Editor’s note: Starting Monday, March 23, NESN will re-air memorable games from the Boston Red Sox’s World Series runs. Up next is Game 5 of the 2013 American League Championship Series vs. the Detroit Tigers. Get the full schedule by clicking here.
The fifth game of a seven-game series is always pivotal, and the 2013 American League Championship Series was no different.
The Boston Red Sox desperately needed a win after losing Game 4 in Detroit. A victory over the Tigers in Game 5, however, would set up Boston to return home and win the series at Fenway Park.
Another fine effort from Jon Lester gave way to the dominant Boston bullpen, as the Sox held on for an enormous win to send the series back to Boston.
You can watch NESN’s rebroadcast Game 5 of the 2013 ALCS at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Until then, here are five things you might have forgotten about that game.
1. Running wild
The Tigers had some comically bad baserunning in this series, and it was on display early in Game 5. The Tigers ran out of a much-needed statement inning in the first when Miguel Cabrera — maybe the slowest baseball player in the last 20 years — ran through a stop sign and was thrown out by about 30 feet on an easy pitch-and-catch between Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes and catcher David Ross.
2. Stay hot
Mike Napoli, who followed a dramatic Game 3 home run with a two-hit performance in Game 4, picked right up where left off in the fifth game. Napoli came to the plate in the second inning against Anibal Sanchez and promptly hit a 3-1 fastball to the moon.
3. Ross the boss
David Ross joined in on the fun a few batters later. After young Xander Bogaerts made his presence felt with a double, Ross brought home Gomes with a laser to left field. It was one of two hits on the night for the veteran catcher, who also had a sacrifice bunt in the game. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an infield single that plated Bogaerts from third.
4. Double trouble
Junichi Tazawa, just like he did in Game 3, came up with some big pitches in this one. The right-hander relieved Jon Lester in the sixth inning with one out and runners at first and second with Boston leading 4-2. He promptly induced an inning-ending double play with a masterful turn from Dustin Pedroia at second base. One inning later, Tazawa found himself in a jam with runners at first and third and no outs, as Cabrera strode to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Once again, that’s a battle Tazawa would win, getting Cabrera to ground into another double play. A run scored on the play, but that was a trade the Red Sox were more than willing to make, especially with the MVP at the plate.
5. Koji — what else?
Koji Uehara once again was tasked with working overtime in Game 5. He entered with one out in the eighth and Boston clinging to a one-run lead. Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante never stood a chance, as Uehara struck out both before getting the Tigers to go 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to earn another save and secure Boston’s 3-2 series lead.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images