BOSTON (AP) -- Jason Varitek had so many things to choose from
that it was difficult to pick his favorite part of the game.
There was the home run that helped snap a 2-for-24 slump. Two
baserunners thrown out trying to steal. And a tag at the plate that
stopped the potential tying run from scoring, keeping the game
Plus an RBI double in a nine-run eighth inning as the Red Sox
beat the Detroit Tigers 11-2 Wednesday night.
"I had a good night," he acknowledged reluctantly before
deflecting the credit to the pitching.
Varitek had three of Boston's 14 hits, driving in two runs and
scoring twice, and Nomar Garciaparra homered to finish off the
A day after going 5-for-5 in a 10-1 victory over the Tigers,
Garciaparra connected for a three-run shot to make it 11-1. He is
batting .427 in June, but it was his first homer in 119 at-bats
since May 24.
But the hitting star of the game was the struggling No. 9
"Him going 2-for-24, you could never tell that by the way he
goes about his business," Boston manager Grady Little said. "And
he never puts his offense before his defense."
The Red Sox won the first three games of the series to improve
to a season-high 12 games above .500. Pedro Martinez faces Matt
Roney on Thursday afternoon in the series finale.
Mike Maroth picked up his major league-leading 12th loss despite
pitching seven strong innings. In all, the Tigers have lost five in
a row and 17 of their last 19.
Maroth (2-12) had gone two consecutive starts without a loss,
winning one and also picking up a no-decision. But with about 17
starts left he remains on track to become baseball's first 20-game
loser since Brian Kingman in 1980.
Maroth allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks, one of them
intentional, and struck out four before leaving trailing 2-1. He
has allowed just three or fewer runs in five of his last six starts
to drop his ERA to 4.99.
"He pitched very well. He deserved better," Tigers manager
Alan Trammell said. "We've said that often when he's pitched."
John Burkett (6-3) gave up one run on four hits and two walks,
striking out five in six innings. He has won three consecutive
starts after being in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.
The Red Sox erupted for their biggest inning of the season after
Garciaparra drew a one-out walk and took second on a passed ball.
David Ortiz hit an easy grounder to third base and beat the throw
when Eric Munson double-pumped.
Bill Mueller nubbed one about 10 feet down the third-base line
for another single to load the bases. Damian Jackson lined a
two-run single and Varitek bounced a double over the right-field
wall to score another.
A night after losing 10-1, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the
first when Bobby Higginson walked on the first four pitches of the
game, moved to second on Warren Morris' single and came around on a
pair of groundouts.
Mueller singled to score Manny Ramirez and tie the game in the
second. In the third, Varitek led off with a homer over the new
Green Monster seats, his 11th of the season, to make it 2-1.
Morris walked with one out in the sixth. But when he tried to
score on Dmitri Young's double to center field he was thrown out on
a perfect one-hop relay from Damon to Garciaparra to Varitek, who
caught Morris on the shoulder as he tried to slide around the tag.
Boston RHP Tim Wakefield threw on the side and is expected
to make his next scheduled start on Saturday. He left Monday's game
in the seventh inning after tweaking his back. ... The Red Sox have
gone five games without an error, their longest stretch of the
season. ... Former AL rookie of the year and Tigers pitcher Mark
Fidrych was a guest in the Detroit TV booth. He lives in Northboro,
Mass. ... OF Gene Kingsale began his rehab assignment in Triple-A
Toledo. ... Mueller lost the grip on his bat in the eighth inning
and it flew into the stands, over the front section of seats, where
it was caught by an usher.