Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, right, is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the ninth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader on Sunday, May 29, 2011, in Detroit.

Despite Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett not being at their best on Sunday, the Boston Red Sox still were able to get a split of their day-night doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers in the Motor City.

The visiting nine won the first game when David Ortiz hit a solo home run off of Tigers closer Jose Valverde. But in the second game, they ran into the buzzsaw that is Justin Verlander.

Buchholz had cruised through the first three innings of game one before Andy Dirks hit a home run to cut the lead to 3-1. After that he labored through the rest of the start, not pitching with the same oomph he had before. It turned out that Buchholz had blister on his toe and some back spasms.

While those two minor injuries slowed him down, he still managed to give the Red Sox six innings. His final inning though was a rough one as Brennan Boesch hit a no doubt home run with one out. Three batters later, Jhonny Peralta singled in Miguel Cabrera with the tying run.

The Red Sox had gotten that lead on a sac fly from Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning and solo home runs by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Cameron. But Ortiz made Terry Francona look a genius in the 9th when he hit the home run.

In his only plate appearance against Valverde, Ortiz hit a grand slam. And after his second at-bat against him, Big Papi had two home runs. Valverde would exact some revenge in the second game getting Ortiz to ground out.

The back injury to Buchholz is something to watch going forward. After his slow start to the season, he has turned things around. But with back injuries, they can creep up on you at anytime. With Clay under contract for the foreseeable future, you know the Red Sox will be very careful with him.

There’s no telling what could have happened in the second game had Beckett not had command issues during his six innings. Then again, it also tells you how good he is that despite issuing a season-high five walks, he limited the damage after allowing two first inning runs.

With Verlander dealing and shutting down the Red Sox offense, Beckett had no choice but to do his best to shut down the Tigers. His former batterymate Victor Martinez did touch him up for three hits. Beckett finished the evening game with six innings pitched, three runs allowed on five hits and the five walks to go with five strikeouts.

The Red Sox were able to make contact off of Verlander. Unfortunately for them though, most of the balls they did get the bat on were hit right at people.

Amazingly enough, we were also able to watch the second game. MLB & ESPN relented from the exclusivity of Sunday Night Baseball by allowing the game to be seen in the Red Sox and Tigers television markets as well as the out-of-towners on

When you look back on the seven-game road trip, the Red Sox went 5-2 with five straight wins. Those five wins on the road trip helped them climb into first place as they enjoy a one-game advantage on the New York Yankees and a 1.5 game lead on the the Tampa Bay Rays. They could have easily been 6-1 had Daniel Bard not had the meltdown in the first game against the Cleveland Indians.

So you can call the two-team, seven-game road trip through the AL Central a success. Now they’ll head home for three more against another AL Central team, the Chicago White Sox.

We’ll be back later with tonight’s lineups, batter/pitcher matchups and links from the day. But for now, enjoy the overnight links by clicking on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Ortiz provides pinch of magic [Boston Globe]

Improved areas have surfaced [Boston Globe]

Albers has been able to forget [Boston Globe]

Sox split difference [Boston Herald]

Dice-K sees doc tomorrow [Boston Herald]

Clay Buchholz: I’ll be back [Boston Herald]

David Ortiz a real poll hitter [Boston Herald]

Justin Verlander shows why he’s one of AL’s best [Boston Herald]

Rough outing behind him, Matt Albers shines [Boston Herald]

Ortiz dinger lifts Red Sox past Tigers in Game 1 []

Notes: Ortiz steps in with pinch-hit home run []

Red Sox shut out by Verlander in Game 2 []

Notes: Beckett solid, but not good enough []

Few complaints about this trip [ESPN Boston]

Sox can’t touch Verlander in nightcap [ESPN Boston]

Boston Red Sox come home from road trip in first place [ESPN Boston]

Guillen sounds off on forgetful White Sox fans [ESPN Boston]

Wrapping up a long day in Detroit [Extra Bases]

Closing Time: Justin Verlander too much for Red Sox, Josh Beckett [Full Count]

World Series Appearance Streak Ends For Red Sox in 1917, WWI Memorial Mass Held at Fenway []

Adrian Gonzalez Says Staying Hydrated Key to Keeping Body Fueled During Doubleheaders []

Michael Bowden Feels Comfortable With Bullpen Role, Plans to Pitch With Aggressive Mentality []

Who Is the Best Leadoff Hitter in Baseball? []

Red Sox Win 1918 World Series in Front of 15,238 at Fenway Park []

Ortiz’s blast in opener salvages spilt of doubleheader [Providence Journal]

Sox starters have had the finishing touch [Providence Journal]

Red Sox Journal: Buchholz not at his best in opener [Providence Journal]

Finding his voice: Don Orsillo has gone from rookie to respected broadcaster [Providence Journal]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSNNEESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, and WEEI websites.

And if you must check out the enemy news, head over to Ann Arbor News, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News websites. You can also check out our Bloguin brothers, Detroit4lyfe and The Tigers Den.

Photo credit: AP Photo