BOSTON — Anibal Sanchez and four Detroit Tigers relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, Saturday night in the AL championship series opener.
Boston was hitless until Daniel Nava had a soft, clean single to center field off Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth.
Stephen Drew followed Nava and flied out to right and, with the potential tying run on second, Xander Bogaerts hit a game-ending popout to shortstop just after midnight.
Sanchez, the AL’s regular-season ERA leader, was pulled after six innings and 116 pitches. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly and Benoit stretched the no-hitter into the ninth before Nava ended their bid for the third postseason no-hitter ever.
Jhonny Peralta had an RBI single off Jon Lester in the sixth for the game’s only run.
Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0: At St. Louis, Michael Wacha, a rookie, pitched into the seventh inning with zero margin for error and St. Louis silenced Los Angeles for the second straight day, to take a 2-0 lead in the NL championship series.
The Cardinals managed only two hits off Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, but Jon Jay’s sacrifice fly set up by A.J. Ellis’ passed ball in the fifth stood up.
The Dodgers’ scoreless streak in the NLCS reached 19 innings. Rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth with a heater reaching 101 mph, fanning pinch-hitter Andre Ethier on three pitches to end it.
A day after outlasting Los Angeles 3-2 in 13 innings, the Cardinals moved two wins away from the World Series.
Game 3 is Monday at Dodger Stadium, with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright facing rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu.