8:00 PM ET, October 17, 2013
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Boston: Lester (0-1, 1.42 ERA)
Detroit: Sanchez (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
YouWager experts consider that each and every one of the Detroit Tigers’ starting pitchers has contributed an incredible performance through the first four games of the AL championship series, however Anibal Sanchez was unhittable — literally — in Game 1.
Detroit’s manager Jim Leyland’s strong lineup adjustment help the team even their series with the Boston Red Sox at two games apiece, Sanchez will face Jon Lester in crucial Game 5 tonight at Comerica Park.
Doug Fister was the latest Tigers starter to slow the Red Sox’s lineup, giving up one run and striking out seven in six innings of a 7-3 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday.
Detroit’s starting pitching has allowed three runs while striking out 42 in 27 innings in the series. Boston had 12 hits in Game 4 as Jacoby Ellsbury went 4 for 5 with an RBI triple, but they finished 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position.
After a disappointing performance 1-0 in Game 3, Leyland dropped leadoff hitter Austin Jackson to eighth in the batting order for Game 4 and moved most everyone up one spot. Torii Hunter led off and had a two-run double, Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 4 with two RBIs batting second, and Jackson went 2 for 2, walked twice and drove in a pair of runs.
The center fielder entered this MLB game hitting .091 in the playoffs.
The Tigers will look to provide more support than they did for Sanchez in a 1-0 win in Game 1. Sanchez (1-1, 4.35 ERA) pitched six innings of no-hit ball and struck out 12 while earning the victory, and Boston was unable to get their first hit until one out in the bottom of the ninth.
David Ortiz, who hit a tying grand slam in the Red Sox’s Game 2 win, was 3 for 3 with two homers in his career off Sanchez before going 0 for 3 against him in Game 1.
The 29 year-old also was erratic at times and walked six, becoming the first starting pitcher to record 12 strikeouts and six walks in a playoff game since Walter Johnson did so in 12 innings for the Washington Senators against the New York Giants in Game 1 of the 1924 World Series.
Lester (1-1, 1.93) impressed online sports betting fans, giving up one run and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The only run he allowed came off a bloop single by Jhonny Peralta in the sixth.