Manager Jim Leyland dropped Austin Jackson to eighth in the batting order, hoping to relax the slumping Detroit Tigers outfielder.
So naturally, Jackson's first plate appearance came with the bases loaded. After drawing a four-pitch walk to force in a run, he finally felt a little more at ease.
A revitalized Jackson delivered in Leyland's revamped lineup as the Tigers built a big lead and held on this time, beating the Boston Red Sox 7-3 Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven American League Championship Series at 2-2. Detroit scored five runs in the second inning, the first coming home on Jackson's walk.
''It was a big situation right there to try to get something done,'' Jackson said. ''I think after I'd seen a couple of pitches I was able to kind of just take some deep breaths and relax a little bit — and not worry so much about the result, just try to get a good pitch.''
Jackson finished with two singles and two walks. He was 3 for 33 with 18 strikeouts in this postseason before Wednesday.
Torii Hunter had a two-run double and Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs after Leyland moved the slumping Jackson out of the leadoff spot and bumped almost everyone else up a place following the Tigers' 1-0 loss in Game 3. The Detroit manager was quick to deflect credit afterward.