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Red Sox hang on for win over Tigers in ALCS Game 5: Quick hits

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

More ALCS: Game 5 box score | Who has the edge?

DETROIT -- The Red Sox are one win away from returning to the World Series. They jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in ALCS Game 5 and held on for dear life, eventually walking away with the 4-3 win. Let's break the game down:

Hero: Mike Napoli, who has really started to heat up these last few games. He hit a monster solo home run to open the scoring in the second inning, then came around to score another run on a wild pitch an inning later. Napoli went 3-for-4 in the game and was a triple shy of becoming the first player in history to hit for the cycle in the postseason.

Goat: The double plays by the Tigers. They hit into three of them, each time after the leadoff man got on base (fourth, sixth and seventh innings). Detroit did put 13 men on-base, so they had plenty of chances to score, yet that big hit never seemed to come. They just kept waiting and waiting and waiting...

Turning point: I'm not sure there was an obvious turning point. I guess the three-run second inning would qualify, right? Miguel Cabrera's rally-killing double play in the seventh inning was huge even though it drove in Detroit's third run of the game. Men on the corners with no outs suddenly became bases empty with two outs. That was the Tigers' last best chance of getting back into the game.

It was over when: Jose Iglesias popped out for the final out. In a one-run game, I always tend to lean towards the final out for "when it was over" just because one swing of the bat changes everything. Especially for a team like they Tigers. They can really hit the ball out of the park ... okay, maybe Iglesias can't. But still. You get the point.

Next: Off to Boston for Game 6 (and potentially a Game 7). Friday is an off-day, then the two teams will reconvene at Fenway Park for Game 6 on Saturday. Depending on the outcome of NLCS Game 6 on Friday, ALCS Game 6 will begin either at 4:30pm ET (Dodgers win) or 8pm ET (Cardinals win). Either way, it'll be Max Scherzer and Clay Buchholz on the mound.

 
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