastball.

An error by Will Middlebrooks then allowed the painfully slow Brayan Pena to reach on a ground ball to third base.

Lester got Jose Iglesias swinging for the inning’s second out, but the strikeout was followed by consecutive singles, setting up a bases-loaded situation with Miguel Cabrera due up.

Lester battled his way out of it, though, getting the slugger to ground into a 6-4 putout to end the inning and hold Detroit’s lead to one run.

End 4th, Tigers 1-0: The Red Sox went down without a peep in the fourth against Max Scherzer, who needed just four pitches to retire the side.

Scherzer is in full cruise control right now, having allowed only one infield hit through four innings. He’s thrown just 43 pitches and racked up five strikeouts.

Mid 4th, Tigers 1-0: The left side of the Red Sox infield got some reps here in the third, as Jon Lester retired the side in order on three groundouts.

The first two were handled by Stephen Drew (though he bobbled the first one a bit before beating Prince Fielder with a throw to first), and Will Middlebrooks took care of the third and final out.

Daniel Nava is due up first against Max Scherzer, who has completely shut down the Red Sox so far tonight.

End 3rd, Tigers 1-0: Max Scherzer continued dealing in the home half of the third, getting David Ross to ground out before striking out Will Middlebrooks looking and Shane Victorino swinging.

That’s five K’s on the night for the righty, who ranks second in the majors in the category behind Texas’ Yu Darvish.

Scherzer has done a nice job of keeping his pitch count down tonight, too, throwing just 39 through the first three innings.

Mid 3rd, Tigers 1-0: Jon Lester isn’t going to let Max Scherzer have all the fun.

The Red Sox starter struck out the side in order in the top of the third, getting Miguel Cabrera on a curveball low and inside to close out the frame.

End 2nd, Tigers 1-0: Jonny Gomes became the first batter to reach against Max Scherzer, as Miguel Cabrera failed to pull off an Iglesias-esque play at third base.

Cabrera made a great sliding stop on Gomes’ two-out scorcher down the line, but his throw to Prince Fielder at first missed wide to the right. He almost came up with the out anyway, though. Gomes galloped past the bag at first and barely outran Fielder on his way back.

Scherzer was otherwise perfect, though, retiring David Ortiz on a groundout to first and Mike Carp and Stephen Drew on flyouts.

Mid 2nd, Tigers 1-0: Jose Iglesias put his former team in an early hole here in the second, but some poor baserunning by the Tigers prevented them from adding to that lead.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Iglesias ripped a line drive past Shane Victorino in center field. Omar Infante, who reached on a one-out base hit, scored easily from third, but catcher Brayan Pena was thrown out by a mile on his bid to come all the way around from first.

The decision to send Pena was a questionable one, as the backstop showed earlier in the inning that he does not run particularly well. His low fly ball at the warning track appeared to be misplayed a bit by Jonny Gomes, who allowed it to soar over his head and bounce off the Green Monster scoreboard. Pena managed just a single out of it, though.

Jon Lester also retired Victor Martinez via flyout and struck out Matt Tuiasosopo in the inning.

End 1st, 0-0: That’s why he’s the Cy Young favorite, folks.

Max Scherzer looked like Pedro at the All-Star Game here in the first, mowing down Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia in order with a steady diet of velocity.

Eleven of Scherzer’s 13 pitches in the inning were fastballs, and nine of 13 went for strikes.

Mid 1st, 0-0: That was a laborious first inning for Jon Lester, but he kept the high-scoring Tigers offense off the scoreboard.

Leadoff man Austin Jackson got things started with a double, hammering a Lester fastball off the Jimmy Fund logo in left-center field.

Jackson’s at-bat lasted eight pitches, and Lester threw another eight to Torii Hunter before getting the veteran outfielder to pop out to Mike Carp in foul territory.

Miguel Cabrera then came to the plate for the first time since last Friday and lifted a fly ball to right field, allowing Jackson to advance to third without a throw.

Third is where he would stay, though, as Lester struck out Prince Fielder on a foul tip into David Ross’ mitt to end the inning. It goes down as a clean frame, but the Tigers made the Red Sox starter work, fouling off nine of Lester’s 25 pitches (not including Fielder’s inning-ending foul tip).

Shane Victorino, batting leadoff in place of the injured Jacoby Ellsbury, will be the first to step in against Max Scherzer tonight. Scherzer enters tonight with a 19-1 record, one win away from becoming just the second major league (after Roger Clemens) to start a season 20-1.

7:12 p.m.: Jon Lester’s first pitch to Austin Jackson is outside for ball one, and we are off and running.

Lester will see Jackson, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera here in the first, and he’ll hope for a better showing than what transpired in his date with Detroit. Lester picked up the win back on June 21 against these Tigers, but he struggled throughout his 5 2/3-inning outing, allowing five runs on nine hits, three walks and two home runs, including a three-run bomb by Cabrera.

6:50 p.m.: A light drizzle has begun to fall at Fenway, but most of the real heavy weather should pass by south of the city.

If Mother Nature cooperates, we’ll be underway here in just about 20 minutes.

5:20 p.m.: The Red Sox’ lineup took a hit this afternoon. The Tigers’ received a huge boost.

Jacoby Ellsbury will be given the night off as he deals with soreness in the thumb/palm area of his left hand, which began when he was jammed on a few pitches during Sunday’s game against the White Sox. Manager John Farrell said during his pregame news conference that he fully expects to have Ellsbury back in the lineup on Wednesday, but he also admitted that this is not an injury that will go away overnight.

The Red Sox will also be without catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is sitting out with what Farrell called low back soreness. He is expected to miss at least a few games.

The Tigers, meanwhile, welcome back Miguel Cabrera, who has done the unthinkable this season — one-upped his own Triple Crown campaign. Cabrera leads the majors in batting average (by more than 20 points) and RBIs, and despite missing the last three games with soreness in his abdomen, his 43 home runs put him just four back of Baltimore’s Chris Davis for the major league lead. He’ll start at third base tonight and occupy his usual No. 3 slot in the Tigers’ order.

Check out the full lineups for both teams below.

Boston Red Sox (82-57)

Shane Victorino, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Jon Lester, P

Detroit Tigers (81-57)

Austin Jackson, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Victor Martinez
Omar Infante, 2B
Matt Tuiasosopo, LF
Brayan Pena, C
Jose Iglesias, SS

Max Scherzer, P

8 a.m. ET: Monday’s series opener between the Red Sox and Tigers was not what you would expect from the two highest-scoring teams in baseball. Both starters took shutouts into the seventh inning, with Detroit’s Doug Fister emerging victorious in a 3-0 Tigers win.

Don’t be shocked if you see more of the same on Tuesday. The second matchup in a three-game series between the two clubs pits Jon Lester (12-8, 3.99 ERA) against Max Scherzer, the Cy Young front-runner in the American League.

Scherzer has been downright filthy this season, boasting a 19-1 record with a 2.90 ERA that ranks fourth among AL starters. He was roughed up in his last outing, allowing six runs on eight hits in five innings against Oakland, but a late Tigers rally took him off the hook for the loss.

Lester has rebounded nicely since his brutal May and June, allowing two earned runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts. He came out on the losing end in his last outing, though, a 3-2 defeat against Baltimore last week.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., but keep it tuned to throughout today for the starting lineups and a whole lot more.

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