BOSTON Five Detroit pichers combined on a one-hitter and Jhonny Peralta's sixth-inning RBI single was the difference as the Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, in the first game of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night.
Boston's Daniel Nava blooped a soft sngle to left-center field with one out in the ninth against Joaquin Benoit, Detroit's fifth pitcher. But Benoit retired Stephen Drew on a fly ball to right and pinch hitter Xander Bogaerts on a pop-up to shortstop as the Tigers held on.
Peralta's sixth-inning single drove in Miguel Cabrera with the game's only run.
Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez worked six hitless innings and struck out 12. He walked six and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth.
Al Alburquerque worked a scoreless seventh and struck out two. Jose Veras struck out both batters he faced in the eighth and Drew Smyley retired the only batter he faced in the same inning.
Benoit came on in the ninth and struck out Mike Napoli looking. Nava then fouled off several pitches before looping a soft single over the head of shortstop Jose Iglesias for Boston's first and only hit. Pinch runner Quintin Berry eventually stole second, but was stranded there.
Game 2 is Sunday at 8 p.m. at Fenway Park in Boston.