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Daniel Nava breaks up Tigers’ no-hit bid, but Tigers win to take 1-0 ALCS lead

Oct 13, 2013, 12:08 AM EDT

Daniel Nava AP

Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit took the hill at Fenway Park in the ninth inning tonight asked not only to successfully wrap up Game 1 of the ALCS by the narrowest of margins (1-0), but to wrap up what could have been baseball’s first post-season combined no-hitter. Anibal Sanchez, Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, and Drew Smyly had combined to throw eight no-hit innings against the Red Sox, giving way to Benoit in the ninth.

Benoit quickly struck out Mike Napoli to lead off the inning, looking as if he would be able to skate through the inning en route to history. But Daniel Nava fought Benoit, fouling off four pitches before hitting a soft liner to center, well in front of center fielder Austin Jackson for the first hit.

With the no-hitter out of mind, Benoit’s focus was solely on wrapping up the game. He fell behind Stephen Drew 2-0, but got him to fly out to deep right field for the second out. Quintin Berry, who came in to pinch-run for Nava, successfully stole second base, but it didn’t matter. Xander Bogaerts popped up to end the game.

The Tigers take a 1-0 series lead in the ALCS. The Red Sox will look to even the series in Game 2 behind starter Clay Buchholz, who will oppose Max Scherzer.

  1. chill1184 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    That was one hell of a display of pitching

    • mwojo586 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      I am only 31 but this rotation could be one to remember. Only one like it I can think of would be Maddox, Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery. Great watch!

      • plbirrell - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        From ’91 to ’98, with the exception of ’97 when Pedro Martinez won the Cy Young, one of the Braves top three guns won the Cy Young every year. Avery had some good years, yes, but this story is about the other three. Career wise, Maddox (355 wins), Smoltz (213 wins + 154 saves) and Glavine (305 Wins) are the undisputed best top three ever. The blemish on their dominance of the NL East and the multi-NL Championships is the repeated losses in the WS. Verlander, Scherzer and Sanchez are great right now, but history gives the nod to the Braves of the 90′s.

        NBJAYS — Those Orioles were strong and deserve your mention! I still argue that the Braves take the prize. (spoken like a true Mets fan).

    • nbjays - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      I’m a little older than that, so Palmer, Cuellar, McNally and Dobson say hi!

      • 2late2matter - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Really? McClain, Lolich, Wilson and Sparma is who I remember in 1968…..

        And the best pitchers in baseball might be worth a read for you oh wise one!
        http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24051216/the-top-10-world-series-pitchers-of-all-time

  2. Reflex - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Great game, but way too close, had to provide ongoing emotional support to a certain Tigers fan throughout. ;)

    • unclemosesgreen - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      That comment triggered a ‘reflex’ In me. How embarrassing to do but worse yet to admit.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Well, that was certainly something. The next few pitching match-ups aren’t going to make things any easier on these two offenses. Should be a nailbiter of series the whole way through.

  4. perryt200 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Great game Tigers!

    but i do hope it is 2006 all over again

  5. bender4700 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    What a game! I do love the boos for Peralta. But cheers for Ortiz. Boston fans making excuses on twitter is ridiculous.

    Either boo the cheaters or shut up. Stop picking and choosing.

    • Reflex - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Meh, Peralta admitted he did it. Ortiz was named by some anonymous source on a list that has never been released. We really have no idea if he was a cheater or not, and based on what he said about it neither does he.

      Huge diff between the two.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        I’m sure he knows.

      • emdash01 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        Ortiz failed a drug test, though, and Peralta never did. That at least evens up the cheater calculus.

      • Reflex - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:33 AM

        Historio – From what he says he’s not certain, he seems to think he did not, and claims to have requested info from both MLB and the Players Union for clarification if he is on the list, and what for.

        emdash01 – The problem is there is no evidence that he failed a drug test. Just an anonymous claim that he was on a list that nobody has been willing to confirm or deny. That’s pretty weak.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 13, 2013 at 1:24 AM

        Oh, come on. You aren’t going to take his self-serving statement at face value. Please.

      • frank433 - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:00 AM

        And Pete Rose didn’t bet on baseball.

      • Reflex - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:43 AM

        I don’t live in a world where simply being accused makes a person guilty, or that anonymous tipsters are impeccably credible. The accusations about Ortiz were never verified, and sit in a very different tier than those against A-Rod, Peralta and the dozens of others who have been caught or admitted to cheating. It is possible he took PED’s, of course, but the ‘proof’ that has been presented is not any more credible than the ‘proof’ of Bagwell’s supposed juicing because he worked out a gym that had known steroid users(can someone show me the gym without any?).

        In other words, its hersay, and I am not someone who is willing to smash someone’s reputation over that. I am aware that smashing reputations over unverified accusations is something of a sport in this country though, sadly enough.

        In case anyone cares, I don’t care if he used or not. I’m not a Red Sox fan, I don’t follow them, and in this series I’m pulling for the Tigers simply because it will make Historio happy.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        That is some serious denial there.

    • cubb1 - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:53 AM

      Let me see…Ortiz plays for the home team and Peralta doesn’t. That might explain it.

  6. elmerbrownelmerbrown - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Red Sox fans are so annoying ! Grown men with their praying hands up to their lips looking like their about to burst into tears,,,,,,,,,sac up losers !

  7. thebestfaninbaseball - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Between Sanchez and Co. shutting down the Red Sox and Michael Wacha and friends emasculating the Los Angeles Biebers, this was a hell of a day for post-season pitching. Oh, and young Kershaw was pretty good, too.

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      No love for Lester? He pitched pretty well too.

    • beelza - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      It was one hell of a week for my corner liquor store, he’s made more money in 5 days than … Second time this week (game 5) my neighbors and I cleaned him out. My kidneys and Liver can’t take much more. Score some GD runs!

  8. frank433 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    4 hours for a 1-0 game. Guess I’m not getting much sleep during the week.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM

      Welcome to October!

      • frank433 - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:08 AM

        Don’t you mean OAKtober? Or has that pun run it’s course now that it’s the OAKseason?

  9. elwaysmilehighdenver - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Great effort by the Tigers pitchers tonight.
    The AL Cy Young winner gets the ball tomorrow. JV throws on Tuesday. Baseball in October is awesome!

  10. mwojo586 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    I never knew my hands could sweat this much. Love my tigers.

  11. cubb1 - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Starting pitching usually wins in October, and it looks like the Tigers have the best rotation this year.

  12. cubb1 - Oct 13, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    As a baseball fan, I must ask one simple question…How does that fat douchebag, Joe West, always get to Crew chief in October? He is consistently one of the top 5 worst umps in baseball.

  13. theskinsman - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Although Mr.Magoo Joe West was his usual sub par self, the pitching was incredible. Other than missing his usual amount of calls,and being the best reason MLB should use digital umpires for balls and strikes, it was a normal night for him. I don’t think that Detroit can shut out Boston again. We shall see. Go Sox!

    • paperlions - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      According to Pitch FX, West wasn’t bad at all last night. He gave a few low strikes, but otherwise any “missed call” was within an inch or 2 of the edge of the plate.

    • racksie - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      I gate Joe West, but he called a good game. And I was sure he was going to toss someone, just because he can, but didn’t. And what happened to that mic they had on him? Think Bud jumped in a nixed it? The exchange with Ortiz when he got hit would have been nice to hear….

  14. ejannetta - Oct 13, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    Go Tigers!..Ortiz is a cheater and tested positive. C’mon, the guy weighed like 180 lbs. before he came to Boston. Boston players look like a bunch of cavemen with those stupid looking beards…they ought to film “Deliverance 2″ at Fenway park.

    • nbjays - Oct 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      Paddle faster, I hear banjos…

      • historiophiliac - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

        Hipsters.

  15. giantssb42champs - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    In fairness to Big Papi what he may have done with regards to cheating is well in the past. Clearly he passes all the tests now and cannot be accused of taking PEDs. It is lame to suggest he does.

    • racksie - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Ever heard of HGH? That they don’t test for?

      • paperlions - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        Besides hearing about it, have you ever bothered to learn what HGH can and can’t do? One thing it can’t do, help baseball players play baseball. In healthy adults (i.e. those with normal HGH levels), HGH does NOT increase muscle mass and it does NOT speed the healing of injuries. Indeed, the largest observed effect of HGH on normal healthy adults is to reduce physical stamina.

        You wouldn’t consult the sports media about a medical condition…..so why do you rely on them for your understanding of HGH, steroids, or amphetamines (hell, or even sports)?

      • racksie - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        Yep. No advantage at all. That’s why they use it. Because it does nothing for their performance. Even though it is widely believed to be the most used ped in MLB and the NFL. They just use it for fun.

  16. racksie - Oct 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    So Dodgers-Cardinals was. 2 hours 40 minutes, and Tigers-Red Sox was 3 hours 56 minutes. Both 1-0 games? Gotta love fox prime time, huh?

  17. 2late2matter - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    So, the takeaway from this game is that the Tiger pitchers were great, or that the Red Sox batters had a jittery, at-home, “off” night?

    Which is it? Or both?

  18. giantssb42champs - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Go Sox. One more title for the greatest sports city in the world!!

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