DETROIT - A revitalized Austin Jackson delivered in manager Jim Leyland's revamped lineup as the Tigers built a big lead and held on this time, beating the Red Sox 7-3 Wednesday night to even the AL Championship Series at 2.
Torii Hunter had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs after Leyland dropped Jackson to eighth in the order and moved everyone else up a place following the Tigers' 1-0 loss in Game 3. Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk off Jake Peavy for the first run of Detroit's five-run second inning.
Doug Fister allowed a run in six innings, and after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 2, Detroit kept the Red Sox at bay Wednesday.
"Guys came out swinging the bats well and put them on the defensive,'' Fister said.
Game 5 is tonight in Detroit. The Tigers' Anibal Sanchez faces Boston's Jon Lester in a Game 1 rematch won by Detroit.
Leyland shook up his lineup to try to snap his team out of its funk. Detroit won the opener 1-0, but the bullpen collapsed in a 6-5 loss in Game 2 before the Tigers' shutout loss in Game 3.
"We scored one run and no runs in two of the games," Leyland said. "If nothing else, when guys look at the lineup card they kind of look at it a little bit. And maybe it wakes you up a little bit. Not that they've been sleeping, they've been great games. Just a little something to, you know, churn up the butter a little bit."
Hunter hit a two-run double in the second inning, Cabrera had two RBI singles and Jackson hit two singles, walked twice, drove in two runs and scored once.
Jackson went in 3-for-33 with 18 strikeouts in this year's postseason. Only twice in his career, including postseason, had he started a game hitting anywhere other than leadoff, according to STATS.
"I think I'm actually doing Austin Jackson a favor," Leyland said. "He's getting kicked around pretty good right now. I think it's easy to kick people when they're down. I'm not taking him out of the lineup, so I am sticking with him."
Hunter was in the starting lineup as a leadoff hitter for the first time since July 4, 1999, when he played for the Twins. The last time Cabrera started a game hitting second was June 28, 2004, for the Marlins.