The Boston Red Sox won 3-1 to eliminate the Tampa Bay Rays from the Major League Baseball playoffs.
The Red Sox won the American League division series three games to one and will face the Detroit Tigers or Oakland Athletics, who play tomorrow in a decisive Game 5 in Oakland.
Austin Jackson’s broken-bat single snapped a seventh-inning tie in Detroit as the Tigers won 8-6 yesterday to even their series against the A’s at two games apiece.
“This is a good series,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in a news conference. “I mean, I’m sure the commissioner is happy it’s going five, so we’ll see what happens. We’re going back to Oakland and find out what happens.”
In the National League, the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates play a winner-takes-all Game 5 today in St. Louis. The survivor moves on to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who already have advanced to the league championship series by eliminating the Atlanta Braves.
The Red Sox got two runs in the seventh inning on a wild pitch and a run-scoring infield single by Shane Victorino. Dustin Pedroia added a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the third run.
The Rays, who used nine pitchers, scored the game’s first run when Yunel Escobar led off the sixth inning with a double and scored on a single by David DeJesus.
“It’s great, but we’ve still got one more (series) to be where we want to be,” Victorino said in an on-field televised interview.
At Detroit, the A’s took a 3-0 lead thanks to Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp. Crisp led off the game with a triple and scored on Lowrie’s single. In the fifth inning, Crisp singled and Lowrie hit a two-run homer.
The Tigers tied it in their half of the fifth on a three-run homer by Jhonny Peralta, who missed the last 50 games of the regular season while serving a drug suspension.
Detroit brought in its pitching ace, Max Scherzer, in relief to start the seventh inning and he allowed a tie-breaking single by Crisp.
The Tigers immediately tied it up again, on a controversial home run by Victor Martinez. The A’s claimed a fan interfered with outfielder Josh Reddick as he attempted to make an over-the-wall leaping catch.
Jackson, who had struck out in his previous three at-bats in the game, had his tie-breaking hit later in that seventh inning.
The A’s loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Scherzer, who went 21-3 during the regular season and now has both of the Tigers’ wins in the playoff series, but could not score.
In the bottom half of the eighth, the Tigers added three runs on a wild pitch and a two-run double by Omar Infante.
Yoenis Cespedes had a two-run single for Oakland in the ninth.