BOSTON -- Lose the no-hitter, win the game. Gorgui Dieng Timberwolves Jersey . Thats a trade Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers were happy to make to take the lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL championship series. Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in post-season history, striking out 17 to beat Boston 1-0 in the series opener on Saturday night. "I wasnt worried about a no-hitter," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Would have been nice. There were several guys involved. But it worked out well for us." Sanchez struck out 12 -- including a record-tying four in the first inning -- but also walked a season-high six and was pulled after six innings and 116 pitches. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Benoit stretched the no-hitter through eight innings. With one out in the ninth, Daniel Nava lined a single to centre field off Joaquin Benoit to end Detroits bid for the third post-season no-hitter ever. Stephen Drew flied out to right and, with the potential tying run on second, Xander Bogaerts hit a game-ending popout to shortstop that put the Tigers ahead in the best-of-seven series. Bostons Clay Buchholz will face major league wins leader Max Scherzer in Game 2 on Sunday night. Jhonny Peralta had an RBI single off Jon Lester in the sixth for the games only run. Peralta, who missed most of August and September while serving a 50-game suspension for violating baseballs drug rules, was taunted with chants of "Steroids!" and "User!" as he looped a single to centre to bring home Miguel Cabrera. It was a day for pitching in the playoffs -- St. Louis beat the Dodgers 1-0 in the second game of the NLCS, marking the first time in post-season history two games ended by that score on one day. "That tells you the quality of pitching in the post-season," Leyland said. "Weve got to do a lot better with our opportunities, but in this one we were able to hold on." The majors highest-scoring team during the regular season, the Red Sox were shut out at Fenway Park in the post-season for the first time in 95 years. The ALs regular-season ERA champion, Sanchez loaded the bases in the sixth on three walks. But he struck out Stephen Drew to end the inning, coming off the mound with a celebratory arm pump and high leg kick. Alburquerque pitched a perfect seventh, Veras got two outs and Smyly retired David Ortiz on a harmless fly ball to centre to end the eighth. Drew kept the score close for Boston in the bottom of the eighth, racing into shallow centre field to make a juggling, over-the-shoulder catch on Prince Fielders looper with runners on second and third. Benoit struck out Mike Napoli to start the ninth before Nava singled to end the no-hit bid. "Whether it was Sanchez or every guy they brought out of the bullpen, it was power stuff," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "To chase a very good starter after six innings, I thought we succeeded in that right. Were down a run. That game is still very much in the balance with every time we come to the plate. ... We achieved what we set out to do and that was to get in the bullpen in the middle innings. And, unfortunately, it didnt work out." In all, Lester gave up six hits and a walk, striking out four in 6 1-3 innings. Two nights after Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the seventh to finish off Oakland in the AL division series, Sanchez had a similar effort against the Red Sox. His four strikeouts in the first inning -- thanks to a third-strike wild pitch to Shane Victorino -- tied the major league record for a post-season game set by the Cubs Orval Overall in the 1908 World Series. Its the first time in baseball post-season history a team has had back-to-back games in which its starting pitcher had a no-hitter through five innings. On a brisk night with the wind blowing in from centre, the Tigers got the only run they needed in the sixth after Cabrera drew a one-out walk and moved to second when Fielder was hit by a pitch. Victor Martinez hit a sharp grounder to short for the force at second, but he beat the relay throw to first by inches to keep the inning alive. Peralta then knocked a 2-2 pitch to centre to score Cabrera from third. Detroit threatened when Martinez doubled to lead off the fifth, but he was caught off second base on Omar Infantes sharp grounder to first. Alex Avila singled, and Infante took third when Victorino bobbled the ball in right. On Jose Iglesias grounder, third baseman Will Middlebrooks threw the ball home to retire the lead runner. Austin Jackson flied out to right, ending the inning. NOTES: Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series, and Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for Philadelphia in the 2010 NL division series. ... The Red Sox were shut out for only the second time in 78 post-season games at Fenway Park, the first since losing to the Chicago Cubs 3-0 in Game 5 of the 1918 World Series. ... No Tigers pitcher had ever struck out four batters in an inning before, regular season or post-season. ... Victorinos stolen base in the first gave the Red Sox seven in the post-season, tying a franchise record set in 2004. ... The Red Sox sent Sanchez to the Florida Marlins in the deal that brought Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett to Boston after the 2005 season. He was traded to Detroit last season. ... It was Lesters fourth Game 1 start, surpassing Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and Beckett for most in franchise history. ... The 17 strikeouts by Tigers pitchers tie the record for a nine-inning post-season game. It happened twice before. ... It was only Bostons second shutout in 78 post-season home games, according to STATS. The other was in the 1918 World Series, when the Cubs beat them 3-0 in Game 5. 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. - The Washington Redskins have cut defensive lineman Adam Carriker and punter Sav Rocca.ALAMEDA, Calif. - Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings was speaking to a group of local high school students earlier this week when the conversation turned to the importance of being prepared when opportunities in life arise. The veteran backup is certainly qualified to speak on the topic, having received a crash course on it over the past 15 months. Jennings will make his second start of the season Sunday against the New York Giants while Darren McFadden rests his sore hamstring. He also started six games for Jacksonville in 2012 while Maurice Jones-Drew was sidelined with a foot injury. The message Jennings delivered? Dont wait or its too late. "When I was in high school I kept a quote: When opportunity presents itself, its too late to prepare for it," Jennings said. "So every day be prepared to be that guy." Thats been the case for Jennings, who has been a jack-of-all-trades in his first season with the Raiders. Besides filling in for McFadden, hes blocked two punts and recovered an onside kick on special teams this season. Despite his part-time status, Jennings is also the only Oakland player to catch more than six passes in a game this season. He had eight against Washington on Sept. 29 after McFadden left that game injured, then grabbed another seven in last weeks 49-20 loss to Philadelphia. When McFadden got hurt last week against Philadelphia, Jennings responded with his first 100-yard game in nearly three years. "It just goes back to the mental preparation and trying to put yourself in the game," Jennings said. "You never know when youre going to get called, you really dont. I dont think thats coined as much as its really said and its kind of passed over. Zach LaVine Jersey. But you dont know, you never know. So make sure youre ready." Jennings game against the Eagles marked just the second time this season that an Oakland running back has topped the century mark. McFadden ran for 129 yards against Jacksonville in Week 2 but has been mostly ineffective and is averaging just 3.6 yards a carry. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has a pair of 100-yard rushing games this season, has given the ground game a lift. He leads the team with 485 yards rushing and is the primary reason the Raiders have the fourth-ranked running offence. Jennings would be content with anything as long as Oakland wins. The Raiders (3-5) play four of their next five games on the road and are just 7-25 in November since 2005. McFadden didnt accompany the team on its trip to New York. Neither did right tackle Matt McCants, who has a foot injury. McCants injury means second-round pick Menelik Watson will make his first start in New York, one week after making his NFL debut. Hell also be the third different starting right tackle Oakland has used this season. "Obviously, hes gotten limited exposure but we have confidence in him," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday. "Really, thats what your job is. When youre called upon to go in and do a job, you have to go in and do the job. Thats the way of the National Football League." Rookie nickelback D.J. Hayden will also be held out of the game. Oaklands first-round draft pick injured a groin muscle earlier this week and has been held out of practice each of the past two days. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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