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DET@BOS: Nava throws out Avila at second

The Red Sox are surging and look to complete a four-game sweep of the Tigers on Thursday night.

Boston has won three in a row and is 14-5 in its past 19 games. The Sox have won nine of their last 11 at Fenway Park, but what's most impressive is the way the club has stayed afloat with 12 men on the disabled list and All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia nursing a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.

The Red Sox have gotten great production from unlikely sources.

Daniel Nava has found a home in left field since being recalled from Triple-A on May 10. Mike Aviles has solidified the shortstop position in his first full year in Boston and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is swinging a hot bat while reigning in a rotation that seemed lost to start the year.

"Mike Aviles and [Saltalamacchia] and Daniel could have created a real different situation if they weren't playing as well as they're playing," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. "We had stability with Dustin and Adrian [Gonzalez] and David [Ortiz], but if there wasn't stability in those spots, this would be more challenging. They've been great."

Nava has been the biggest surprise. He's slowly become the leadoff man thanks to a .432 on-base percentage and has reached base safely in 18 of 20 games this season. But Nava's defense has been the most improved part of his game since his last stint with Boston in 2010.

"His defense has been so good, he's playing the wall so well," Valentine said. "His throws are so accurate, his jumps are so precise. He wouldn't even have to be hitting and you'd want to put him out there, because at the beginning of the season that wasn't the case in left field as some of us might recall. He filled a big hole."

The Tigers, who have lost seven consecutive games at Fenway dating back to July 31, 2010, will hand the ball to Max Scherzer in the series finale.

Scherzer has won his past three decisions after a 1-3 start to the year. He's fanned at least nine in four of his last five outings, including 15 strikeouts against the Pirates on May 20.

More importantly, the right-hander's walks are also down this month after issuing seven in a loss to the Yankees on April 29.

"For me, it's always the walks," Scherzer said. "That's one of the main things I can control. When I'm commanding the zone, I'm keeping the runners on base, and you can pitch deeper into games. I'm definitely more pleased with that than anything."

Tigers: Worth to see time at second
Danny Worth will get a chance at second base with Ryan Raburn demoted to Triple-A Toledo.

Worth was in the lineup on Wednesday and went 1-for-2 with an RBI before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

"I think you're going to see more of Worth," manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm going to give him a shot, see what he can do."

But Worth won't be the regular second baseman, Leyland cautioned, and he will share time with Ramon Santiago. Still, Worth will start Thursday against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

It's Worth's best chance to show what he can do with the Tigers. He started just three games at second base last season after eight games in 2010.

Red Sox: Beckett seeks redemption
Beckett will face the Tigers for a second time this season when he takes the mound Thursday.

Beckett was hit hard by Detroit in his first start of the season, giving up five home runs in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed seven runs on seven hits with three strikeouts against one walk.

The right-hander also gave up seven runs in his first outing this month, leaving after 2 2/3 innings in a loss to the Indians. Beckett, though, has rebounded nicely from that outing and has won his last two decisions. Boston is 3-0 over his last three starts.

Beckett is 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA this season. In his career against the Tigers, he is 3-3 with a 3.65 ERA in seven starts. Beckett has surrendered two earned runs or less in five of his last six outings vs. Detroit.

Worth noting
• The Tigers are 16-7 when they score first, including Wednesday's loss.

• Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is 6-for-8 against Scherzer with two home runs and five RBIs.

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