David Ortiz added to his playoff lore in Game 2 with the big blow of a memorable comeback and the Boston Red Sox seek to take a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series when the scene moves to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Boston recovered from a five-run deficit with Ortiz hitting a game-tying grand slam in the eighth and Jarrod Saltalamacchia driving in the winning run an inning later. The Tigers attempt to recover behind red-hot Justin Verlander.
Verlander hasn’t allowed a run in 15 postseason innings this October and Boston hitters have struggled against Detroit starters in the series, totaling one run and two hits while striking out 25 times in 13 innings against Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer. The Tigers appeared headed to a 2-0 series lead prior to the bullpen meltdown that saw Ortiz belt the 15th postseason homer of his career, a blast off Joaquin Benoit that Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter was unable to grab while flipping over the low wall and into the Boston bullpen.
“Postseason is something that can work both ways for you,” Ortiz said of his playoff success. “It can go well if you stay calm. Or it can go bad if you try to overdo things.”
TV: 4:07 p.m. ET, Fox
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46)
Lackey defeated Tampa Bay in the AL Division Series when he gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He went 0-1 with a 3.14 ERA in two starts against Detroit this season and his career mark is 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 12 outings. Lackey went 3-7 with a 4.35 ERA after the All-Star break, a huge drop from a 2.78 mark beforehand.
Verlander struck out 21 while allowing six hits and two walks against Oakland in the ALDS. He allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings in a no-decision against Boston on June 23 and his career record against the Red Sox is 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA in 11 starts. Verlander was 6-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 17 regular-season home starts.
1. Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera has two homers in his last three games after a power drought that began on Sept. 18 due to groin and abdominal injuries.
2. Ortiz is batting .370 with two homers in 27 career at-bats against Verlander.
3. Hunter injured his head, neck and shoulder with his tumble into the bullpen but said he will play in Game 3.