BOSTON -- Amazing what one tiny tweak to the lineup can do for a team.
Take Dustin Pedroia out of the mix, and the Red Sox take on the swagger of a winner. One less Little Engine That Could, one more Mighty Mighty Bostons.
We jest, of course, but the Red Sox made it two straight since they lost their second baseman to a torn thumb muscle, riding home runs from David
The Sox, 14-5 in their last 19 games, are now two games over .500 with a bullet, even if manager Bobby Valentine used closer Alfredo Aceves for a fourth straight game. Aceves didn't appear bothered in the least, setting down the Tigers for his 13th save.
Jon Lester, who lasted just four innings in his last start, gave up six hits and three runs in the first three innings Wednesday and appeared headed for another abbreviated outing.
But Lester righted (lefted?) himself, holding the Tigers scoreless until Valentine lifted him to a rousing ovation with two on and two out in the seventh.
Lester would not be graced with a win, however, as Miguel Cabrera performed a variation of the ol’ Wee Willie Keeler admonition, not only hitting it where they ain’t, but hitting it where they ain’t fast enough to get there, either.
Youkilis hit his second home run since coming off the DL in the eighth, complementing the two-run home runs by Ortiz (No. 12) and Middlebrooks (No. 6) in a four-run fourth.