Cumberland Times-News

Baseball

October 18, 2013

BoSox a win from pennant after beating Tigers 4-3

Boston leads ALCS, 3-2

DETROIT — Mike Napoli’s majestic homer began the early breakthrough Boston needed.
Now, the Red Sox are a win away from the World Series — with a bullpen that Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers still can’t seem to solve.
Napoli opened the scoring with another big long ball, Junichi Tazawa again bested Cabrera in a crucial spot and the Red Sox edged Detroit 4-3 on Thursday night. 
Boston returns to Fenway Park with a 3-2 lead in the AL championship series. Game 6 is Saturday with the Tigers’ Max Scherzer facing the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz.
“Our guys are well aware of where we are,” manager John Farrell said.  “But at the same time the beauty of them is to not get ahead of themselves, and that will be the case once that first pitch is thrown on Saturday.”
Cabrera was thrown out at the plate in the first inning, halting an early Detroit rally, and he hit into a double play against Tazawa with runners at the corners in the seventh. The Tigers scored a run on the grounder, but it was a trade-off the Red Sox were willing to make.
Napoli led off a three-run second with a drive off Anibal Sanchez into the ivy beyond the wall in center field.
Detroit’s starters had allowed only three runs in 27 innings through the first four games of the series. After pitching six no-hit innings in Game 1, Sanchez allowed four — three earned — in six innings Thursday.
Jon Lester allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out three, and the Boston bullpen held on to finish off the fourth game of the series to be decided by one run.
“There’s probably a reason I don’t have any hair,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “It’s stressful.”

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