Boston (27-22) at Detroit (25-23)

Heavy Thunderstorm Currently: Detroit, MI
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu May 26, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

David Ortiz(notes) has been steadily producing all month, and both of the Boston Red Sox’s big offseason acquisitions have joined him.

With Ortiz in the midst of a hitting streak, Adrian Gonzalez(notes) thriving and Carl Crawford(notes) coming around, the red-hot Red Sox open a four-game road set with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Boston’s 0-6 start seems like a distant memory, as the club has won 10 of 12 while outscoring opponents 74-41. The Red Sox (27-22) pounded Cleveland 14-2 on Wednesday, scoring seven runs in the first inning.

Gonzalez had two hits and is 14 for 28 over his last six games, while Crawford went 4 for 4 and hit his second homer in three days.

“I definitely feel better than I did before,” said Crawford, batting .308 in May after hitting .155 in April. “It feels nice to contribute to a game where everyone contributes.”

Ortiz continued his torrid pace this month, going 2 for 6 and hitting his eighth home run in May. He is batting .406 with three homers during a season-best seven-game hit streak.

Ortiz has batted .375 with four home runs and 14 RBIs in his last eight games against Detroit (25-23). Two of those homers came off Max Scherzer(notes) (6-1, 2.98) last season.

Scherzer allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings and suffered a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Saturday. The right-hander had given up two earned runs in his three previous starts combined.

Scherzer looks to get back on track at Comerica Park, where he is 3-0 with a 0.77 ERA in five starts this season. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in the last three, a span of 23 innings.

Scherzer’s two career starts against the Red Sox came last season. He gave up six runs in five innings of a 7-2 home loss last May 14, and the Tigers sent him to Triple-A the next day to work out mechanical issues.

Scherzer bounced back to pitch 6 1-3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-4 defeat at Fenway Park on July 31, and didn’t get the decision. He has gone 17-8 with a 2.61 ERA in 33 starts since that first outing versus Boston.

While Ortiz has excelled against Scherzer, Gonzalez is 1 for 7 while Crawford has gone hitless in five at-bats.

The Tigers, winners of three straight overall and seven of eight at home, had Wednesday’s series finale against visiting Tampa Bay postponed due to rain.

Detroit has scored 13 runs in its last two games and will look to continue its hot hitting against Alfredo Aceves(notes) (1-0, 2.42).

The right-hander, moved into the rotation due to injuries to John Lackey(notes) and Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes), held the Chicago Cubs to one run and three hits over five innings Saturday in his first start of the season. He didn’t get the decision in the 9-3 loss.

“I felt comfortable with my body,” Aceves, who missed most of last season with the New York Yankees due to injury, told “I walked two guys and I hit two, so you don’t want that.”

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis(notes) sat out Wednesday with a sore left hand but is likely to be back in the lineup for this game.

The Tigers have lost four straight to Boston, most recently dropping two meetings at Fenway Park last week. They had lost seven of eight at home to the Red Sox before taking the two most recent matchups there.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Aceves NYY vs. M. Scherzer Was
10-2 Record 15-9
2.61 ERA 4.43
80 K 174
42 BB 56
1.11 WHIP 1.35


Thursday, May 26