Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez no-hit the Red Sox through six innings in ALCS Game 1, but he will not be allowed to complete it. Sanchez threw 116 pitches, prompting Tigers manager Jim Leyland to lift him from the game with the larger goal in mind. Reliever Al Alburquerque will be the first out of the bullpen tasked with preserving the no-hitter. He is slated to face Mike Carp (pinch-hitting for Will Middlebrooks), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (pinch-hitting for David Ross), and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Sanchez’s final line reads: 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 6 BB, 12 K.
The Tigers chased Red Sox starter Jon Lester with one out in the seventh. Lester hit Jose Iglesias with a pitch, then gave way to reliever Junichi Tazawa, who recorded two outs to send the game to the bottom of the seventh with his team down 1-0.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.