BOSTON - For 16 innings to start this American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox were helpless in the face of the might of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff.
Through a 1-0 defeat Saturday that saw them hitless into the ninth inning and again through seven two-hit innings Sunday against Cy Young Award favourite Max Scherzer, the Red Sox were 3-for-51 at the plate with 30 strikeouts.
But all it took was one big inning – one big swing, really – to get Major League Baseball’s most potent offence back in gear and the Red Sox back in the series.
In typical dramatic fashion, David Ortiz was the man of the moment Sunday as the Red Sox rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the eighth inning. After his teammates had loaded the bases against relievers Jose Veras and Drew Smyly, Ortiz stepped in against Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit and hit the first pitch he saw on a line into the Red Sox bullpen to tie the game at 5-5.