DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a big announcement to make before Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday night, and he even prefaced it as such.
"Huge lineup change," Leyland said, before adding: "Really, I don't know if it's huge or not."
Whether it was the new lineup or the inefficiency of Red Sox starter Jake Peavy is debatable, but the revamped Tigers scored more runs in the first four innings than they did in the previous three games combined in a 7-3 victory.
The Tigers evened the series at two games apiece. Anibal Sanchez, who threw six hitless innings in Game 1, faces Jon Lester in Game 5 on Thursday.
Peavy suffered control issues in the five-run second and was removed in the fourth. He allowed seven runs on five hits and three walks, putting the game out of reach early.
Leyland's big lineup switch centered on Torii Hunter moving into the leadoff for the first time since 1999 and struggling Austin Jackson dropping to eighth. Leyland also moved his best power hitter, Miguel Cabrera, up to the No. 2 hole for only the third time in his career while inserting Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez as his Nos. 3 and 4 hitters.
"We have to take a shot," Leyland said. "Something to churn up the butter a little bit."
For those unfamiliar with the 19th-century practice of churning butter, the grizzled Tigers manager was suggesting it was time to hit the shuffle button on the old iPod.
Peavy loaded the bases in the second on a single and two walks, then faced Jackson, who was hitting .091 in the postseason with 18 strikeouts in 33 at-bats. Peavy promptly walked Jackson on four pitches, forcing in the first run.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia mishandled a potential double-play grounder to allow another run to score on a fielder's choice before Hunter doubled down the left-field line to bring home two more runs. After Cabrera dumped a single into center to score Hunter, the game was all but over at 5-0.
Jackson and Cabrera drove in runs in the fourth, making Leyland look like a genius. Cabrera even stole a base off oblivious reliever Brandon Workman, jogging into second.
Tigers starter Doug Fister coasted in six innings of work, allowing one run on eight hits.
Leyland said beforehand he had no choice but to try something new. The Tigers had scored six runs in the first three games, hitting .225.
"I thought long and hard about this," he said. "I wrote it down. It looks pretty good. I checked with a couple of people, and a couple of people really liked it."
It worked so well that Leyland may just get out the butter churn and try it again in Game 5.
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