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Home » 2013 PostseasonOctober 2013 » Five Alive

Five Alive

The Red Sox nearly allowed the local nine to score first. Tom Brookens sent but then tried to stop Miguel Cabrera too late on Jhonny Peralta’s two-out single to left field. Cabrera came in hard enough to knock off David Ross’s mask but instead of scoring the first run he was the third out.

Unlike every previous game in the series the Red Sox scored early in the game. Mike Napoli absolutely clobbered Anibal Sanchez’s 3-1 fastball into dead center for a solo home run in the second inning.

Next Jonny Gomes reached on Cabrera’s error on a grounder that took an unexpected bounce and went through the third baseman’s wickets. While much has been made of Cabrera’s defensive woes, I don’t think many third basemen would have been able to knock down that ball because of the bizarre bounce. I do believe that many would have been able to back up their own error; Cabrera needed Jose Iglesias to chase down the ball.

Stephen Drew’s offensive dry spell continued with a three-pitch strikeout; he was 0-for-4 for the night. Xander Bogaerts’s addition to the lineup has given the bottom of the order the punch it had been lacking. The rookie, who again replaced Will Middlebrooks at third, floated a double to left and Gomes advanced to third base.

Another replacement player, Ross, added to the run total with a double to the base of the left field wall. Bogaerts should have positioned himself halfway between second and third when he saw that the ball was behind left fielder Peralta and scored, but instead he tagged up. The mistake wasn’t terribly costly as he scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s infield single, which caromed off of Sanchez and bounded to Omar Infante. Ross advanced to third on the infield hit.

Shane Victorino knocked the ball to Infante, who came home with the ball to cut down Ross. Ross repaid the hit he got from Cabrera at home with a hard charge into Alex Avila, who was replaced in the fourth inning by Brayan Pena.

Napoli lofted a ground-rule double to left in the third inning with one out. He ended up scoring a run on a wild pitch to Drew. There should have been another run for the visitors but for Iglesias’s inspired catch of David Ortiz’s floater to shallow left field.

Iglesias was foiled by a defensive gem by Jon Lester in the fifth. The southpaw bobbled the bunt attempt but kept in pursuit of the ball. He gloved it and from his glove flipped it to Napoli for the out.

The Tigers came within a run of the Red Sox for a riveting, tense contest. Double plays in the fourth, sixth, and seventh turned by Boston’s infield helped tame the threat.

To staunch Detroit’s multi-inning rally Koji Uehara was called upon to earn a five-out save. He did so by striking out two and allowing no hits or walks. Ortiz hoisted up the closer on his shoulder again in celebration, but I really wish they would do the Roarin’ Butt-Face Jam together. Big Papi could teach Koji how to do it.

ALCS Game 5: October 17, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
4 W: Jon Lester (1-1)
H: Junichi Tazawa (2), Craig Breslow (2)
S: Koji Uehara (2)
2B: Xander Bogaerts (2), David Ross (1), Mike Napoli (2)
HR: Napoli (2)
Detroit Tigers
3 L: Anibal Sanchez (1-1)
No extra base hits

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