Detroit beats Boston 7-3 to square series 2-2
DETROIT (AP) — A revamped Detroit lineup beat Boston Red Sox 7-3 on Wednesday to even the American League Championship Series at 2-2.
Torii Hunter had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs for the Tigers, who host Game 5 on Thursday before the series moves back to Boston for the final two games.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland dropped Austin Jackson to eighth in the batting order and moved everyone else up a place, and it paid dividends as Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk off Jake Peavy for the first run of Detroit’s five-run second inning.
“It just helped me relax,” Jackson said. “That was the goal. To get me to relax a little, be patient get a good pitch and let the rest take care of itself.”
Tigers starter Doug Fister allowed one run in six innings as the hosts hung on to an early lead, having blown a 5-0 advantage in Game 2.
Jackson, who had been 3 for 33 with 18 strikeouts in the playoffs before Wednesday, finished with two singles and two walks. Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits for the Red Sox, finishing a homer shy of the cycle.
Leyland’s order shuffle made for an odd-looking order. Hunter hit leadoff for the first time since 1999 and Cabrera was second for only the third time in his career — first since 2004.
“It gave us a different mindset to make things happen,” Hunter said.
Jackson found himself batting in a crucial situation right away, with the bases loaded and one out in the second. Peavy walked him on four pitches to force home the game’s first run.
The Red Sox had a chance to immediately respond when Jose Iglesias hit a potential double play grounder to second, but Dustin Pedroia did not field it cleanly and Boston had to settle for a forceout at second that brought another run home.
Hunter followed with a double down the line in left to make it 4-0, and Cabrera added an RBI single.
After walking three batters in the second inning, Peavy was in trouble again in the fourth. After a leadoff double by Omar Infante, Jackson slapped a single past a diving Pedroia to bring home a run.
Cabrera’s single made it 7-0, and the Detroit third baseman — who has been running even slower than usual over the last month or so because of groin problems — caught the Boston defense napping when he stole second without a throw.
In the fifth, Cabrera looked healthy enough when he charged Pedroia’s slow grounder, barehanded it and threw to first for the out.
Peavy allowed seven runs in three-plus innings.
Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit an RBI single in the sixth, but Fister got out of a two-on, one-out jam after that.
Shane Victorino hit an RBI double for Boston in the seventh to make it 7-2.
In the ninth, the Red Sox briefly threatened a comeback when Jacoby Ellsbury hit an RBI triple with none out. But Joaquin Benoit struck out Victorino, ensuring that David Ortiz wouldn’t be able to bat as the tying run later in the inning.
When Ortiz did come up to face Benoit, there was still only one man on. The Boston designated hitter took a mighty swing, but his high fly ball to right field was caught easily.
In Game 5 on Thursday, the Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez faces Boston’s Jon Lester in a rematch of Game 1, which was won by Detroit 1-0.