ON THIS DATE (October 13, 2013) ... David Ortiz's line drive sailed just beyond Torii Hunter's reach and into the Boston bullpen, sending the Tigers right fielder flopping headfirst over the wall after it. With one swing, the Red Sox slugger turned everything upside-down.
Ortiz's grand slam erased an eighth-inning deficit and ended Detroit's unprecedented run of pitching dominance, and Johnny Gomes scampered around the bases with the game-winning run in the ninth to give Boston a 6-5 victory over Detroit and knot the AL
championship series at one game apiece.
The Red Sox loaded the bases against three relievers in the
eighth and then closer Joaquin Benoit came in to face Ortiz. The Red Sox designated hitter lined the first pitch into the glove of the Red Sox bullpen catcher. Hunter went down hard and came out only after his teammates had waved for the Detroit medical staff to come out and help
The fans waited until the trainers verified that Hunter was OK to start chanting, "Papi!" and call Ortiz out of the dugout for a curtain call. It was the first career postseason grand slam for a star of the 2004 playoff run that ended in Boston's first World Series
title in 86 years. Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
TORII HUNTER'S DIVE
ON DAVID ORTIZ'S
Rick Porcello gave up a leadoff infield single that left Gomes at second when shortstop Jose Iglesias threw the ball into the Boston dugout. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a foul popup that glanced off first baseman Prince Fielder's glove when he got tangled up with a
fan. Gomes moved to third on a wild pitch, and then Saltalamacchia hit one through the drawn-in infield to drive in the game-winner.
Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered off Clay Buchholz as Detroit scored four in the sixth inning to open a 5-0 lead. The Red Sox got one in the bottom half but were four outs from falling behind 0-2 in the series when Ortiz tied it. Scherzer, who led the
majors with 21 wins, did not allow a hit until Victorino singled to left with two outs in the sixth. It was an unprecedented third consecutive playoff game in which a Tigers starter took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. That had never been done even twice in a row before this
year's Detroit staff, which boasts the AL ERA leader, the major league leader in wins and the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP.