DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he did Austin Jackson a favor Wednesday night, moving him from the leadoff spot to eighth in the batting order to take pressure off him.
The move ended up working out for Jackson, Leyland and the Tigers.
The Tigers scored five runs in the second inning off Red Sox starter Jake Peavy. A four-pitch walk to Jackson with the bases loaded brought home the first run of the game.
The Tigers beat the Red Sox, 7-3, at Comerica Park in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, tying the series at 2.
"You can say I'm nuts, you can say I'm dumb, you can say whatever you want," Leyland said before the game about shaking up his batting order.
Leyland said after the game he plans to go with the same lineup on Thursday for Game 5. "I really think you have to," Leyland said.
Jackson finished 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored.
The Tigers were helped by three walks by Peavy and a bobbled ball by second baseman Dustin Pedroia, which could have resulted in an inning-ending double play and only one run scored.
"I think we probably contributed to the building of the inning, things we have control over, and that's hopefully command in the strike zone with a little bit more consistency," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Jake has been so good at that, uncharacteristic with the three walks inside of one inning.
"You're asking for a little bit of trouble by additional base runners and unfortunately what turned out to be giving them an extra out, leds to a crooked number on the board."
Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey, the other starting pitchers for the Red Sox, had combined to walk one over 182/3 innings in the first three games.
Victor Martinez led off the inning with a single. Peavy gave up back-to-back walks to Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila.
With the bases loaded, Omar Infante hit a fly ball to shallow center, but Jacoby Ellsbury made a diving catch.
That brought up Jackson, who was moved down from leadoff hitter to No. 8 in the order due to his struggles at the plate. Peavy's four-pitch walk to him gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
"It was a big situation right there to try to get something done," Jackson said. "And I think after I seen a couple of pitches I was able to kind of just take some deep breaths and relax a little bit."
Jose Iglesias grounded in a force out at second, allowing Peralta to score. Had Pedroia not bobbled the ball, he could have made an inning-ending double play.
Torii Hunter followed with a two-run double down the third base line and Miguel Cabrera added an RBI single.
The Tigers added two more runs in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead. Jackson had an RBI single, allowing Infante to score. Jackson stole second base and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Iglesias. The stolen base was Jackson's first since Sept. 17. With two outs, Cabrera singled to score Jackson.
Peavy allowed five hits, three walks and seven earned runs over three-plus innings with one strikeout. Doug Fister allowed eight hits, one walk and one run in six innings with seven strikeouts for the Tigers.
Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had consecutive one-out singles in the sixth. Saltalamacchia's single to center scored Napoli, cutting the Tigers' lead to six.
The Red Sox scored added runs in the seventh and ninth innings.
Shane Victorino had an RBI double off Al Alburquerque in the seventh.
Joaquin Benoit gave up an RBI triple to Ellsbury in the ninth.
"This game was very significant when you saw two teams, in my opinion, I think the two best teams are playing for the American League Championship," Leyland said. "That's my personal opinion. And you saw how this is such a dangerous teams. They just never quit. They've got a bunch of veterans.
"Oakland didn't have quite as many veterans and they battled and ground it out. And now we play with a team that has more veterans and grind it out. They're very tough. And I think we showed tonight that we're tough, too."
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