DETROIT -- The Tigers will have to win two games this weekend at Fenway Park in Boston to keep their championship dreams alive.
The Tigers chipped away at a four-run deficit before losing, 4-3, to the Red Sox in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Thursday night at Comerica Park. The Tigers trail the series, 3-2.
Mike Napoli had a home run, double and single with two runs scored in his first three at-bats to lead the Red Sox. He struck out swinging against Jose Veras in the eighth, needing a triple for the cycle.
The Tigers cut the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh. Jose Iglesias hit a bloop single to center and Torii Hunter followed with a singled to right. Miguel Cabrera grounded into a double play at second, which allowed Iglesias to score.
The Red Sox brought Craig Breslow in to face Prince Fielder, who grounded out to second.
Cabrera's RBI single in the fifth scored Austin Jackson to cut the deficit to 4-1 for the Tigers. Fielder swung at the first pitch he took from Red Sox starter Jon Lester and ht a weak grounder to end the inning. That was met with a healthy dose of boos from the home crowd.
The Tigers had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth when Lester was replaced by Junichi Tazawa.
Brayan Pena singled to left off Tazawa to score Omar Infante and cut the deficit to 4-2. Austin Jackson then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Pena had come in to pinch-hit for Tigers catcher Alex Avila in the fourth inning. Avila suffered a left patellar tendon strain.
Lester allowed seven hits, three walks and two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings with three strikeouts for the Red Sox.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez wasn't as effective in his second time facing the Red Sox.
Sanchez allowed nine hits, no walks and four runs (three earned) over six innings with five strikeouts.
Sanchez allowed no hits, six walks and had 12 strikeouts over six innings in a 1-0 win over the Red Sox on Saturday in Boston.
Iglesias made a highlight-reel play to rob David Ortiz of a hit in the top of the third. Iglesias ran down a ball in shallow left, swiped with his glove and made the catch. Iglesias made another long run into left field to make a catch in the eighth inning.
The Red Sox went on to score in the inning to take a 4-0 lead. Napoli, who had already homered in the second inning, followed Iglesias' defensive gem with a ground-rule double to left. Napoli advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.
The Red Sox scored three runs in the second inning.
Sanchez threw a fastball down the middle on a 3-1 count and Napoli sent the pitch over the center field fence for his second home run of the series.
Jonny Gomez reached on a fielding error by Cabrera. Sanchez gave up back-to-back doubles to Xander Bogaerts and David Ross.
The double by Ross brought home Gomez. Jacoby Ellsbury hit an infield single to second base, allowing Bogaerts to score.
Shane Victorino then reached on a fielder's choice. Omar Infante threw home and Avila hung on to the ball on a collision at home plate with Ross.
Avila, who suffered a concussion earlier this season, seemed dazed for a few minutes following the collision. Ross, a fellow catcher, gave Avila a slap on the behind after being called out.
In the fourth inning, a foul tip from Ross deflected off Avila's mask.
Pena came in to pinch-hit for Avila in the bottom of the fourth inning with runners on first and second and one out. He grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Avila wasn't the only one who appeared to be in pain after a play at the plate.
The Tigers ended the first inning with Miguel Cabrera being tagged out at home plate.
Jhonny Peralta singled to left with two outs and Cabrera tried to score from second base. Third base coach Tom Brookens originally waved Cabrera home, but put on a stop sign as Cabrera was rounding third. Cabrera ran through the sign, making for an easy out.
It proved to be a run they couldn't afford to so easily give away.
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