Another Tazawa-Cabrera battle goes Sox's way

Another Tazawa-Cabrera battle goes Sox's way
October 18, 2013, 3:15 am
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DETROIT – Despite his current physical limitations, Miguel Cabrera is always a threat at the plate. Although he entered the game hitting just.226 in the postseason, one swing of the bat from the reigning AL MVP can change a ballgame.
 
And with the Red Sox clinging to a tenuous two-run lead, with a two runners on and one out, the right swing from Cabrera can write a different ending for the game than the one the Sox were hoping for.
 
That as the situation right-hander Junichi Tazawa  found himself facing in the seventh inning in Game 5 Thursday night at Comerica Park.  The Sox led by a run, with one out, Jose Iglesias on third base, Torii Hunter on first, and Cabrera coming to the plate.
 
Tazawa had faced Cabrera in a similar high-leverage, little-room-for-error situation in Game 3. In that game, he struck out Cabrera, along with Prince Fielder, to end the eighth, preserving the Sox one-run lead.
 
“Even though I got him to strike out the last time out, I  knew that wasn’t going to happen or it would be probably difficult this time up,” Tazawa said.
 
The right-hander did not strike out Cabrera. Instead, he got the Tigers slugger to ground into a double play. Iglesias scored on the play, cutting the Sox lead to one run, ending Tazawa’s outing. Left-hander Craig Breslow entered to face the left-handed hitting Fielder, getting a ground out to end the inning, and any further damage.
 
From their previous matchup, Tazawa learned what he could get away with to Cabrera.
 
“I knew the outside fastball was a good pitch for him last time out,” Tazawa said.  “I wasn’t’ quite sure if that would be the case this time, but he did swing at it and we got a big double play.
 
“And I think that was a big out for us.”
 
Tazawa entered in the sixth inning, with one out and runner on first base. After giving up a single to his first batter, pinch-hitter, Tazawa got a double play from Austin Jackson to get out of the inning.
 
“Taz is a fly ball pitcher and we somehow get two key double plays to minimize the number of pitches he threw,” manager John Farrell said. “None bigger than the first and third nobody out to Miggy.”