David Ortiz spurs Red Sox to 6-5 comeback victory over Tigers

David Ortiz spurs Red Sox to 6-5 comeback victory over Tigers
Boston's David Ortiz hits a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning during the Red Sox's 6-5 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday. (Jim Rogash / Getty Images)

BOSTON — When Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino strolls to the plate at Fenway Park, the public-address system blares the opening lyric to his walk-up song:

"Don't worry about a thing …"


The Red Sox faithful promptly finish the second half of Bob Marley's lyrics, singing in unison: " 'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Perhaps no one really believed it late Sunday night, not after right-hander Max Scherzer struck out 13 batters and gave up two hits through seven innings, one day after the Red Sox struck out 17 times and were almost no-hit in Game 1.

But just when worrying seemed to be back in vogue in Boston, David Ortiz hit a two-out grand slam on the first pitch from Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning, tying the score, 5-5.

The Red Sox won it in the ninth inning on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's single to left field to drive in Jonny Gomes from third base, beating the Detroit Tigers, 6-5, and tying the American League Championship Series at a game apiece.

"We had one in hand and we let one get away," Manager Jim Leyland said. "No question about that."

Gomes led off the ninth inning with an infield hit against Rick Porcello, and advanced to second base on the play on a throwing error by shortstop Jose Iglesias. After first baseman Prince Fielder muffed a pop foul near the stands with fans breathing down his neck, Porcello threw a wild pitch to advance Gomes to third base.

Saltalamacchia's single glanced off Iglesias' glove, turning Fenway Park into a mosh pit.

No one would've believed it could end like this. Not after Scherzer picked up where Anibal Sanchez left off in Game 1, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning and giving up one run and two hits over seven innings.

Scherzer had described the Tigers as "zombies" Friday because of a lack of sleep after their cross-country, red-eye flight to Boston, but it was the Red Sox who looked like the walking dead before the man called "Big Papi" woke up the crowd.

Leyland watched three relievers load the bases in the eighth inning before Ortiz's slam. Right fielder Torii Hunter made a leaping try at the wall, flipping over headfirst into the Red Sox bullpen. Leyland said Hunter was "bruised" but OK.

Scherzer's no-hitter was broken up by Victorino's two-out single to center field. In Game 1, Sanchez and four relievers combined to strike out 17 batters and throw 81/3 no-hit innings after Justin Verlander had tossed 62/3 no-hit innings against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday to help Detroit clinch a division series.

Game 2 of the ALCS looked like a rerun of Game 1 at the outset, with Red Sox hitters taking called third strikes and muttering under their breath as they headed back to the dugout. Scherzer struck out seven over the first three innings.

Right-hander Clay Buchholz was strong over the first five innings, keeping the Red Sox in the game before the Tigers made it 5-0 with a four-run sixth inning.


Twitter: @PWSullivan