MLB Postseason Wrap: Near no-hitter lifts Tigers

MLB Postseason Wrap: Near no-hitter lifts Tigers
October 13, 2013, 1:15 am
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The Tigers celebrate their 1-0 win over the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALCS. (USA Today Images)

BOSTON -- Lose the no-hitter, win the game.

That's a trade Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers were happy to make to take the lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL championship series.

Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat Boston 1-0 in the series opener on Saturday night.

"I wasn't worried about a no-hitter," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Would have been nice. There were several guys involved. But it worked out well for us."

Sanchez struck out 12 - including a record-tying four in the first inning - but also walked a season-high six and was pulled after six innings and 116 pitches. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Benoit stretched the no-hitter through eight innings.

With one out in the ninth, Daniel Nava lined a single to center field off Joaquin Benoit to end Detroit's bid for the third postseason no-hitter ever (see full recap).

Wacha outduels Kershaw to give Cards 2-0 series lead
ST. LOUIS -- Matched against ace Clayton Kershaw, the only thing Michael Wacha lacked was a no-hit watch.

"He's becoming a guy a lot of teams wish they drafted," teammate David Freese said. "What he's done is remarkable, especially on this stage."

Wacha stared down a bases-loaded test in the sixth inning and pitched into the seventh, and the kids in the bullpen also were impervious to October pressure, keeping the Los Angeles Dodgers bats silent for the second straight day and winning 1-0 Saturday for a 2-0 lead in the NL championship series.

"I'm kind of at a loss for words to describe him," said fellow rookie Kevin Siegrist, who got a big out to end the seventh. "It's kind of ridiculous how well he's done so far."

The Cardinals managed only two hits off Kershaw and the Dodgers, but Jon Jay's sacrifice fly set up by Freese's double and A.J. Ellis' passed ball in the fifth stood up.

The Dodgers' scoreless streak in the NLCS reached 19 innings after they averaged 6 1/2 runs in a four-game division series against Atlanta. Rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth with a heater reaching 101 mph, fanning pinch-hitter Andre Ethier on three pitches to end it (see full recap).

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