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Published: Saturday, 5/15/2010

Red Sox surge to early lead in win over Tigers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - David Ortiz hit one of the longest homers in Comerica Park history. At least one Detroit Tiger thought his other home run last night was more impressive.

Ortiz had his second multihomer game this month and drove in four runs, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 7-2 win over Detroit.

His first went an estimated 450 feet to right-center. It rivaled the Comerica Park-record blast of 461 feet off Carlos Pena's bat in 2005.

Ortiz's second homer was a majestic, 394-foot rainbow off an inside pitch off the plate.

"He's getting older, I didn't think he could get to that pitch no more," Detroit catcher Gerald Laird said. "That was an old David Ortiz swing."

The 34-year-old Ortiz didn't hit a homer in his first 11 games, slumping to a .146 batting average, and cleared the fence only once in 16 games.

Since then, he has five homers and his batting average is higher than .200 for the first time this season thanks to a five-game hitting streak in which he has nine hits.

"There are a lot of people out there who think they know a lot about baseball who seem to think the season ends in April," Ortiz said. "It doesn't. It ends in October."

Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the first following Dustin Pedroia's two-run drive in the five-run inning and added a solo shot in the fourth to restore Boston's five-run cushion.

"The impressive thing was that he didn't muscle up for those swings," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "We've all seen him take those huge swings, but those two were all about generating bat speed with a quiet body. That's how he got backspin and that's why those balls went a long way."

Clay Buchholz (4-3) gave up one run and three hits in 61/3 innings.

Max Scherzer (1-4) gave up six runs over five innings in his fourth poor start in a row.

Pedroia's two-run homer in the first gave Buchholz all the support he needed before Ortiz roughed up Scherzer later in the inning and again in the third.

"It makes it a lot easier to concentrate on throwing strikes," Buchholz said.

Brennan Boesch brought home Austin Jackson with a single in the first, giving him 17 RBIs in the first 17 games of his career and making it 5-1.

Scherzer, who gave up three homers for the third time in his three-year career, has allowed 27 runs in his last four starts after allowing seven earned runs in his first four with the Tigers.

"His slider has not been good and his fastball has been in the middle of the plate," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Buchholz bounced back from two shaky starts in which he gave up 10 runs, but did give up five walks for the second straight outing.

"He was effectively wild," Leyland said.

Detroit began the night with a baseball-best 12-4 record at home after winning three straight series against the defending champion New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and Los Angeles Angels.



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