After taking beating behind plate, Alex Avila makes early exit from Game 5 of ALCS

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UPDATE: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Avila exited the game with a left patellar tendon strain and is considered day-to-day.

9:46 p.m. ET: Alex Avila was forced to make an early exit from Game 5 of the ALCS, two innings after a home plate collision with David Ross.

Avila twisted his left knee in the collision with Ross, then took a foul tip off the facemask in the top of the fourth inning. Combine that with the beating he took yesterday, both behind the plate and hitting, Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to make a change.

Not having Avila available hurt the Tigers in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Brayan Pena came up as a pinch-hitter with runners and first and second and grounded into an inning-ending double play against Jon Lester. The Red Sox still lead it 4-0 going into the top of the fifth inning.

The Red Sox designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox activated Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they made to make room for him on the roster was a big one too: they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup. At the moment the Red Sox have the second best offense in all of baseball despite Ramirez’s performance.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however and, long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.