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Final: Tigers 7, Red Sox 3

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  October 16, 2013 07:57 PM

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DETROIT -- The Tigers scored five times off Red Sox starter Jake Peavy in the second inning, and Doug Fister pitched six innings of one-run ball as the Tigers evened the American League Championship Series at two games apiece with a 7-3 victory Wednesday night.

Peavy put the Red Sox in a deep hole almost immediately, loading the bases without recording an out in the second.

After a diving catch by Jacoby Ellsbury, Peavy walked Austin Jackson on four pitches, plating the game's first run.

That's when it all fell apart. Dustin Pedroia, who has had a Gold Glove-caliber season, bobbled a Jose Iglesias grounder that could have been an inning-ending double play.

Instead, they settled for a force out at second, with a second run crossing the plate.

The Tigers took advantage, making it 4-0 on Torii Hunter's rocket down the third base line in which Iglesias scored all the way from first. Miguel Cabrera plated Hunter with a flare to center for a 5-0 lead.

Peavy finally escaped by retiring Prince Fielder on a grounder to Pedroia. But the damage was done.

Detroit built its lead to 6-0 when Jackson singled off Pedroia's glove in the fourth. Miguel Cabrera brought Jackson around with another single to make it 7-0.

The Red Sox tried to chip away, but each rally fizzled; the Sox ultimately left 10 runners stranded.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled in the Red Sox' first run in the sixth. They added one more in the seventh on a Shane Victorino double, and Jacoby Ellsbury plated the final run in the ninth.

End of the eighth: Felix Doubront extends the Red Sox bullpen's streak of scoreless innings to five, which is nice if you're into consolation prizes. After hitting Alex Avila, Doubront got Omar Infante to hit into a double play.

Austin Jackson walked, reaching base for the fourth time from the No. 8 slot. Jose Iglesias followed with a single to right, but Torii Hunter struck out to end the inning.

Drew Smyly breezed through the top of the inning, getting pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes on a popup, striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia, then retiring Stephen Drew on a foul pop to left fielder Don Kelly.

End of the seventh, Tigers 7, Red Sox 2: The highlight of the bottom of the seventh if you're watching from home is Tim McCarver nearly setting himself on fire with a 72-candle birthday cake.

Otherwise, no drama. Franklin Morales, the fourth Red Sox pitcher, allowed a hit to Victor Martinez but sailed through the rest of the inning unscathed.

The Red Sox chipped another run off the Tigers' lead in their half after Fister departed, but a chance for a bigger inning again went by the wayside.

Jacoby Ellsbury singled off reliever Phil Coke. Jim Leyland summoned Al Alburquerque, who immediate gave up a run-scoring double to Shane Victorino.

But the heart of the Red Sox order -- Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Drew Smyly -- went down in order, leaving Victorino stranded at second.

End of the sixth, Tigers 7, Red Sox 1: Ryan Dempster makes his first appearance of the series and retires the Tigers with little suspense.

Austin Jackson led off with a single. But he was erased on a Jose Iglesias fielder's choice, and Torii Hunter grounded into a double play to end the inning.

In their half, the Red Sox got on the scoreboard, but the inning goes down as a missed opportunity.

With one out, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia strung together consecutive hits against Fister, with Saltalamacchia's hard single up the middle scoring Napoli.

But Stephen Drew, in the midst of a miserable series, struck out on a 3-2 pitch, and Mike Carp, pinch-hitting for Will Middlebrooks, grounded to second for the 4-6 force.

End of the fifth, Tigers 7, Red Sox 0: The Tigers go down 1-2-3 against Workman, who has done a nice job in relief of Peavy, for what that's worth.

Meanwhile, still nothing going on for the Sox against Fister.

Will Middlebrooks led off with a K, and here is my question: Should Bogaerts play for Drew tomorrow, or for Middlebrooks, who is also struggling? Or will Farrell stick with the status quo.

Yes, we're already talking about tomorrow. Anyway, after Middlebrooks's whiff, Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to deep left. But that left him with a nice view from second base after Shane Victorino popped to short and Dustin Pedroia grounded to second.

End of the fourth, Tigers 7, Red Sox 0: Not exactly what Jake Peavy was looking for, huh?

The righthander delivered a brutal start, lasting just three innings, departing after 65 pitches with Austin Jackson on first base after a rocketed single that Dustin Pedroia couldn't corral.

Jackson's hit scored Omar Infante, who led off the inning with a groundrule double.

Brandon Workman replaced Peavy and nearly wriggled out of further trouble. After Jackson stole second, Jose Iglesias sacrificed him to third, with Workman making a fine play on the bunt.

Workman then stabbed a Torii Hunter one-hopper up the middle to hold Jackson at third. But Cabrera singled past Pedroia to drive in the seventh run. Cabrera stole second, but Prince Fielder whiffed to leave him stranded at second.

Middle of the fourth: Still nothing doing for the Sox against Fister. Jarrod Saltalamacchia looped a two-out single to right, but Stephen Drew's routine fly out to Torii Hunter ended any hope of a threat.

Drew is now 3 for 26 in the playoffs. Might be time to give the kid a game.

End of the third, Tigers 5, Red Sox 0: Peavy goes 1-2-3 the inning after his disaster, retiring Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta on groundouts and Alex Avila on a can of corn to left. Small victories or something like that.

The Sox are getting on base. Let's see if they can get a few runners across the plate against Fister, who is at 45 pitches.

Middle of the third: The Red Sox got a couple of runners on and had the hitter they wanted at the plate, but they couldn't cut into the Tigers' lead.

With two on and two outs, David Ortiz grounded to second base to end the inning.

It ended a potential rally that began when Jacoby Ellsbury hit a one-out rocket to right field. Torii Hunter played it perfectly off the wall, and Ellsbury had to retreat to second.

After Shane Victorino was called out on strikes -- he had a brief beef with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after strike three -- Dustin Pedroia walked.

But on a 3-2 count, Fister retired Ortiz on a routine grounder to second.

End of the second, Tigers 5, Red Sox 0: Well, that was a terrible half-inning for the Red Sox in just about a half-dozen ways. At least five, anyway.

Start with Peavy, who walked three batters in the frame. He allowed just 2.2 walks per 9 innings this season. After Victor Martinez's leadoff single, he walked Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila (on eight pitches, after a 1-2 count).

Jacoby Ellsbury went a long way to haul in a soft Omar Infante fly ball to center, and though he had to dive to make the play, Martinez couldn't tag up.

It didn't much matter. Peavy walked Austin Jackson, demoted to the eighth spot, on four pitches, scoring the game's first run. Jackson walked just 52 times during the regular season.

That's when the defense let him down. Dustin Pedroia deserves a Gold Glove for his defense this season, but his bobble of a Jose Iglesias grounder prevented the Sox from turning an inning-ending double play. Instead, they settled for a force out at second, with a second run crossing the plate.

The Tigers took advantage, making it 4-0 on Torii Hunter's rocket down the third base line in which Iglesias scored all the way from first. Miguel Cabrera plated Hunter with a flare to center for a 5-0 lead.

Peavy finally escaped by retiring Prince Fielder on a grounder to Pedroia. But the damage was done.

Middle of the second: The Red Sox wasted the first legitimate scoring opportunity of the game.

Mike Napoli led off with a double that ricocheted off Miguel Cabrera's glove at third, and Daniel Nava followed with a grounder to second to move him to third.

But Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who entered the game 5 for 11 in his career against Fister, popped up to Cabrera in foul ground. Stephen Drew, just 1 for 9 in the series, struck out to leave the Napoli stranded.

End of the first inning, Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: The Tigers' reshuffled top of the order produced familiar results on its first time around tonight.

Jake Peavy sandwiched a pair of groundouts to third baseman Will Middlebrooks around a strikeout of new No. 2 hitter Miguel Cabrera, requiring just 12 pitches to get through the first.

Peavy rallied back from a 3-1 count against Cabrera to get him looking on a sharp 83 mph slider. Fielder followed with a much quicker at-bat -- he grounded out on the first pitch he saw.

Middle of the first: Well, there will be no no-hit drama with the Red Sox tonight. Dustin Pedroia's sharp single with two outs snapped the Tigers' streak of four straight starts of taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning or beyond.

Unfortunately for the visitors, the Sox couldn't turn Pedroia's hit into anything else on the scoreboard. David Ortiz grounded to Omar Infante (and into the shift) to end their half of the inning. Doug Fister needed just 11 pitches to get through the first frame.

Pregame: You know the big news: Tigers manager Jim Leyland shuffled his lineup after John Lackey and a trio of relievers held his team scoreless in Game 3.

Leadoff hitter Austin Jackson, who is 3 for 33 with 18 strikeouts this postseason, was dropped to the No. 8 spot. Everyone else save for No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias moved up a spot, meaning Torii Hunter is leading off for the first time since 1999, while ailing slugger Miguel Cabrera is hitting second for the first time since 2004.

"Basically I just moved everybody up," said Leyland during his afternoon press conference. "And that means in the first inning we'll have Hunter, who's had some success. And you know he's tough, he's had some success against [Jake] Peavy.

"And follow it up with two guys that could hit a ball out of the ballpark. Miguel, who is always up in the first inning, obviously, Miguel and Prince will come up in the first inning, Victor behind him. I played Victor behind instead of third because Victor can score Prince. But if you put Miggy and Victor right back-to-back, you're talking about two guys who have to pinch run for them."

For the Red Sox, Daniel Nava makes his first start since Game 1, replacing Jonny Gomes.

"Daniel has had some decent success against Doug,'' said Farrell. "And as we've mixed and matched for the better part of this year, except for the last couple of times against righthanders in Scherzer and Verlander when we've gone with Gomes, Nava has been a fixture in left field for us against right‑handed pitcher. So those things combined, Daniel is back out there tonight."

Former Tigers second baseman Lou Whitaker will throw out the first pitch.

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