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BOSTON — Max Scherzer pitched into the seventh inning, Delmon Young homered and the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3 on Thursday night to avoid a four-game series sweep.
Scherzer (5-3) retired nine consecutive batters before Nick Punto led off the seventh with a walk, forcing the right-hander from the game. He allowed three runs and seven hits in his third consecutive victory, closing out a strong May.
Young hit a solo drive in the eighth to make it 5-3, then added a run-scoring single in the ninth.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his 10th homer for Boston, which was seeking its first four-game sweep against the Tigers since 2004. Josh Beckett (4-4) allowed four runs and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings.
The Red Sox opened May with eight losses in nine games to drop to 12-19 on the year. But they closed out the month with a 14-6 run to pull within three of the division lead.
Young and Quintin Berry each had three hits for Detroit, which finished with 14 overall. Berry also scored two runs and stole two bases.
Saltalamacchia connected in the second inning, and Scott Podsednik doubled in Ryan Sweeney to make it 2-0. Detroit responded with three runs in the third, capped by Prince Fielder’s two-out RBI single.
Saltalamacchia tied it with a two-out RBI single in bottom half. But the Tigers grabbed the lead for good when Miguel Cabrera singled in Berry in the fifth.
Beckett had allowed three runs in 21 2-3 innings over his previous three starts, but he struggled once again with the Tigers. He gave up seven runs, including five home runs, in 4 2-3 innings on opening day in Detroit.
The burly Fielder also tripled in Cabrera in the ninth.
The Tigers threatened to score in the second inning after Young singled and Alex Avila followed with a double, but Sweeney caught Jhonny Peralta’s fly ball to right and doubled up Young trying to score from third.
NOTES: C Avila left in the third for precautionary reasons after getting hit in the helmet with a foul ball but he had no symptoms of a concussion. . Tigers first base coach Tom Brookens was ejected in the first inning by first base umpire Jeff Nelson for arguing a questionable out call of a Brennan Boesch groundout. Saltalamacchia’s sixth home run in his last 15 games was his most ever in the same month. . Red Sox 1B Adrian Gonzalez had his 10-game hitting streak snapped. ... Boston lost to Detroit for the first time in eight games.