Game 5 is tonight in Detroit. The Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez faces Boston’s Jon Lester in a rematch of Game 1, which was won by Detroit 1-0.
Jacoby Ellsbury had four hits for the Red Sox on Wednesday, finishing a homer shy of the cycle, but now it’s Boston manager John Farrell fielding questions about whether a lineup shake-up is in order after another tough night against Detroit’s pitching.
“The one thing that we’ve maintained is a constant approach with the lineup and not creating further uncertainty,” Farrell said. “I think our guys have responded well to that.”
The Tigers lost Games 2 and 3, wasting gems by Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Leyland left Jackson in the lineup but changed the batting order. Jackson hit eighth, and other hitters moved up a spot. That left Hunter hitting leadoff for the first time since 1999, and Cabrera was second for only the third time in his career — first since 2004.
Leyland indicated his batting order would remain the same in Game 5.
Jackson found himself batting in a crucial situation right away in the second. Boston starter Jake Peavy walked him to force home the game’s first run.
The Red Sox had a chance to halt that rally when Jose Iglesias hit a potential double-play grounder to second, but Dustin Pedroia couldn’t field it cleanly and Boston had to settle for a forceout at second that brought another run home.
“That was my fault. We’ve got to turn that double play,” Pedroia said. “That ball was smoked. If I catch it, we’re getting two.”
Hunter followed with a double down the line in left to make it 4-0, and Cabrera added an RBI single.
Peavy was in trouble again in the fourth. After a leadoff double by Omar Infante, Jackson slapped a single past a diving Pedroia to bring home a run.
Cabrera’s single made it 7-0, and the Detroit third baseman — who has been running even slower than usual over the past month or so because of groin problems — caught reliever Brandon Workman and the Boston defense napping when he stole second without a throw.
In the fifth, Cabrera looked healthy enough when he charged Pedroia’s slow grounder, barehanded it and threw to first for the out.