DETROIT, SEPT. 27 -- The Boston Red Sox withstood Cecil Fielder's 49th home run to pull even with the idle Toronto Blue Jays atop the American League East by defeating the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, tonight.
With six games left, the Red Sox and Blue Jays have 84-72 records. They begin a three-game series Friday night at Fenway Park.
"This is what baseball is all about," Boston's Dwight Evans said. "This was a tremendous win for us. It wasn't do or die, but it was mighty important."
Tom Bolton held Detroit to an unearned run on four hits in seven innings and Mike Greenwell hit a two-run double in a three-run fourth against Steve Searcy (2-7).
Bolton (10-5) struck out five and walked one. Dennis Lamp started the eighth and surrendered Fielder's home run into the first row of the upper deck in left.
Rob Murphy came on and walked the only batter he faced but Jeff Gray got the final out in the eighth. Travis Fryman opened the Detroit ninth with a single and pinch hitter Mark Salas flied out.
Jeff Reardon retired pinch hitter Alan Trammell on a fly ball and struck out Lloyd Moseby for his 19th save and first since July 20. He spent time on the disabled list with back spasms.
Fielder became the fourth major-leaguer in 21 years to reach 49 homers. Cincinnati's George Foster hit 52 in 1977 and Oakland's Mark McGwire and Andre Dawson of the Chicago Cubs each hit 49 in 1987. The only Tiger to reach 50 was Hank Greenberg, 58 in 1938.
"The closer I get, the more hoopla there is," Fielder said. "I'll just be happy to get it quick, to get the pressure off. When all is said and done, I'm just going to be happy to go home and relax."
In the fourth, Carlos Quintana singled, Evans doubled and Ellis Burks had an infield single to load the bases for Greenwell, who doubled. Burks scored on a sacrifice fly by Tom Brunansky.