Boston Red Sox's Mike Lowell rounds the bases after his thee-run home run off of New York Mets pitcher Tim Redding, right, during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Sunday, May 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Wins are always good but sometimes they’re just so extra special.

The Boston Red Sox put up 9 unanswered runs in the 5th, 6th and 7th inning to win 12-5 and help avoid a sweep of the New York Mets in front of 37,446 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.

With the win the Red Sox improve to 26-18 and take over sole possession of first place in the AL East after the Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Braves this afternoon. The Mets fall to 23-20.

Tim Wakefield started this one for the Red Sox and it wasn’t the the typical Wake outing we’ve seen for most of the season. He did give the Red Sox 6 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits while walking four and recording 3 strikeouts.

Manny Delcarmen struck out 2 and allowed a hit in 2 innings while Takashi Saito struck out 1 in his inning of work.

Tim Redding’s struggles at Fenway Park continued as he was touched up for 6 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 in 4 2/3 innings. The Mets bullpen was lit up today as four relievers combined to give up 6 runs and 8 hits.

Boston Red Sox's J.D. Drew singles during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and George Kottaras all had big days at the plate for the Red Sox. Drew led the way with 4 hits and added an RBI while Lowell and Kottaras both had 3. One of Lowell’s hits was a 3-run homer while Kottaras had 2 doubles and an RBI.

Nick Green started again at shortstop and picked up 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Jacoby Ellsbury’s one hit of the afternoon was good enough to push his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games. Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay chipped in with the other RBIs while David Ortiz was the only member of the starting nine without a hit as he went 0-for-5.

There was a 36 minute rain delay in the bottom of the 1st inning.

Wake got the first two outs in the 2nd inning. Ramon Castro then took a high knuckleball and hit off the foul pole in left to put the Mets up 1-0.

The Red Sox took the lead with their first three batters in the bottom half of the inning.

Redding walked Bay and Drew laced a double to deep right. Lowell brought them all home with a 3-run homer into the Green Monster seats to make it 3-1 Red Sox.

Unfortunately though, Wakefield couldn’t hold the lead in the top of the 3rd.

Luis Castillo led off with a single and Daniel Murphy worked a walk. Angel Pagan sacrificed over the runners and Carlos Beltran groundout brought in Castillo to cut the lead to 3-2. After a walk to Gary Sheffield, David Wright singled to score Murphy to tie the game at 3. Jeremy Reed followed with a single to score Sheffield and it gave the Mets a 4-3 lead.

Pagan worked a walk to start the 5th and stole second with Beltran at the plate. Beltran ended up with a single and Sheffield knocked in Pagan with a single to make it 5-3 Mets.

Replay came into the mix again during the bottom of the 5th inning when Youk led off with what was thought to be a home run. Third base umpire Joe West initially ruled it a foul ball. After Terry Francona came out to argue, the umpires went inside to look at the replay but it was not conclusive enough to overturn. Youk ended up flying out to right.

After Bay flew out for the second out, Drew and Lowell singled. Drew came into score on a Kottaras double to cut the lead to 1 at 5-4 and it chased Redding from the game. Sean Green came in and gave up a 2-run single to Nick Green that gave the Red Sox the lead for good at 6-5. Green ended up being out as the throw home was cutoff and was caught in a rundown.

Ken Takahashi took over in the 6th inning and got Ellsbury for the first out and then walked Pedroia. Takahashi balked Pedroia to second and struck out Big Papi. He then gave way to Brian Stokes who was greeted by a Bay single that scored Pedroia. Drew followed with a double to score Youkilis and give the Red Sox a 3-run lead.

Boston Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis points skyward after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, May 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)Kottaras and Green started the 7th with back-to-back singles. Ellsbury sacrificed them over to third and Pedroia brought in Green with a single to make it 9-5. After Papi flew out for the second out, Youkilis made sure there would be no replay as he put a Stokes offering into the Green Monster seats to give the Red Sox the final margin of 12-5.

It was a tough weekend losing 2-of-3 games to the Mets but the Red Sox now head to Minnesota for a 4-game set in first place in the AL East. Brad Penny makes the start for the local nine and he’ll be opposed by Francisco Liriano. First pitch at the Metrodome is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT.

Notes and musings:

New York Mets @ Boston Red Sox 5.24.09 box score

Terry Francona is now four wins away (496) from 500 in his Red Sox managerial career.

Tim Wakefield picked up the victory to improve to 4-0 at home this season.

Boston improved to 18-6 when Nick Green starts.

Last night marked the first time a reliever gave up the lead when Josh Beckett was in line for a win.