The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers broke out of hitting slumps to tighten Major League Baseball’s two league championship series.
The Tigers ended a 13-inning scoreless drought with a five-run second inning and went on to a 7-3 win last night against the visiting Boston Red Sox that tied their American League best-of-seven playoff series at two games apiece.
The Dodgers, who had no home runs in the first four games of their series, hit four solo homers yesterday to stay alive with a 6-4 home win against the St. Louis Cardinals, who still lead three games to two in the National League.
Game 6 of the NLCS is set for tomorrow night at St. Louis, which remains one win away from reaching the World Series. If the Dodgers win Game 6, a decisive seventh game would be the following day in St. Louis.
“We’ve kind of become America’s team because everyone wants to see a seventh game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said in a news conference. “Probably even the fans in St. Louis would like to see a seventh game, so I figure that everybody’s for us to win on Friday night.”
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on run-scoring singles by Juan Uribe and starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The Cardinals immediately tied it up in the third on Carlos Beltran’s triple and a double by Matt Holliday.
Los Angeles regained the lead on Adrian Gonzalez’s home run in the bottom of the third inning. Carl Crawford hit another homer in the fifth to increase the Los Angeles lead to 4-2, and A.J. Ellis added a homer in the seventh. Gonzalez homered again in the eighth to make it 6-2.
“It just goes to show how baseball is,” Crawford told reporters. “One day you can be on and one day you can be off. The pitching has been dominating this series, and nobody’s been hitting home runs. Today we just seemed to find the stroke for the home run.”
Matt Adams and Pete Kozma had run-scoring singles in the ninth for the Cardinals.
In Detroit, Torii Hunter had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera added an run-scoring single as the Tigers scored five runs in the second inning to end a 13-inning scoreless streak that stretched back to Game 2 on Oct. 13.
The Tigers made it 7-0 in the fourth on run-scoring singles by Austin Jackson and Cabrera.
“Against this team you can’t make too many mistakes,” Boston’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia told reporters. “We made some tonight, we put ourselves in a hole and couldn’t get out.”
Boston scored a run in the sixth on a single by Saltalamacchia and added another in the seventh on Shane Victorino’s run-scoring double. The Red Sox got their third run in the ninth on Jacoby Ellsbury’s triple.
Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is set for tonight at Comerica Park in Detroit. The series then returns to Boston’s Fenway Park for Game 6 on Oct. 19, with a seventh game the following night if necessary.
“Hey, the series is tied,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters. “The only thing we know for sure is we’re going back to Boston.”
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