Ortiz's dramatic homer sets up Red Sox for series-tying victory
BOSTON — Giving up the hit that cost his team a no-hitter was, as Joaquin Benoit and the rest of the Detroit Tigers were quick to point out, not such a big deal.
The one hit Benoit allowed Sunday was far more dramatic. The eighth-inning grand slam he allowed to David Ortiz cost his team a victory, changed the face of the ALCS and likely saved the Boston Red Sox's season.
The winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 victory, which ties the series 1-1, was almost anti-climatic given the desperate straits the Red Sox were in.
Jonny Gomes scored the decisive run on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's RBI single only after everything else that could go wrong for the Tigers did.
Gomes's bouncer between shortstop and third base was an infield hit, but he also advanced to second when shortstop Jose Iglesias — traded from Boston to Detroit earlier this season — threw wide of first.
With Saltalamacchia batting, first baseman Prince Fielder wasn't able to catch his pop foul against the front of the stands behind first base.
With Saltalamacchia still batting, Rick Porcello threw a wild pitch that advanced Gomes to third, forced the infield to play in and enabled Saltalamacchia's single.
Held to one hit for the first 14 innings of the series, the Red Sox erupted once they got another dominant Tigers starter — this time Max Scherzer — out of the game.
Benoit was the third reliever used in the eighth inning. Entering after Boston loaded the bases on a double by Will Middlebrooks, a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury and a single by Dustin Pedroia, he needed all of one pitch to learn what so many Red Sox opponents have learned before about Ortiz, especially in the postseason.
Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter somersaulted over the wall in a vain attempt to maintain the lead and what appeared to be a vice-grip on the series.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.