The Gist: Jim Leyland’s bet on Don Kelly paid immediate dividends as Kelly gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead two batters into the game. Three batters in, Delmon Young gave Doug Fister a 2-0 cushion before he threw a pitch. Fister was terrific, as was Max Scherzer who gave the Tigers 1-1/3 innings of relief. Victor Martinez gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead when he drove in Austin Jackson in the sixth. Joaquin Benoit got five huge outs, walked in a run and withstood some head games played by Joe Girardi. Jose Valverde threw a Mariano Rivera-type ninth inning, setting down Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriquez in order for his 51st save of the year.
The Quote: “He’s the 25th guy on the team, I guess, but I wouldn’t rather have another 25th guy.” – Leyland on Kelly
The Stat: 3 – Delmon Young‘s home run total for the series, the most ever by a Tigers player in a single postseason series.
The Stat II: 13 – The number of strikeouts by Tigers hitters in Game 5
Up Next: American League Championship Series
Saturday: Tigers @ Rangers in Arlington | Start Time TBD | On the air: Fox/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM
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