Final, Red Sox 5-2: The Red Sox are World Series bound!
Koji Uehara closed out the Tigers in the ninth inning of Game 6, and the Red Sox will play the Cardinals in the Fall Classic.
Shane Victorino’s seventh-inning grand slam was the difference in Game 6. He sent an 0-2 curveball from Jose Veras into the Monster seats with the Red Sox trailing 2-1. Jose Iglesias made an error on the at-bat prior when Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground ball up the middle.
The Red Sox and Cardinals will kick off the World Series on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. It should be an interesting series.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 5-2: It’s Koji Time.
Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jonny Gomes went down in order against Al Alburquerque in the eighth inning.
Koji Uehara now enters. Alex Avila, Omar Infante and Austin Jackson are due up for the Tigers in the ninth inning.
The Red Sox are three outs away from going to the World Series.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 5-2: Three defensive outs are all that stand between the Red Sox and a World Series berth.
Craig Breslow tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning after Shane Victorino gave the Red Sox a 5-2 lead with a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh.
Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Don Kelly went down in order against Breslow. V-Mart struck out, and Fielder and Kelly both grounded to second base.
End 7th, Red Sox 5-2: The Red Sox are suddenly six defensive outs away from going to the World Series.
Shane Victorino’s seventh-inning grand slam into the Monster seats has Boston in front 5-2 as we head to the eighth inning.
Victorino’s grand slam came one batter after Jose Iglesias made an error at short. Jacoby Ellsbury might have beaten out the double-play attempt even if Iglesias made the play, but it’s still funny how things work in the playoffs.
Craig Breslow now enters for Boston.
11:31 p.m., Red Sox 5-2: The Flyin’ Hawaiian!
Shane Victorino just gave the Red Sox a 5-2 lead with a grand slam into the Monster seats.
Victorino, who has been struggling all series, lifted an 0-2 curveball from Jose Veras over the left field wall with the Red Sox trailing 2-1. Fenway Park erupted, and Victorino pounded his chest as he rounded second base.
Phil Coke is the new pitcher with David Ortiz coming up. Dustin Pedroia struck out for the second out.
11:25 p.m., Tigers 2-1: The playoffs are nuts.
Jose Iglesias — a defensive wizard who has been tossing the leather around all series — just made an error on a ground ball up the middle.
Jose Veras now enters with the bases loaded and one out. Shane Victorino is coming up.
11:22 p.m., Tigers 2-1: Jonny Gomes came about four inches from tying this game.
Gomes drilled a fly ball to left field that plunked just below the Monster seats. Gomes dived in safely at second base with a leadoff double, but it was extremely close to being a home run.
Stephen Drew then struck out, and Xander Bogaerts worked a six-pitch walk.
Drew Smyly takes over for Max Scherzer with runners at first and second and one out. Jacoby Ellsbury will be Smyly’s opponent.
Mid 7th, Tigers 2-1: Stephen Drew has taken a lot of heat over the last few days for not producing offensively. John Farrell has stuck with Drew for his defense, though, and it paid off in the seventh inning.
Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball back up the middle with runners at first and second and two outs. It looked destined for center field, but Drew made a diving stop to retire Cabrera and save a run.
Drew will have a chance to turn things around offensively in the bottom of the seventh. He’ll bat second, with Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts batting first and third, respectively.
11:04 p.m., Tigers 2-1: A couple of softly hit balls have the Tigers threatening with two outs in the seventh inning.
Austin Jackson singled with one out, but was picked off by Brandon Workman.
Jose Iglesias then hit a ground ball back toward the mound. It kicked off Workman’s glove, allowing Iglesias to reach with an infield single. If Workman didn’t touch it, Dustin Pedroia would have been able to play it, but instincts took over for the young right-hander.
Torii Hunter followed with a bunt. Workman charged off the mound, but dropped the ball while trying to barehand it. Everyone was safe on the error.
Junichi Tazawa now enters to face Miguel Cabrera with runners at first and second and two outs.
End 6th, Tigers 2-1: The Red Sox had a perfect opportunity to answer right back. They left two runners in scoring position.
The first two hitters reached for Boston in the sixth inning. Shane Victorino got hit by a pitch — again — and Dustin Pedroia walked on five pitches.
The Tigers’ decision to pinch run Don Kelly for Jhonny Peralta in the top of the inning paid dividends in the bottom of the frame. David Ortiz lifted a looping line drive to left field, and Kelly raced over toward the line to make the catch for the first out. It’s highly unlikely that Peralta would have caught up to it.
Both Victorino and Pedroia moved up a station on a pitch in the dirt. The ball didn’t get too far away from catcher Alex Avila, but Victorino and Pedroia acted very aggressively.
The Red Sox couldn’t push across a run, though. Mike Napoli struck out swinging on a pitch down and out of the zone, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia popped out to Jose Iglesias to end the inning. Salty was caught out on his front foot on an offspeed pitch from Max Scherzer.
Brandon Workman will come back out to begin the seventh inning for Boston.
Mid 6th, Tigers 2-1: The Tigers grabbed the lead in the sixth inning, but it could have been much worse for the Red Sox.
Victor Martinez’s wall-ball single off Franklin Morales put Detroit in front and left runners at the corners with no outs. The Tigers were in position to have a big inning, but a unique double play changed everything.
Jhonny Peralta grounded to second base after Brandon Workman took over for Morales. Dustin Pedroia made the play and tagged Martinez. Prince Fielder, who was on third base, made a huge mistake by not continuing home. Pedroia fired to the plate to catch Fielder between third and home. Jarrod Saltalamacchia chased Fielder back to third base and tagged him out while tumbling over the diving slugger.
Workman struck out Alex Avila looking with a fastball on the outside corner to end the inning.
Don Kelly pinch ran for Peralta at second base after Fielder’s baserunning blunder. Kelly will remain in the game and play left field.
10:28 p.m., Tigers 2-1: Franklin Morales didn’t get the job done.
Morales walked Prince Fielder on four pitches to load the bases, and Victor Martinez drove in two runs with a single high off the Green Monster.
Brandon Workman will now take over with runners at first and third and still nobody out.
10:19 p.m., Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox struck first, but the Tigers are threatening in the sixth inning.
Torii Hunter walked and Miguel Cabrera singled into left field. The Tigers have two on and nobody out.
John Farrell isn’t wasting any time in turning to his bullpen. Franklin Morales is taking over for Clay Buchholz with Prince Fielder coming up.
Brandon Workman has also been warming up in the Boston bullpen.
End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: The Red Sox used some two-out magic to grab a 1-0 lead in Game 6.
Jonny Gomes flied out to right field and Stephen Drew flied out to left field to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. It looked at that point like Max Scherzer was on his way to another scoreless inning.
Xander Bogaerts keeps making things happen, though. The rookie doubled off the wall in left-center field to get something going.
Jacoby Ellsbury knocked in Bogaerts with a line-drive single into right field. Ellsbury was visibly fired up, as was the Boston dugout.
Ellsbury tried to move up into scoring position following his RBI single, but was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning. Talk about a rare sight.
Clay Buchholz now heads to the mound for his fifth inning of work. The fifth inning, of course, was when the wheels came off for Buchholz in Game 2.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play to end the top of the fifth inning.
Austin Jackson walked with one out after Omar Infante grounded to short to open up the inning. The free pass didn’t hurt Clay Buchholz.
Iglesias hit a ground ball over the mound and up the middle. Dustin Pedroia ranged over and made the play in front of second base on the shortstop side of the bag. Pedey stepped on second and delivered a strike to first to complete the twin killing.
The bottom three — Jonny Gomes, Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts — is due up in the fifth inning for Boston.
End 4th, 0-0: Max Scherzer needed just nine pitches to work a perfect fourth inning.
David Ortiz began the inning with a popup. It was hit a mile into the air and took forever to come back down. When it finally reentered the atmosphere, second baseman Omar Infante was there to snag it in right field.
Scherzer struck out Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to slap a bow on the inning. Napoli fanned on a fastball, and Salty chased a changeup out of the zone.
Tigers catcher Alex Avila took another foul ball off the mask in the fourth inning. He’s really getting beat up in this series.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz enjoyed his first 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
Stephen Drew played a role in the first two outs. Victor Martinez hit a line drive that Drew leaped into the air to grab, and Jhonny Peralta grounded to short.
Alex Avila also sent a ground ball in the direction of shortstop, and Xander Bogaerts, who was shifted over, made the play for the third out.
End 3rd, 0-0: The Red Sox made plenty of noise in the third inning, yet have no runs to show for it.
Max Scherzer walked Xander Bogaerts and Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the inning.
Shane Victorino was then asked to bunt, and he failed to get it down. Victorino bunted it into the air, and Scherzer made a terrific sliding catch for the first out.
Dustin Pedroia nearly made it 3-0 with one swing of the bat, but his home-run bid down the left field line traveled just foul. Four pitches later, Pedroia bounced right down the third base line. Miguel Cabrera fielded it, stepped on the bag and fired across the diamond for an inning-ending double play.
Pedroia’s big swing that nearly resulted in a three-run homer actually marked the first time in this game that a Red Sox hitter swung at the first pitch. Perhaps they’ll be more aggressive the second time through the order.
9:28 p.m., 0-0: Dustin Pedroia just came oh-so-close to giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
Pedroia hooked a fly ball right down the left field line, and it traveled just foul.
The umpires took another look at it. The call stood.
The Red Sox are threatening, though. Max Scherzer walked Xander Bogaerts and Jacoby Ellsbury to begin the third inning.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz is getting the job done early.
The Tigers have had a baserunner in each inning, but Buchholz has kept Detroit off the scoreboard.
Jose Iglesias led off with a single into right field. Shane Victorino, who attempted to throw out Iglesias at first base in Game 4, thought about shooting for it again. He decided against it, however, after a brief bobble.
The Tigers followed up with a hit-and-run, and Torii Hunter hit a fly ball to left field. Jonny Gomes made the catch and fired toward first base, where Iglesias dived back in safely.
Buchholz struck out Cabrera for the second out. Cabrera has now struck out twice in this game, and Boston continues to pitch the reigning AL MVP away.
Prince Fielder, who isn’t making any friends in Detroit with his performance in this series, chopped down to first base for the third out.
End 2nd, 0-0: Very impressive inning for Max Scherzer.
Scherzer struck out the side on 13 pitches in the second inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew went down in order.
All three hitters went down swinging. Salty and Drew whiffed on fastballs, and Gomes came up empty on a slider low and away.
Each Red Sox hitter so far has taken the first pitch, as it’s clear that they’re focused on driving up Scherzer’s pitch count. Scherzer has countered by pounding the strike zone.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Omar Infante picked up a two-out hit, but it only delayed another scoreless inning for Clay Buchholz.
Jhonny Peralta led off the second inning with a ground ball to the left side. Xander Bogaerts made the play and delivered a strike to first base on the run.
Alex Avila struck out swinging for the second out. Buchholz started him off with two straight curveballs to get ahead in the count, 0-2. The righty then missed with a fastball, but got Avila to chase a 1-2 changeup in the dirt.
Infante got on with two outs. He reached out and poked a single into right field. Dustin Pedroia leaped, but it traveled just beyond his outstretched glove.
Buchholz — as he did with Torii Hunter in the first inning — paid plenty of attention to Infante at first base. He eventually took care of the hitter, though, as Austin Jackson grounded back to the mound.
End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox didn’t wait long to start generating baserunners against Max Scherzer this time around. Boston put two on in the first before Scherzer closed off the inning.
Scherzer began his night by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury on three pitches. The right-hander went with two fastballs and an offspeed pitch, and Ellsbury didn’t offer at any of them. The strikeout pitch was a 95 mph fastball on the outside corner.
Shane Victorino, who has abandoned the idea of switch-hitting, grounded to short for the second out. Jose Iglesias, who made some nifty plays in Game 5, handled it easily.
Dustin Pedroia made some noise with two outs. He barely checked his swing on a two-strike pitch, and then singled into left field. David Ortiz followed with a six-pitch walk.
Mike Napoli grounded to short to end the inning. Napoli, of course, was out of the starting lineup when Scherzer pitched Game 2. The slugger is now 1-for-14 in his career against Scherzer.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz very deliberately worked a scoreless inning to begin Game 6.
Buchholz threw 22 pitches in the first inning, and only four were outside the strike zone. The right-hander worked at his usual slow pace — perhaps even slower — and the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on a leadoff infield single.
Torii Hunter reached to begin the game. He hit a hard chopper to the left side that kicked off the glove of a diving Xander Bogaerts. Stephen Drew made a play in the hole on the ricochet, but he had no chance of throwing out Hunter.
Buchholz elevated to strike out both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Cabrera, who is banged up, is still having a hard time handling heat, and Fielder continues to have a hard time with anything.
Buchholz got to a two-strike count versus Victor Martinez. V-Mart ended up flying out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field.
8:10 p.m.: Clay Buchholz delivers a first-pitch strike. The atmosphere is electric at Fenway Park
8:04 p.m.: The Dropkick Murphy’s just got Fenway Park rocking. They obviously played “Shipping Up to Boston.”
7:55 p.m.: It’s safe to say that this is the biggest start of Clay Buchholz’s career.
The Red Sox’ offense also has its work cut out for it, though. Max Scherzer was dominant in his Game 2 start.
“We expect him to pitch a strong game against us tonight. If we do get some pitches on the plate is not to miss them,” John Farrell said Saturday. “He was so locked in six days ago that he threw so many fastballs on the edge, he didn’t miss in the middle of the plate, and if he did, we didn’t square him up.
“So the fact is there’s a recent outing against him, some familiarity, even though he dominated us in the seven innings he was in there. I know one thing, come that first pitch our guys are going to be ready, it’s just a matter of how consistent his stuff is. We know we’re going to get powerful stuff thrown at us.”
7:32 p.m.: The Tigers’ Game 6 lineup is pretty straightforward, too, as Jim Leyland is sticking with the reshuffled order that first appeared in Game 4.
The biggest news is that catcher Alex Avila, who left Game 5 with a left knee patella tendon strain, will be in the Tigers’ lineup. Avila suffered the injury during a home-plate collision with David Ross, and also took a foul ball off the mask in that contest.
“He’s ready to go. He feels pretty good. I don’t think that will be any kind of a drawback where you’re going ‑‑ the main thing from a manager’s standpoint, the one thing you don’t want to happen is when you’re dealing with an injury ‑‑ and I think Alex is fine now,” Leyland said Saturday. “The one thing you don’t want to happen is start the game and take him out in the second or third inning. That’s one thing I try to guard against as a manager. If you can’t go, that’s fine. But if you can go, you want to be out for the entire game, if possible.”
One guy who is catching a lot of heat in Detroit is Prince Fielder. Fielder is 4-for-19 in the series, and hasn’t driven in a single run in Detroit’s 10 postseason games. He’ll stay in the No. 3 spot in the Tigers’ lineup, although Leyland did say Saturday that time is running out for the slugger to turn things around.
“I just remind everybody, look at all the averages of all the players [in the playoffs]. A lot of good players — and I’m not trying to sidetrack this away from Prince at all, but there’s a lot of guys that haven’t hit this postseason,” Leyland said. “One of the best players in baseball, Beltran was struggling a bit in that series over there until last night and came on good.
“Who knows, it can happen anytime, and that’s what I continue to say about Prince. Anytime he’s in the batter’s box, I feel like something big can happen at any time. So far it hasn’t happened.”
7:06 p.m.: Be sure to tune in to NESNplus for Red Sox pregame coverage. Red Sox GameDay LIVE Presented by Olympia Sports is currently airing on NESNplus.
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6:43 p.m.: It’s interesting to see the Red Sox continue to go with Jonny Gomes.
Historically, the Red Sox have made a lot of statistic-based decisions. This season was no different, as there was a lot of number-crunching that went into certain decisions, including how Gomes and Daniel Nava were deployed on a game-to-game-basis.
It’s all been thrown out the window in the postseason, though. Sure, the stats matter. But there’s also an intangible aspect to the postseason atmosphere that is taken into account with each difficult decision.
“I think at this point in time, gut feel comes into it a little bit more than numbers will tell you on a stat sheet or a given category,” Farrell said Saturday. “So the way players respond under these circumstances in this environment has got equal weight, if not more, than maybe what the numbers might indicate or drive you to make a decision over the course of a regular season game or over 162. This is a different environment, and I think that’s why we’ve got to remain in tune with how guys are responding in those key moments, pressure‑packed moments.”
Here’s one number that does matter: The Red Sox are 5-0 this postseason with Gomes in the lineup.
6:31 p.m.: There are no big surprises in the Red Sox’ lineup. Xander Bogaerts, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are all in there, as John Farrell said they would be.
Bogaerts will bat ninth for Game 6. He batted eighth in Game 5 while David Ross batted ninth. The 21-year-old admitted after Game 5 — which was his first career playoff start — that he was nervous, but that he did a good job of controlling his emotions.
Farrell once again lauded Bogaerts’ poise prior to Game 6. Even if the rookie has some nerves on the inside, it hasn’t shown up in his attitude or anything that he does on the field.
“Well, I haven’t been around many 21‑year‑olds in this environment, I can’t even begin to compare what he’s demonstrating,” Farrell said Saturday. “And I would hope he would be nervous inside. That would only be, I think, a natural response. But at the same time, he’s able to control it and it doesn’t take him out of his approach or how he plays the game. It’s been really fun to see, actually. The smile on his face never goes away. There’s never the look on his face, there’s no deer in the headlights, any kind of those descriptions you might come up with. He’s a very mature and poised young man.”
Bogaerts reached base twice in the Red Sox’ 4-3 victory in Game 5.
6:10 p.m.: Let’s take a look at the official Game 6 lineups, if you’re down.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Clay Buchholz, RHP
Torii Hunter, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Jhonny Peralta, LF
Alex Avila, C
Omar Infante, 2B
Austin Jackson, CF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Max Scherzer, RHP
3:10 p.m.: We still don’t know the Red Sox’ exact Game 6 lineup, but John Farrell on Friday gave us a pretty good idea of what it’s going to look like.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes and Xander Bogaerts will all be in the starting lineup for Saturday’s Game 6. Stephen Drew, who is just 1-for-17 with eight strikeouts in the ALCS, will remain in the lineup.
8 a.m. ET: We know one team that will be playing in the World Series. The Red Sox could put themselves into the Fall Classic on Saturday.
The Cardinals trounced the Dodgers in Game 6 on Friday night to earn a spot in the World Series. They’ll play the winner of the Red Sox-Tigers ALCS, which Boston can clinch with a win in Saturday’s Game 6 at Fenway Park.
Clay Buchholz and Max Scherzer will square off in a rematch of Game 2 on Saturday. The Red Sox, of course, won Game 2 in dramatic fashion, as David Ortiz smacked a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Scherzer was dominant while he was in the game, though, and Buchholz sputtered in the sixth inning before being lifted.
“I felt pretty good in the first five innings. I can take more positive than negative,” Buchholz said while speaking to the media before Thursday’s Game 5. “There were a couple of innings I let the ball get out of the zone and they hit it out of the park. I need to minimize the damage a little bit better. Both video and talking to whoever it is on the staff, you can sort of pick each other’s brain and see what I was feeling, what I could have done differently and how to get better from it.”
Saturday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. The Red Sox will look to make sure that they’ll be partying well into the night. Follow along right here as Boston attempts to punch its ticket to the World Series.