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Boston Red Sox

No relief for Red Sox in facing Detroit rotation

  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew, right, catches balls with his son Hank during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew, right, catches balls with his son Hank during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera waits to take the field before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera waits to take the field before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday.  At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday.  At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa

  • Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester reacts leaving the mound after giving up two runs during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester reacts leaving the mound after giving up two runs during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew, right, catches balls with his son Hank during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera waits to take the field before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera talks with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, right, before a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz walks through the stands during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Detroit Tigers face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • In this image taken with a fisheye lens, Detroit Tigers stretch out during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers stretch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday.  At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, left, talks with Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, right, during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday.  At center is Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Victor Jose Martinez, son of Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, talks with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during a baseball workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Red Sox will face the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws off the mound as teammates watch during the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Lester will get the start as the Red Sox face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  • Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez listens to a reporter's question during an availability before the baseball team's workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. The Tigers will face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League championship series on Saturday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz practices in the batting cage during a baseball team workout at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS, Saturday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester reacts leaving the mound after giving up two runs during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox were able to relax as they watched Justin Verlander finish off Oakland in the playoffs, secure in the knowledge that they wouldn’t have to face him in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series.

Instead, they get the league’s ERA champion, Anibal Sanchez.

Followed by Max Scherzer, the major league leader in wins.

And then comes Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP.

“I don’t think there are really any consolation prizes when you’re playing them,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said yesterday, when the teams worked out in preparation for Game 1 of the ALCS. “All their guys are really good. ... All their guys are horses.”

A former Red Sox prospect, Sanchez will start the best-of-seven series opener at Fenway Park against Boston left-hander Jon Lester. Sanchez led the AL with a 2.57 ERA even though he spent most of the year as the No. 3 pitcher in the rotation, behind Verlander and Scherzer.

“I feel like our rotation is relentless,” Verlander said. “There’s no sigh of relief. There’s no break. Every day you’re getting somebody that’s really good.”

Verlander has been one of baseball’s top pitchers for years, and he’s a big reason why the Tigers have returned to the ALCS three years in a row. But he pitched on Thursday night, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the clincher against Oakland.

Scherzer came on in relief in Game 4 to help force the series to the limit. That leaves Sanchez, who allowed five earned runs in 4 1∕3 innings in his Game 3 start against the A’s, for the opener against Boston.

“You think that to not have to face Justin for the first few games is a relief,” Red Sox starter Jake Peavy said, “until you realize this team doesn’t stop. When you’ve got the ERA leader followed by Max Scherzer, who’s probably going to win the Cy Young, there’s a reason they are where they are.”

The Red Sox will start Lester in Game 1, thanks to their ability to wrap up their series against Tampa Bay in four games. The 29-year-old cancer survivor, who started the clincher of Boston’s 2007 World Series sweep of the Colorado Rockies, was 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA against the Tigers this year.

“That’s good for us for Jonny Lester not having to throw a Game 5 and going into this series on extended rest,” said Clay Buchholz, who will pitch Game 2 on five days’ rest. “He’ll be in a good position from jump street and that’s kind of what we’ve been doing all year, trying to feed off each other.”

John Lackey will start Game 3 for Boston, with Peavy scheduled to face Detroit’s Doug Fister in Game 4.

The Red Sox have played only four meaningful games since clinching the AL East on Sept. 20, and many of them gathered at David Ortiz’s house to watch the finale of the Tigers’ series against Oakland.

Yesterday was their third off day in a row, and several Red Sox spent it horsing around on the field while waiting for the workout to begin.

Mike Napoli sunbathed on the pitcher’s mound with his shirt off, while Ryan Dempster hit golf balls from third base toward the outfield. Peavy, in a white tank top and jeans, set up the team’s cigar store American Indian mascot on third base for pictures; David Ross combed the statuette’s beard.

Peavy said the team is “as loose as it gets.”

But Lester said it’s time to turn their attention to the next goal.

“We came in yesterday, had a pretty light workout. And I think guys were still enjoying the fact of what we just accomplished,” Lester said. “But at the same time realizing that today we’ve got to start focusing on our next challenge.”

The Tigers celebrated in Oakland on Thursday night and then took a red-eye to Boston in order to arrive in time for their brief workout. Manager Jim Leyland joked that his team was used to getting in at 9 a.m. – but not because of a game.

Still, he said, the flight was a lot easier because of the victory.

“There’s no being tired in the playoffs. This is what you play for,” Verlander agreed. “It’s easy for me to say that, though. I’ll probably be taking a nap or two. I won’t be doing much the first couple of games here.”

Related

A capsule look at Tigers-Red Sox playoff series

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Schedule Game 1, Today, at Boston (8:07 p.m.); Game 2, Tomorrow, at Boston (8:15 p.m.); Game 3, Tuesday, at Detroit (4:07 p.m.); Game 4, Wednesday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 5, Thursday, at Detroit (8:07 p.m.); x-Game 6, Oct. 19, at Boston (4:37 p.m.); x-Game 7, Oct. 20, at Boston (8:07 p.m.). (All games on FOX). x-if necessary. Season series …

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