BOSTON -- In the first 16 innings of the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox managed one run on three hits while striking out 30 times.
In the 17th inning, they erupted with one fierce swing of the bat by David Ortiz on Sunday night.
Four outs from falling into a two-game deficit against the Detroit Tigers, the Red Sox were resuscitated by their biggest star. Ortiz sent the first pitch he saw from Joaquin Benoit into the Red Sox bullpen for a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning.
And in the ninth, the Red Sox won it. Jonny Gomes reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error by former teammate Jose Iglesias before moving to third on a wild pitch. Gomes scored the winning on a single to left field by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The 6-5 victory was sudden and stunning, awaking a dormant crowd at Fenway Park and changing the course of the series. After managing one hits and striking out 17 times in a 1-0 loss in Game 1 Saturday, the Red Sox were stumbling toward another loss in Game 2.
Detroit starter Max Scherzer allowed one run on two hit while striking out 13 in seven innings and the Red Sox trailed 5-1. But the Red Sox got a one-out double from Will Middlebrooks off Jose Veras in the eighth. Drew Smyly walked Jacoby Ellsbury and was replaced by Al Alburquerque, who struck out Shane Victorino before allowing a single to Dustin Pedroia to load the bases.
Closer Benoit entered the game and his first pitch to Ortiz landed in the bullpen.
The series shifts to Detroit, where the teams will meet Tuesday in Game 3. John Lackey will face Justin Verlander.
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