For about seven innings on Sunday night, it looked like the Detroit Tigers were going to roll to a 2-0 lead in the ALCS after taking the first two games from the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park.
Max Scherzer had dominated, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning after the Tigers took a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning of Saturday night's extra-inning affair. And the Red Sox had the daunting task of facing Justin Verlander in Game 3 back in Detroit on Tuesday with the possibility of falling into a 3-0 deficit looming.
Then, everything turned in the eighth inning, and it all happened on the first pitch former Rangers pitcher Joaquin Benoit threw.
The Tigers closer entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning with the bases full of Red Sox and David Ortiz at the plate. On Benoit's first offering to Big Papi, Ortiz sent a lined shot over the right field wall into the Red Sox bullpen as Torii Hunter tumbled over the wall trying to catch the ball.
New ballgame, 5-5.
Former Rangers reliever Koji Uehara, the Red Sox lockdown closer, shut the Tigers down in the top of the ninth and then another former Rangers player won the game for Boston in the bottom of the ninth.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who fans may remember was a part of the famed Mark Teixeira trade to Atlanta, had a game-winning RBI single to end the game in the ninth as the Tigers opted to pitch to him after Jonny Gomes had made it all the way to third base after an infield single, thanks to an errant throw to first base and a wild pitch from Benoit.
Saltalamacchia was the big catch for the Rangers in that deal with the Braves, along with a few guys named Matt Harrison, Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz. He quickly fell out of favor in Texas, but has had a bit of a career reclamation in Boston.