The Detroit Tigers have not allowed a hit through seven innings, sitting six outs away from throwing the first combined no-hitter in MLB playoff history.
Anibal Sanchez did not allow a hit in the first six innings against the Red Sox. The right-hander looked overpowering, striking out 12, but Boston remained patient, drawing six walks. That helped inflate Sanchez's pitch count; he needed 116 pitches to record 18 outs.
Sanchez nearly ran into trouble in the top of the sixth inning. He walked the bases loaded, including consecutive two-out walks. Sanchez escaped the jam by striking out Stephen Drew to end the inning, his final batter of the game.
Al Alburquerque replaced Sanchez in the top of the seventh, and retired the Red Sox in order.
The 2013 playoffs have already seen a pair of near no-hitters. Justin Verlander flirted with a no-no in Game 5 of the ALCS, not allowing a hit against the Oakland Athletics into the seventh inning. St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha also came close to making history, not allowing a hit until the eighth against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 4 of the NLCS.
There have been only two no-hitters in postseason history. Roy Halladay is the last pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter, his coming against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series is the only other playoff no-no.