Tigers take no-hitter into the ninth, finish with 1-0 win over Boston in ALCS Game 1
Anibal Sanchez and a quartet of Tigers relievers combined to shut out the Red Sox 1-0 Saturday night, taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning before Daniel Nava delivered Boston’s first and only hit with one out in the inning off Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit. Nava’s hit marked just the second time in postseason history that a no-hit bid was broken up in the ninth inning, the other being the famous fourth game of the 1947 World Series in which the Yankees’ Bill Bevens threw 8 2/3 no-hit innings before giving up not just a hit, but a game-winning walkoff double to the Dodgers’ Cookie Lavagetto.
In this game, Sanchez struck out 12 batters but also walked six and threw 116 pitches, prompting his removal after six innings. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras and Drew Smyly carried the no-hitter to the ninth, at which point Benoit took over but managed just one more out before giving up a clean single to center to Nava. None of the relievers walked a batter, but they added five more strikeouts to put the final combined line at nine innings, one hit, no runs, six walks and 17 strikeouts.
The only no-hitters in postseason history are Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series and Roy Halladay’s one-walk no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series. This was thus the first time a no-hitter entered the ninth inning in a League Championship Series game. With the win, the Tigers take a 1-0 lead in the American League Championship Series. Max Scherzer and Clay Buchholz will face off in Game 2 Sunday night.