BOSTON -- The Red Sox wasted no time doing what they couldn't do for 31 straight innings during their previous three games: Score.
Boston led 2-0 after facing just 10 pitches, hit three homers and ended a season-long six-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
"We desperately needed to find a way to win a game," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said, "and we did."
The Red Sox went 3-6 on the road trip that ended Sunday night with a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees. In the last three games, they totaled just two runs and 17 hits -- 16 singles and a homer. On Monday, Dustin Pedroia, Nick Green and Jason Bay all homered.
Pedroia hit Edwin Jackson's 10th pitch for his ninth homer after Jacoby Ellsbury led off the first with a double. The Red Sox had four hits in each of the first two innings -- after managing four hits in each of two games in New York -- and led 4-0 after three innings.
But it took a sacrifice fly by Green in the seventh to provide the go-ahead run after the Tigers tied the game 5-5 in the top of the inning.
"It's big if we can jump out and get runs early. That's what we want to do," Green said, "but we can't just be satisfied with runs early. Today was good for us to be able to score runs later in the game as well."
The Red Sox struggled to keep the 6-5 lead in the eighth after Detroit put runners at second and third when Magglio Ordonez doubled, Brandon Inge was hit by a pitch and Gerald Laird sacrificed. Then Ramon Ramirez (6-3) struck out Adam Everett, and Jonathan Papelbon retired Curtis Granderson on a foul to catcher Victor Martinez.
"I should have just put the ball in play," Everett said. "They were playing back. A groundball in the middle of the infield ties the game."
Papelbon got his 28th save in 31 opportunities. Zach Miner (5-2) took the loss.
Boston returned home 6½ games behind the Yankees in the AL East and tied with Texas in the wild-card race. With the win, Boston gained a game on the Yankees, who lost to Toronto, and moved a half-game up on idle Texas.
"Our biggest thing was - we're back home, just play the rest of the season as hard as we can and whatever happens happens. But were going to remain positive," Pedroia said. "There's a lot of games left."
After Pedroia's two-run homer, the Red Sox loaded the bases, but Kotchman ended the threat when he lined out to second baseman Polanco.
Then Green, who had just 10 hits in his previous 30 games, led off the second with his sixth homer. Ellsbury followed with a single, stole second and took third on an infield single by Kevin Youkilis. David Ortiz then singled in Ellsbury, giving Boston a 4-0 lead off Jackson.
"They've been struggling a bit offensively," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "I think they just obviously made up their mind, `Hey, he's going to be aggressive, we're going to be aggressive with him."'
Detroit cut it to 4-2 in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch, Ordonez tripled and Inge singled. Granderson's double and Thames' sacrifice fly made it 4-3 in the fifth and Bay hit his 22nd homer in the bottom of the inning.
- Jackson allowed more than three earned runs for the first time in 17 starts.
- Polanco extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single on his first at bat. He ended up going 3 for 4.
- Ellsbury's stolen base gave him 51 for the season, third most in Red Sox history. Tommy Harper had 54 in 1973, Tris Speaker had 52 in 1912, and Ellsbury had 50 last year.
- Brad Penny allowed three runs in six innings and is 1-4 in his last nine starts.
- Tim Wakefield threw 51 pitches in a simulated game before the game. Wakefield (11-3) last pitched on July 8 and went on the disabled list July 21 with a lower back problem. He also has a calf injury. There was no word on when he might be activated.