Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia throws to first after forcing out the Tigers' Austin Jackson at second in the sixth inning Wednesday. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)
Detroit — Dustin Pedroia talked about how well the Red Sox were playing defensively in the postseason.
The Red Sox had committed two errors and had a .992 fielding average in seven playoff games heading into Game 4 of their American League Championship Series against the Tigers on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
Then, things changed, and Pedroia, the All-Star second baseman was in the middle of it.
Pedroia botched a double play ball, opening the door for a five-run second-inning in the Tigers 7-3 victory to even the best-of-seven series 2-2.
The Tigers scored a run and had the bases loaded with one out when Jose Iglesias hit a routine double play ball to Pedroia, who bobbled it before picking it up to get the force at second. The Tigers, however, scored their second run on the play.
Then, Torii Hunter followed with a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera singled for another run.
Instead of just one run, the Tigers had their biggest inning of the series … and momentum.
“It’s my fault; we have to turn that double play,” Pedroia said. “It was hit hard. It’s one of those things where he kind of backspun it. I thought it was going to hop up and it stayed down. We got one out instead of two. It’s my responsiblity to turn double plays.
“(Starter Jake) Peavy got a ground ball and I didn’t field it clean. The ball was smoked, but if I catch it we get two.”
Payback for Tigers
It was a long time coming, but the Tigers finally got even with Peavy.
Peavy single-handedly prevented the Tigers from winning the Central Division in 2009, throwing shutouts in consecutive outings for the White Sox, the second to open the final series of the regular season. The Tigers eventually lost a one-game playoff to the Twins.
This time, the Tigers hit Peavy and Peavy was his own worst enemy. He lacked control, walking three during the pivotal five-run, second-inning, including four-pitch walks to Jhonny Peralta and Jackson.
Peavy left in the fourth after Infante opened the inning with a double and scored on Jackson’s single off Pedroia’s glove. Yes, it’s tough,” Peavy said. “You feel like you’ve let the boys down and there’s not a worse feeling. I just couldn’t make that big pitch to minimize the damage.”
Not this time Big Papi
Boston slugger David Ortiz broke Tigers fans’ hearts with his grand slam in Game 2 last Sunday, helping the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory.
Ortiz had a chance to get the Red Sox back in the game Wednesday after they fell behind 5-0, but this time he failed to get the job done.
Ortiz stepped up against Tigers starter Doug Fister in the third with runners on first and second and two out. The Tigers had the shift on Ortiz, and he grounded out to short right field where Infante, the second baseman, fielded the ball and threw him out to end the threat.
Another look at Lester
The Tigers again will face an outstanding pitcher when they take the field tonight at Comerica Park for Game 5 — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester.
Lester, 29, pitched well last Saturday night in the opener of the Championship Series at Fenway Park despite suffering a 1-0 loss. He allowed one run on six hits in 61⁄3 innings.