A capsule look at Tigers-Red Sox playoff series
Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Schedule (All Times EDT)
Game 1, Today, at Boston (8:07 p.m.)
Game 2, Sunday, at Boston (8:15 p.m.)
Game 3, Tuesday, at Detroit (4:07 p.m.)
Game 4, Wednesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.);
x-Game 5, Thursday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.);
x-Game 6, Saturday, Oct. 19, at Boston (4:37 p.m.);
x-Game 7, Sunday, Oct. 20, at Boston (8:07 p.m.).
All games on FOX.
Tigers won 4-3.
CF Austin Jackson (.272, 12 HRs, 49 RBIs)
RF Torii Hunter (.304, 17, 84)
3B Miguel Cabrera (MLB-leading .348, 44, 137)
1B Prince Fielder (.279, 25, 106)
DH Victor Martinez (.301, 14, 83)
LF Jhonny Peralta (.303, 11, 55)
2B Omar Infante (.318, 10, 51)
C Alex Avila (.227, 11, 47)
SS Jose Iglesias (.303, 3, 29 with Boston and Detroit).
CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.298, 9, 53, 92 runs, MLB-best 52/56 SBs)
RF Shane Victorino (.294, 15, 61)
2B Dustin Pedroia (.301, 9, 84, 42 doubles, 17 SBs)
DH David Ortiz (.309, 30, 103, .959 OPS)
1B Mike Napoli (.259, 23, 92)
LF Daniel Nava (.303, 12, 66)
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.273, 14, 65)
SS Stephen Drew (.253, 13, 67, 8 errors)
3B Will Middlebrooks (.227, 17, 49).
RH Anibal Sanchez (14-8, AL-best 2.57 ERA), RH Max Scherzer (21-3, 2.90, 240 Ks), RH Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46), RH Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67).
LH Jon Lester (15-8, 2.75, 213 1-3 IP), RH Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74), RH John Lackey (10-13, 3.52, 2 CG), RH Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 with White Sox and Red Sox).
RH Joaquin Benoit (4-1, 2.01, 24/26 saves), LH Drew Smyly (6-0, 2.37), RH Jose Veras (0-5, 3.02, 21/25 saves with Houston and Detroit), LH Jose Alvarez (1-5, 5.82 in 14 games, 6 starts), RH Al Alburquerque (4-3, 4.59, 70 Ks, 34 BBs in 49 innings), RH Rick Porcello (13-8, 4.32, 32 appearances, 29 starts), RH Luke Putkonen (1-3, 3.03).
RH Koji Uehara (4-1, 1.09 ERA, 21/24 saves, 101 Ks, 9 BBs, 73 games), RH Junichi Tazawa (5-4, 3.16, 71 games), LH Craig Breslow (5-2, 1.81), RH Brandon Workman (6-3, 4.97 in 20 games, 3 starts), RH Ryan Dempster (8-9, 4.57 in 32 games, 29 starts), LH Franklin Morales (2-2, 4.62), LH Felix Doubront (11-6, 4.32 in 29 games, 27 starts).
Charter members of the American League, the Red Sox and Tigers were AL East rivals from 1969-97 until Detroit shifted to the Central. They have never met in the playoffs before. ... Both clubs were involved in one of the most significant trades before the July 31 deadline, a three-team deal with the White Sox that sent Peavy from Chicago to Boston, and Iglesias from the Red Sox to the Tigers. Iglesias, a slick-fielding rookie, was obtained to play shortstop in place of Peralta, a two-time All-Star suspended 50 games as part of baseball’s Biogenesis drug investigation. Once he returned, Peralta was shifted to left field. But when the Tigers played a decisive Game 5 in their division series against Oakland, manager Jim Leyland started Peralta at SS instead of the slumping Iglesias. Don Kelly was inserted in LF. Peralta batted .417 in the series with a crucial home run and 5 RBIs. Iglesias went 1 for 12 (.083). It will be interesting to see how Leyland plays it against Boston’s high-powered bats. ... Another offensive force for the Tigers was Martinez, who played 1½ seasons with the Red Sox from 2009-10. The four-time All-Star got a $50 million contract from Detroit and batted .450 (9 for 20) in the ALDS with a tying homer late in Game 4. ... Game 1 starters, Sanchez and Lester, were teammates on Boston’s Double-A Portland in 2005. After the season, Sanchez was traded along with Hanley Ramirez to Florida in a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. ... The Tigers took three of four at home against Boston in June, then the Red Sox won two of three during the Fenway Park rematch in early September. Fister beat Lackey 3-0 in the opener before Lester edged Scherzer 2-1 in the middle game. Boston busted loose for a 20-4 rout in the finale, with Ortiz hitting two of the team’s eight homers. ... Sanchez did not face the Red Sox this season. Ortiz, though, is 3 for 3 with two homers against the AL’s ERA leader. Big Papi has three homers in 15 at-bats against Scherzer, and two against Verlander. ... Hunter (.433), Cabrera (.526) and Martinez (.429) all have had significant success against Lester. The trio have a combined for nine extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Peralta has two homers and five RBIs. Even though the Tigers lost twice to Lester this year, they hit .321 against him — the highest average by any team the lefty faced more than once this season. ... Other than Peralta (seven RBIs in 17 at-bats), Buchholz has shut down the Tigers’ big bats.
■ Mighty Miggy. What’s remarkable about Cabrera’s stat line is he compiled it without doing much down the stretch. Finally sapped by injuries that affected his legs and midsection, the 2012 Triple Crown winner had only two extra-base hits in September and four singles in the ALDS before his pivotal homer in Game 5. Never a speedster to begin with, Cabrera looks painfully slow on the bases. But he’s paid to hit for power, and that’s what the Tigers need from him.
■ Start Me Up. Boston led the majors with 853 runs and Detroit was second at 796. There is plenty of thunder in the middle of both lineups, so the spark plugs up top could make the difference. Red Sox leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury, sidelined for most of September with a broken right foot, went 9 for 18 in the ALDS with 4 stolen bases and 7 runs. Behind him, speedy Shane Victorino had a .556 OBP and 3 RBIs. Meanwhile, Tigers leadoff man Austin Jackson was 2 for 20 against Oakland with 13 Ks, and No. 2 hitter Torii Hunter batted .158 with 6 strikeouts.
■ New To The Ninth. Neither closer came into the season expecting to have that role. Benoit filled a glaring void for Detroit and showed he could handle pressure, saving two ALDS games while striking out 6 in 3 1∕ 3 innings. Uehara inherited the job in Boston when former All-Stars Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey were injured. The 38-year-old right-hander was lights out all summer, compiling 27 straight scoreless outings and retiring 37 batters in a row during one stretch. Previously a playoff flop with Texas, he gave up a game-winning homer at Tampa Bay this week but bounced back for a four-out save in the clincher.
— The Associated Press