Detroit at Boston

W: K. Uehara (1-1) L: R. Porcello (0-1)
HR: DET - M. Cabrera (2),A. Avila (1)   BOS - D. Ortiz (3)

Ortiz hits grand slam as Red Sox sting Tigers to tie up ALCS wire reports

BOSTON -- David Ortiz's line drive sailed just beyond Torii Hunter's reach and into the Boston bullpen, sending the Tigers right fielder flopping headfirst over the wall after it.

With one swing, the Red Sox slugger turned everything upside-down.

Ortiz's grand slam erased an eighth-inning deficit and ended Detroit's unprecedented run of pitching dominance, and Jonny Gomes scampered around the bases with the game-winning run in the ninth Sunday night to give Boston a 6-5 victory over Detroit and knot the AL Championship Series at one game apiece.

"That's what he does. He's an amazing hitter," said Max Scherzer, who took a no-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning but could only watch as the Detroit relievers blew it. "He's an amazing postseason hitter. He's clutch. Any given moment, a swing of the bat he can always take you deep."

One night after Anibal Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined postseason no-hitter in baseball history, Scherzer struck out 13 and held Boston hitless for 5 2/3 innings. But the Red Sox loaded the bases against three relievers in the eighth and then closer Joaquin Benoit came in to face Ortiz.

The Red Sox designated hitter lined the first pitch into the glove of the Red Sox bullpen catcher. Hunter went down hard and came out only after his teammates had waved for the Detroit medical staff to come out and help him.

"I jumped up. I thought I had a beat on it," said Hunter, who came up in the Minnesota Twins organization with Ortiz and remains friends with the Red Sox slugger. "Next thing, I know I'm falling over the fence."

The fans waited until the trainers verified that Hunter was OK to start chanting, "Papi!" and call Ortiz out of the dugout for a curtain call. It was the first career postseason grand slam for a star of the 2004 playoff run that ended in Boston's first World Series title in 86 years.

"The guy's an actor at work," Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino said. "It's fun to watch. It's great to see. He's always upbeat and always positive. He always likes to go up and swing the bat. That's what he always wants to do."

Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

Rick Porcello gave up a leadoff infield single that left Gomes at second when shortstop Jose Iglesias threw the ball into the Boston dugout. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a foul popup that glanced off first baseman Prince Fielder's glove when he got tangled up with a fan.

Gomes moved to third on a wild pitch, and then Saltalamacchia hit one through the drawn-in infield to drive in the game-winner.

"It's playoff baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Looked like we had one in hand and we let one get away, there's no question about that. But there have been two great games."

Boston's comeback came a few hours after Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to complete the New England Patriots' comeback over the New Orleans Saints. The score was greeted with cheers by Red Sox fans waiting for the baseball game to start.

Game 3 of the ALCS is in Detroit 3 on Tuesday, when Justin Verlander will face Boston's John Lackey.

"We need it, man. We need start some momentum going on," Ortiz said. "The whole regular season, you haven't seen a team shutting us down for 14, 15 straight innings like they have the past couple of days. If you look at the way they've been pitching, [it's] unbelievable. It's up to us make an adjustment."

Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered off Clay Buchholz as Detroit scored four in the sixth inning to open a 5-0 lead. The Red Sox got one in the bottom half but were four outs from falling behind 0-2 in the series when Ortiz tied it.

Scherzer, who led the majors with 21 wins, did not allow a hit until Victorino singled to left with two outs in the sixth.

It was an unprecedented third consecutive playoff game in which a Tigers starter took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. That had never been done even twice in a row before this year's Detroit staff, which boasts the AL ERA leader, the major league leader in wins and the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP.

"Scherzer was terrific. He was spent," Leyland said. "Last night our bullpen was flawless, and tonight it just wasn't quite as good."

In his first career ALCS start, Buchholz allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out six.

One night after Jon Lester absorbed a 1-0 loss, Buchholz kept the Red Sox in the game despite allowing three straight hits in the second and spotting Detroit to a 1-0 lead.

But Cabrera hit a solo shot off the light tower above the Green Monster in the sixth, then Fielder lined a double off the left-field wall. Victor Martinez followed with an RBI double to right-center and Avila hit a two-run shot over the Tigers bullpen to make it 5-0.

Scherzer continued to coast, striking out at least one batter in every inning. The favorite for the AL Cy Young Award after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA in the regular season, Scherzer allowed one run on two hits and two walks before leaving after seven innings with a 5-1 lead.


Dave Roberts, whose stolen base sparked Boston's comeback in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Ortiz's 63rd postseason game tied Jason Varitek for the Red Sox franchise record. ... Buchholz had a 1.20 ERA against the Tigers in four career starts at Fenway Park. ... Victorino's nine career hit by pitches in the postseason tie him with Alex Rodriguez for the major league record. .. Scherzer lost 2-1 at Fenway Park on Sept. 9 when going for his 20th win.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit watches David Ortiz's game-tying grand slam leave the yard as Boston rallies to tie the series. (USATSI)
Detroit reliever Joaquin Benoit watches David Ortiz's game-tying grand slam leave the yard as Boston rallies to tie the series. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

D. Ortiz
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1

M. Scherzer
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 1
BB 2
K 13

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF5000012 .100
Torii Hunter, RF5000020 .138
Miguel Cabrera, 3B4111010 .259
Prince Fielder, 1B4110020 .280
Victor Martinez, DH3221000 .407
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010001 .450
   Jose Iglesias, SS0000000 .133
Alex Avila, C3123102 .227
Omar Infante, 2B4010002 .200
Don Kelly, LF3000110 .222
Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
   Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   Drew Smyly, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
   Joaquin Benoit, P0000000 .000
   Rick Porcello, P0000000 .000
2B - Prince Fielder (1, Buchholz), Victor Martinez 2 (4, Buchholz)
HR - Miguel Cabrera (2, Buchholz), Alex Avila (1, Buchholz)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (4), Victor Martinez (3), Alex Avila 3 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Avila 2 (3)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Infante-Peralta-Fielder
E - Jose Iglesias (1, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Max Scherzer 72112130 2.25
Jose Veras 0.1111000 3.38
Drew Smyly 0011100 6.75
Al Alburquerque (H,2) 0.1111010 9.00
Joaquin Benoit (BS,1) 0.1111011 5.79
Rick Porcello (L,0-1) 0210000 0.00
WP - Rick Porcello (1)
HBP - Victorino (by Max Scherzer)
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 108-69, Jose Veras 3-2, Drew Smyly 6-2, Al Alburquerque 8-6, Joaquin Benoit 8-7, Rick Porcello 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 5-2, Jose Veras 1-0
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 25, Jose Veras 2, Drew Smyly 1, Al Alburquerque 2, Joaquin Benoit 2, Rick Porcello 2
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF2100200 .375
Shane Victorino, RF3110023 .333
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4121021 .261
David Ortiz, DH3114122 .300
Mike Carp, 1B3000021 .000
   a-Mike Napoli, PH-1B1000010 .118
Jonny Gomes, LF4110030 .231
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4011000 .267
Stephen Drew, SS3000010 .095
Will Middlebrooks, 3B3110020 .222
Clay Buchholz, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Workman, P0000000 .000
   Felix Doubront, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Carp in the 8th
2B - Dustin Pedroia (2, Scherzer), Will Middlebrooks (2, Veras)
HR - David Ortiz (3, Benoit)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia (6), David Ortiz 4 (7), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia (1), David Ortiz 4 (6)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Drew-Pedroia-Carp
E - Stephen Drew (1, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz 5.2855062 6.17
Brandon Workman 1000100 0.00
Felix Doubront 1.1000100 0.00
Koji Uehara (W,1-1) 1000010 1.80
WP - Clay Buchholz (1)
HBP - Martinez (by Clay Buchholz)
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 82-53, Brandon Workman 16-9, Felix Doubront 20-11, Koji Uehara 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 5-6, Brandon Workman 2-1, Felix Doubront 1-3
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 26, Brandon Workman 4, Felix Doubront 5, Koji Uehara 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38029
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Dale Scott