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Updated: October 17, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Boston takes 3-2 lead; Milestone for Bogaerts
DETROIT, Michigan (USA) - Boston Red Sox took an early 4-0 lead in Game 5 vs. Detroit Tigers on Thursday-evening (October 17), then gave up three runs late in the game, but hold onto the lead and won 4-3. With this, Boston took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series and is one win away from the World Series. The series now returns to Boston for Game 6 on Saturday.

Boston struck early, scoring three runs in the second inning and adding one in the third inning. In the meantime, starter Jon Lester held Detroit scoreless in the first four innings, thanks to his defense.

After Boston left a runner in the top of the first inning, Detroit threatened to open the score in the bottom half off of Lester. With one out, the lefthander walked Miguel Cabrera, then gave up a single to Prince Fielder. A flyout followed, but then Jhonny Peralta singled. Cabrera tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate by leftfielder Jonny Gomez.

In the second inning, Boston opened the score when Mike Napoli led off with a homerun off of Anibal Sanchez. Hereafter, Jonny Gomez reached on an error and moved to third base on an one-out double by Xander Bogaerts, who started tonight at third base. David Ross then followed with another double to bring home Gomes. Jacoby Ellsbury then added an RBI-single, which enabled Bogaerts to score the third run in the inning. Ross advanced to third base on the single, then tried to score on a grounder to second by Shane Victorino, but was eliminated at the plate. A grounder ended the inning.

...A statue of Babe Ruth in the...
...Hall of Fame in Cooperstown...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
By starting tonight's game Dutch infielder Xander Bogaerts reached an unique milestone. So far in the postseason, Bogaerts played in two games during the Division Series vs. Tampa Bay Rays and two in the League Championship Series vs. Detroit. In these four games, he entered the game from the sixth inning on. The earliest he entered a game was on Wednesday in Game 4 against Detroit when he became the new third baseman in the bottom of the sixth inning. Against the Rays, he was used as pinch-runner and pinch-hitter in the 9th and 7th inning and remained in the game as third baseman and short stop respectively. In the last game against the Rays, he scored twice, helping the BoSox clinch a spot in the ALCS. In his first appearance against Detroit, Bogaerts entered the game in the top of the 8th inning at third base.

But tonight, the 21-year old Aruba-born Bogaerts started for the Red Sox at third base. And with that, he became the youngest starting player in the postseason for the Red Sox since the legendary Babe Ruth in the World Series of 1916! On October 9 of that year, Ruth was the starting pitcher in Game 2 of the Series against Brooklyn Robins. The Red Sox won the game 2-1 in 14 innings and Ruth threw a complete game to become the winning pitcher! Brooklyn Robins was the name back then for what became Brooklyn Dodgers and currently is Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox won the Series 4-1.

1916 was Ruth's third season with Boston, where he played until 1919. On January 3, 1920, Ruth was purchased by the New York Yankees, where he became the legendary homerun-hitter and contributed to many successes of the club until 1934. While playing in his 15 seasons for the Yankees, Ruth played in 2084 games and hit 659 of his then-record total of 714 homeruns. With the Yankees, Ruth reached the World Series seven times, winning four of them. Before that, he also won three Series with the Red Sox, including its last one in 1918. It then took until 2004 for the Red Sox to win its next World Series after 86 years, which was attributed to 'The Curse of the Bambino'. The success of the Red Sox disappeared after Ruth, who was nicknamed 'Bambino', left the club and went on playing for the Yankees. After winning the 2004 Series, the Red Sox didn't have to wait long for its next championship, as it also won the Series in 2007.

For the record, Bogaerts (who turned 21 on October 1) was 21 years and 16 days when he started tonight, making him the youngest Boston-player even in a postseason! Babe Ruth was 21 years, 8 months and three days when he played in the 1916 World Series.

OK, back to the game. In the third inning, Mike Napoli reached on a ground-rule double, moved on a grounder, then scored the fourth run on a wild pitch.

In the fifth inning, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli singled with two outs, but both were left behind. Detroit then answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Austin Jackson led off with a single, moved on a sacrifice bunt by José Iglesias, then scored on a 2-out single by Miguel Cabrera.

Detroit narrowed the deficit to 4-2 by scoring another run in the sixth inning. Victor Martinez led off with a walk and advanced to third base on an one-out single by Omar Infante. Hereafter, Jon Lester was relieved by Junichi Tazawa, but the Japanese pitcher was greeted with an RBI-single by Brayan Pena. A double play, that was started by Xander Bogaerts, then ended the at bat moments later.

After Boston left a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh inning, Detroit made it an one-run difference. José Iglesias and Torii Hunter led off with singles to put runners at the corners. Hereafter, Miguel Cabrera grounded into a double play, but that enabled Iglesias to score Detroit's third run. Craig Breslow then took over for Tazawa and ended the inning when Prince Fielder grounded out.

In the top of the ninth inning, facing new pitcher Al Albuquerque, Xander Bogaerts led off with a walk. He was replaced by pinch-runner Will Middlebrooks, who then advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by David Ross. Albuquerque then walked Jacoby Ellsbury intentional to set up a force play, but he then stole second base. But the two runners stranded, as Shane Victorino struckout and Dustin Pedroia flied out.

Koji Uehara took over the pitching for Boston in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out and then struckout two batters. The Japanese righthander returned to the mound in the ninth inning and retired the side to earn a save.

(October 17)

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