These days, nothing before the bottom of the ninth matters in Boston.
For the second straight day, the Red Sox rallied against a depleted Detroit bullpen for a walk-off win, beating the Tigers 4-3 on Sunday when pitcher Robbie Weinhardt threw away Marco Scutaro's bunt and allowed the winning run to score.
"It's not the way we wanted to win," said Eric Patterson, who walked in the ninth to move the winning run into scoring position. "But we got it done. It doesn't matter."
Brad Thomas (4-1) allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk in one inning plus two batters. He pitched a scoreless eighth, then gave up Jed Lowrie's single to lead off the ninth and walked Patterson before Weinhardt came on to relieve him.
Scutaro laid down a bunt to the third-base side; Weinhardt fielded it, but his throw to first was far wide to the infield side of the bag for an error. Scutaro, credited with a single, raised his hands when he saw the ball roll up the line in front of him, and for the second game in a row the Red Sox were celebrating a victory in their last at-bat.
David Ortiz hit a game-ending, three-run double on Saturday; in both games the Tigers were without closer Jose Valverde, who threw 60 pitches Friday night in a game Detroit had led 6-1. In the three-game series, the Red Sox scored eight ninth-inning runs.
"I forgot about yesterday. It seemed like a long time ago," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "[We] just play, play till it's over. That's the whole idea. I don't think that's ever been an issue."
The Red Sox were coasting behind Buchholz, who outpitched fellow All-Star Justin Verlander and took a two-hit shutout into the ninth -- only one Detroit baserunner had even reached second base. But Will Rhymes led off the inning with a bad-hop single, then Ryan Raburn worked an eight-pitch walk to bring up Cabrera.
He lined Papelbon's first pitch off the center-field wall, about 3 feet from the top and just to the right of the 379-foot marker. Rhymes and Raburn scored, then pinch-runner Don Kelly scored when Peralta singled one out later.
"This was kind of a weird game. We looked like we didn't have much of a shot, [then] got back into it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't want to see anybody with their heads down. They're playing their fannies off. We're just playing well enough to get beat, and that's not good."
Buchholz was charged with two runs on three hits and four walks. He struck out five in eight-plus innings.
Adrian Beltre had a pair of hits for Boston, which has won seven of 10.
Boston made it 1-0 on an RBI single by Patterson in the second, then took a 3-0 lead in the third when Beltre hit an RBI single and recent call-up Ryan Kalish added a sacrifice fly.
Verlander allowed three runs on six hits and three walks, striking out eight while throwing 123 pitches over seven innings. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in six consecutive starts.
- Ex-Red Sox star Johnny Damon missed the entire series for Detroit with back pain.
- Verlander's previous appearance was a 3-2 complete-game loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
- Scutaro reached with a single in the first inning when shortstop Ramon Santiago lost his popup in the sun.
- Cabrera has 32 RBI in his last 31 games.
- Papelbon has five blown saves this season.