The Tigers got a rally going in the 5th on a Peralta single on a Infante fielder's choice. Avila singled to advance Infante to third. Iglesias hit the ball to third, and Omar was nailed at home. Jackson flew out to keep it 0-0.
Sanchez got Ellsbury on a foul-tip for K #10 to end the bottom half. The Tigers finally scored on a bloop single by Jhonny Peralta. After 5 1/2, it was 1-0 Tigers.
Dustin Pedroia drew a one out and walk, and the tension rose. David Ortiz came up and struck out on a nasty sinker. Then, Napoli and Nava walked. Stephen Drew came up next. 1-2 count... Swing and a miss. K #12. 116 pitches, but no hits and 6 bb. Anibal Sanchez was probably done for the night.
In the bottom of the 7th Al Alburquerque was in. Amazing Al got two strikeouts, Saltalamacchia looking and Elssbury swinging.
Craig Breslow was Boston's new pitcher, and got Avila to ground out with 2 runners on, ending any threat.
Veras (P), Ramon Santiago (3B), and Don Kelly (LF) all came in to the game. Miggy was out of the game. Victorino, Pedroia, and Big Papi all struck out, the last with Drew Smyly pitching.
Tigers threatened again, but didn't score in the top of the 9th.
(3 more outs) Benoit came in and got Napoli swinging. (2 more outs) Nava blooped a single to break up the no-hitter. What a great game for Sanchez, and one of the best bullpen games of the season. Quintin Berry pinch-ran, and Stephen Drew flew out. With Xander Bogaerts up, Berry stole second.
"3-2 pitch. Swing and a popup on the infield, this will do it. Jose Iglesias is under it, AND HE MAKES THE CATCH, AND THE TIGERS WIN GAME ONE, incredible game one of the American League Championship Series. A combined 1-hitter with 17 strikeouts. The Tigers win game one at Fenway one-nothing."
--Dan Dickerson, Tigers Radio Network
To sum it up:Sanchez was on top of his game with 17 strikeouts, and Boston still has to face Scherzer and Verlander for Games 2 and 3. Peralta continues to slug, he was three for four with the only RBI. Austin JacKson added 2 more strikeouts, thats 15 this postseason in 21 plate appearances (71.4%). Infante made a dumb base-running mistake trying to go third to home on a hard grounder to third. The top 5 Boston's lineup struck out a combined 12 times.
- Anibal Sanchez: Sanchez was wildly effective last night .He had the filthy sinker working: 12 Ks, no hits. Anibal threw 116 pitches in only 6 innings and had six walks. This is mildly concerning going forward in the playoffs.
- Bullpen: The bullpen was marvelous. Amazing Al, Veras, Smyly, and Benoit combined for 5 strikeouts and only one hit. Call out Benoit for the hit, yeah yeah yeah, the bullpen isn't usually capable of this kind of performance.
- Ja-honny: Peralta showed the way he could hit when he was PEDalta, going 3-4 with the ribby.
- I don't see you AJ! ~ Austin Jackson swing's looked terrible again, and he's batting a cool .100 during the playoffs.
- Joe Buck and Tim McCarver: With both of them saying "Annabelle" and Buck's Bob Marley references, I think both FOX and TBS (see ALDS) need to reevaluate their baseball coverage.
Thanks to MLB.com for the videos and Bless You Boys for the radio calls.
ALCS Game 2 in Boston is at 8pm tonight with Scherzer (21-3) going up against Clay Buchholz (12-1).
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