Alex Avila was in the starting lineup for the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the AL championship series Saturday night after being injured in the previous game.
Game 6 was still in progress at press time Saturday night. Boston’s Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Red Sox a 5-2 lead.
Victor Martinez had given Detroit a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth with a two-run single. Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI single in the fifth had to snap a scoreless tie.
The catcher left Game 5 Thursday night in the fourth inning after a home-plate collision and taking a foul ball off his mask. He sprained his left knee when Boston’s David Ross ran into him trying unsuccessfully to score in the second. Avila was hit by Ross’ foul ball in the top of the fourth.
Brayan Pena pinch hit for Avila in the bottom of the inning. The Red Sox won 4-3 and took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said before Saturday’s game that Avila feels pretty good.
“I just left him in the trainer’s room 10 minutes ago. He’s ready to go,” Leyland said. “I think Alex is fine now. The one thing you don’t want to happen is start the game and take him out in the second or third inning. That’s the one thing I try to guard against as a manager.”
After Game 5, Avila said he should be fine.
“I tried to stay out there, but I just didn’t have any mobility back there,” he said then. “It was hurting pretty good, so we decided to get me out and see how it feels in a couple days.”
Avila was 3 for 12 with one homer and three RBIs in the first five games of the ALCS and 5 for 27 with one homer and four RBIs in 10 postseason games this year.