A strong case can be made that Felix Doubront's arsenal has been the best of any Red Sox starting pitcher. That theme continued Monday, in the Red Sox' 7-4 victory over the Tigers.
Doubront punched in with six innings, allowing two runs on four hits (including two solo homers) while striking out six and walking one. The left-hander improved to 5-2 with a 3.86 ERA, and he leads Sox starters in wins, ERA, strikeouts (59) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.5). Doubront featured what has become a customary array of swing-and-miss pitches, with a 91-95 mph fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball all eliciting whiffs from the Tigers. He was touched for a pair of solo homers (one from Delmon Young, one from Gerald Laird), but was otherwise in complete command of the game.
The Sox mounted a steady offensive attack in which eight of nine starters had at least one hit. The team got on the board in the first when David Ortiz delivered an RBI double off the Wall, then added three more in the second, all with two outs (following a blown call by the umpiring crew, on which Mike Aviles' foul tip on an 0-2 pitch was ruled to have hit the ground rather than being caught by Laird). Aviles delivered an RBI single, Daniel Nava clubbed a run-scoring double and Dustin Pedroia capped the scoring by smashing a hard grounder off the glove of Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder to score Nava. One inning later, Jarrod Saltalamacchia slammed a solo homer to left (his ninth of the year), to permit the Sox a relatively comfortable victory.
Scott Atchison followed Doubront with a pair of shutout innings, dropping his ERA to 0.93 (fourth-lowest among major league pitchers with at least 20 innings this year), and Alfredo Aceves worked around a two-run homer by Jhonny Peralta to close out the game in a non-save situation.