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Tigers flirt with no-hitter in ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox: Quick hits

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Anibal Sanchez and four relievers nearly no-hit the Red Sox in ALCS Game 1 on Saturday.
Anibal Sanchez and four relievers nearly no-hit the Red Sox in ALCS Game 1 on Saturday. (USATSI)

More ALCS: Game 1 box score | Who has the edge?

BOSTON -- Talk about a way to start a series. The Tigers won Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday night by the score of 1-0 over the Red Sox. They didn't just win, they nearly chucked a no-hitter before Daniel Nava broke it up with a solid one-out single to center out in the ninth. Let's recap Game 1.

Hero: The Tigers pitching staff as a whole. Anibal Sanchez showed serious guts while battling for six innings before the bullpen took over and four relievers combined to close out the game. Finishing off the no-hitter sure would have been neat, but nailing down the win was far more important.

Goat: Can we blame the Red Sox hitters? Yeah they had some bad at-bats and left a lot of borderline calls in the hands of home plate umpire Joe West, but I feel like making them the goat would be diminishing what the Tigers pitching staff did. I guess we can goat Joe West. That's allowed, right? He made some really poor calls against both teams. Joe West is the goat.

Turning point: Has to be Jhonny Peralta's two-out, two-strike single to center in the sixth inning to drive in the only run of the game. Kinda weird how the two best offensive teams in the league managed only one total run. In Fenway Park no less.

It was over when: This game was close right down to the wire, so it wasn't over until Xander Bogaerts popped up for the 27th out. Despite the whole no-hitter thing, it really felt like this game could swing in the Red Sox's favor at any moment.

Next: This series is just getting started. It'll be these same two teams in Game 2 on Sunday night, when right-hander Max Scherzer and Clay Buchholz square off. That game will begin a little after 8pm ET.

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