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Ortiz, Saltalamacchia help Red Sox rally past Tigers
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - David Ortiz's two-out, game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning sent the Fenway faithful into a frenzy.
And Jarrod Saltalamacchia's game-winning single in the ninth made sure the Red Sox escaped Boston with a series split.
Saltalamacchia punched an opposite-field single past a drawn-in Detroit infield to plate the deciding run, as the Red Sox claimed a 6-5 come-from- behind victory over the Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
After managing just one hit in a 1-0 shutout in Game 1, the Red Sox seemed destined for a similar fate Sunday, as Detroit starter Max Scherzer carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a two-out single to Shane Victorino.
Dustin Pedroia followed with a double off the Green Monster for Boston's first run of the series, but Scherzer, who finished with 13 strikeouts, bounced back by fanning the next three Red Sox before grounding out Saltalamacchia to end the seventh with the Tigers holding a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead.
However, Boston battled back against Detroit's bullpen in the eighth, as Will Middlebrooks doubled and Jacoby Ellsbury walked before Pedroia's two-out single loaded the bases, prompting Detroit manager Jim Leyland to call for closer Joaquin Benoit.
Ortiz wasted little time greeting the hard-throwing right-hander, as the Boston slugger scorched a first-pitch changeup over the right-field wall to tie the game.
"We need it, man. We need to start some momentum going on," Ortiz said. "If you look at the way they've been pitching, (it's) unbelievable. It's up to us make an adjustment."
Detroit right fielder Torii Hunter tried to make a play on the line-drive shot, but went crashing over the low wall in right as the ball landed in the Boston bullpen.
"I jumped up. I thought I had a beat on it," Hunter said. "Next thing I know, I'm falling over the fence."
After Koji Uehara (1-0) retired the Tigers in order in the top of the ninth, Jonny Gomes led off the home half with a broken-bat slow roller to the hole at shortstop.
Jose Iglesias smothered the grounder, but his off-balance throw to first skipped past Prince Fielder and out of play, allowing Gomes to move to second.
Saltalamacchia then lifted a high fly ball into foul territory that Fielder appeared to have a beat on, but the burly first baseman was unable to haul in the popup among a swarm of fans reaching for the souvenir.
Rick Porcello (0-1), who started the ninth for Detroit, then uncorked a wild pitch to put Gomes on third before Saltalamacchia slapped a sharp grounder past a drawn-in Iglesias at short to send the Red Sox to victory.
"This crowd gets behind us so much and it's so easy for us to just go out there and make things happen," Saltalamacchia said. "Jonny did a great job getting on base right there and hustling and then getting to third on that passed ball. That was huge."
Boston will look to build on its comeback win in Detroit on Tuesday, when veteran right-hander John Lackey toes the rubber for the Red Sox opposite 2011 AL MVP Justin Verlander in Game 3.
Detroit did all its damage against Boston starter Clay Buchholz, who gave up five runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 frames.
Alex Avila laced an RBI single in the second to get Detroit on the board before the Tigers tacked on four more in the sixth to build a comfortable edge.
Miguel Cabrera clubbed a one-out homer to start the scoring in the sixth before Fielder and Victor Martinez followed with back-to-back doubles, with the former plating the latter for a 3-0 lead.
After Game 1 hero Jhonny Peralta lined out, Avila launched a first-pitch fastball over the Detroit bullpen in right to make it 5-0.
Scherzer, meanwhile, stifled the Red Sox for the better part of his outing, allowing just three baserunners and striking out nine over the first five frames before having his no-hit bid halted in the sixth.
"It's playoff baseball," 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."
The Tigers became the first team in MLB postseason history to have a no-hitter through at least five innings in three straight games ... Detroit's four extra-base hits in the sixth inning set a franchise record ... Cabrera now has 22 career postseason RBI, tying Hank Greenberg for the most RBI in Tigers postseason history ... Ortiz appeared in his 63rd postseason game with Boston, tying Jason Varitek's Red Sox record ... Detroit's pitching staff recorded 15 strikeouts after racking up a franchise-record 17 punchouts in Game 1 ... Saltalamacchia became the first Boston catcher since Carlton Fisk to record a walkoff hit in the postseason.
10/14 01:31:19 ET