October 12, 2013

Red Sox-Tigers at a Glance

A look at the best-of-seven American League championship series between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox: 

Jon Lester
click image to enlarge

Jon Lester, who won the opener of the Boston-Tampa Bay series, will be on the mound Saturday when the Red Sox host the Tigers.

The Associated Press

David Ortiz, Jose Molina
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Designated hitter David Ortiz has been one of Boston's postseason performers, batting .385 with 2 homers, 3 RBI and 5 walks in the four-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Associated Press

SEASON SERIES: Tigers won 4-3.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

TIGERS: 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).

RED SOX: 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). 

PROJECTED ROTATIONS

TIGERS: 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).

RED SOX: LH Jon Lester (15-8, 2.75, 2131/3 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).

RELIEVERS

TIGERS: 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).

RED SOX: 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).

MATCHUPS

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 RBI. 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 11/2 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.

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.

(Continued on page 2)

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