BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are set to begin their best-of-seven American League championship series Saturday night. Before the first pitch is thrown, here is a look at the history between the teams.
- Charter members of the American League, the Red Sox and Tigers were AL East rivals from 1969-97 until Detroit shifted to the Central. They have never met in the playoffs before.
- Both clubs were involved in one of the most significant trades before the July 31 deadline, a three-team deal with the White Sox that sent Jake Peavy from Chicago to Boston, and Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox to the Tigers. Iglesias, a slick-fielding rookie, was obtained to play shortstop in place of Jhonny Peralta, a two-time All-Star suspended 50 games as part of baseball's Biogenesis drug investigation. Once he returned, Peralta was shifted to left field. But when the Tigers played a decisive Game 5 in their division series against Oakland, manager Jim Leyland started Peralta at SS instead of the slumping Iglesias. Don Kelly was inserted in LF. Peralta batted .417 in the series with a crucial home run and 5 RBIs. Iglesias went 1 for 12 (.083). It will be interesting to see how Leyland plays it against Boston's high-powered bats.
- Another offensive force for the Tigers was Victor Martinez, who played 1½ seasons with the Red Sox from 2009-10. The four-time All-Star got a $50 million contract from Detroit and batted .450 (9 for 20) in the ALDS with a tying homer late in Game 4.
- The Game 1 starters, Anibal Sanchez and Jon Lester, were teammates on Boston's Double-A Portland affiliate in 2005. After the season, Sanchez was traded along with Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins in a deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston.
- The Tigers took three of four at home against Boston in June, then the Red Sox won two of three during the Fenway Park rematch in early September. Doug Fister beat Lackey 3-0 in the opener before Lester edged Max Scherzer 2-1 in the middle game. Boston busted loose for a 20-4 rout in the finale, with David Ortiz hitting two of the team's eight homers.
- Sanchez did not face the Red Sox this season. Ortiz, though, is 3 for 3 with two homers against the AL's ERA leader. Big Papi has three homers in 15 at-bats against Scherzer, and two against Justin Verlander.
- Torii Hunter (.433), Miguel Cabrera (.526) and Victor Martinez (.429) all have had significant success against Lester. The trio has combined for nine extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Peralta has two homers and five RBIs. Even though the Tigers lost twice to Lester this year, they hit .321 against him - the highest average by any team the lefty faced more than once this season.
- Other than Peralta (seven RBIs in 17 at-bats), Clay Buchholz has shut down the Tigers' big bats.
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