After being shut out by the Boston Red Sox in Game 3, the Tigers responded to a 2-1 series deficit by running out to an early 7-0 lead, coasting to a 7-3 victory in Game 4 of the ALCS. Doug Fister picked up the win for the Tigers, allowing one run in six innings with seven strikeouts. Jake Peavy took the loss, allowing all seven runs on five hits in just three innings. The win tied the series at two, making the series a best-of-three and forcing a trip back to Boston.
Before tonight's game, Jim Leyland earned either praise or scorn -- depending on your view -- for tweaking his lineup. Austin Jackson was moved from the leadoff spot to eighth in the batting order, while everyone else was moved up a spot. The new lineup didn't fare well in the first inning, as Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder were retired in short order. After that, the bats came alive.
Victor Martinez singled to lead off the second inning, with walks to Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila loaded the bases. Tigers fans cringed as Jacoby Ellsbury robbed Omar Infante of a bloop single in shallow center field for the first out of the inning. With Austin Jackson and Jose Iglesias due up, the inning was surely meant to end without anyone scoring, right?
Wrong. Big time.
Jackson put together his best plate appearance of the playoffs, drawing a bases-loaded walk that forced in a run. Iglesias hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Dustin Pedroia in his at-bat, but Pedroia fumbled the ball before retiring Jackson at second for the second out of the frame. Had Pedroia fielded it cleanly, the Red Sox would likely have turned the double play and gotten out of the inning. Instead, Iglesias beat out the throw from second, scoring Peralta. Hunter and Cabrera followed with a double and single, respectively, giving the Tigers a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Tigers added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, again courtesy of Jackson and Cabrera. After Infante's RBI double, Jackson scored him on a sharp ground ball that Pedroia was unable to handle at second. Jackson then stole second base and scored on Cabrera's single with two outs.
Meanwhile, Fister was able to wiggle out of danger all night long. He allowed eight hits and a walk in his six innings of work, and allowed at least one baserunner in every inning. However, he didn't allow his lone earned run until the sixth inning, after the game was well in hand. The Sox put together three consecutive singles from Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to score the run, but Fister retired Stephen Drew and Mike Carp to end the threat.
The Tigers bullpen threatened to make things interesting in the seventh when Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino put together a pair of hits to score a second run. However, Al Alburquerque retired Pedroia, and Drew Smyly got both David Ortiz and Napoli out to snuff out any further ideas of a comeback.
Joaquin Benoit made his first appearance since Game 2 in the ninth inning, but still seemed a bit shaky. He allowed a run on a Xander Bogaerts ground-rule double and Ellsbury triple. However, Benoit found his footing and retired Victorino and Pedroia before facing Ortiz with two outs. The at-bat lasted a few pitches longer, but the high fly ball off Ortiz's bat was well short of the wall, ending the game.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH
The Red Sox out-hit the Tigers 12 to 9 tonight. This is the third time in this series that the losing team had more hits.
Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy is often very sarcastic and cynical on Twitter, but this appraisal of the city of Detroit might be legit.
Downtown Detroit underrated. Seriously. Friendly folks, great services, great ballpark. I would vacation here.— Dan Shaughnessy (@Dan_Shaughnessy) October 17, 2013
Sometime in the later innings (I lost track), Tim McCarver got a birthday cake from #CakeIntern.
"partake of my box of fire, old man" pic.twitter.com/LKXpu3nBq7— josh (@Whoabot) October 17, 2013
Alex Avila took a fastball to the ribs in the eighth inning, resulting in a few creative ideas for protecting the Tigers' backstop.
Alex Avila protection program. pic.twitter.com/8yxiOpOka3— #BecauseBaseball (@TigersSouthpaw) October 17, 2013
Austin Jackson: Talk about getting the message. Jackson responded to being sent down in the order by reaching base four times, including a bases-loaded walk that started the scoring in the second inning.
Miguel Cabrera: One of the goats of Game 3, Cabrera responded with a pair of RBI singles. The reigning MVP also stole a base and flashed the leather with a nice barehanded scoop on a slow roller.
Doug Fister: He gave up more hits than the other three Tigers starters in this series combined, but Fister held the Sox to one run in six innings while striking out seven.
Prince Fielder: Prince went 0-for-4 on the night, including three first-pitch outs. In a game where the rest of the offense was feasting on Red Sox pitching, Fielder looked completely lost at the plate.
TOP TEN COMMENTERS
|5||House by the Side of the Road||106|
|# Recs||Commenter||Comment Link|
|19||rbbaker||Time him with a sundial!|
|11||Rob Rogacki||MOVE PRINCE TO 8TH IN THE ORDER|
|5||stevenyc||I agree, make this green|
|4||NCDee||Well whaddya know?|
|4||JerseyTigerFan||I will not.|
|4||Jacob30||THIS NEEDS TO BE GREEN...sorry|
|4||JerseyTigerFan||Why do people do this?|
ALCS GAME 3 PLAYER OF THE GAME
Justin Verlander was pretty much the only good part of Game 3, and the BYB Player of the Game vote reflected that. He picked up 97% of all votes, with only six combined votes going against him.