BOSTON -- A blown call by first base umpire Bill Welke led to three Red Sox runs in the second inning Monday, and Boston went on to a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
The win brought Boston to the .500 mark for the sixth time this season, but the Sox have never gone over that plateau. They face Detroit ace Justin Verlander (5-2, 2.15 ERA) in their latest bid Tuesday night.
Lefty Felix Doubront worked six innings for his fifth win Monday, while Doug Fister remained winless (0-3) for the Tigers.
The end of Detroit's three-game winning streak came long after manager Jim Leyland and third base coach Gene Lamont were both ejected after Welke incorrectly ruled that a foul tip that would have ended the Boston second inning hit the dirt.
Mike Aviles (two hits, two RBI) swung and tipped an 0-2 pitch, but an appeal to Welke changed the call to a foul into the dirt. Replays clearly showed that Tigers catcher Gerald Laird caught the ball before it hit the ground.
Aviles then singled in a run and Daniel Nava doubled him home and scored when Dustin Pedroia slammed one off first baseman Prince Fielder's glove or arm.
When the Tigers did get the third out, Lamont was tossed by third base umpire Tim Tschida, the crew chief, and Leyland came out for the second time. When he went back to the dugout, he clearly wasn't done and continued yelling across the field at Welke, who gave the manager his third ejection of the season and did it from long distance before Leyland came out again.
Jarrod Saltamacchia, who won Saturday's game against Tampa Bay with a pinch-hit two-run homer, homered for Boston (No. 9) and Delmon Young, Laird and Jhonny Peralta homered for Detroit.
Scott Atchison worked two scoreless innings before Alfredo Aceves, burned by a game-winning homer by Tampa's Sean Rodriguez on Sunday, finished up in a non-save situation and gave up a two-run homer to Peralta.
Pedroia left the game after five innings because of a jammed right thumb.
Ryan Sweeney activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list before the game, had three hits for the Red Sox.
NOTES: Boston pitchers struck out 12. ... Tigers rookie Quinton Berry singled in the sixth and has hit safely in his first six major league games, the first Tiger to do that since 1918. ... Former Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon was honored before the game as part of the club's "Memorable Moments Month." His walk-off homer in Game 3 of the 2003 Division Series against Oakland allowed the Sox to stave off elimination before they went on to win that series in five games. Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky was also on hand at the ceremony. ... Boston optioned Che-Hsuan Lin to Pawtucket to make room for Sweeney. ... Daniel Bard (4-5, 4.69 ERA) faces Verlander in Game 2 of the four-game series Tuesday night. ... The Red Sox (24-24) also were .500 at 10-10, 11-11, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23. ... Detroit is in the final days of a stretch of 19 of 24 games on the road.