The Red Sox and Tigers are all even headed into Thursday evening's ALCS Game 5 matchup, which will pit Jon Lester against Anibal Sanchez for the second time this series.
Despite -- or, perhaps, because of -- Austin Jackson's emergence as something of an actual offensive threat in Game 4, Jim Leyland has opted to go with his unorthodox lineup again on Thursday. The only difference in the order between Games 4 and 5 is that Alex Avila and Omar Infante have swapped places in the bottom half of the order.
Boston's lineup also bears a striking resemblance to the one employed on Wednesday, the only difference being that Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have been swapped out for Xander Bogaerts and David Ross, respectively.
Part of John Farrell's strategy here may be to cut down on the record-breaking number of strikeouts that the Red Sox batters have succumbed to in the first four games of the series. The Red Sox got 12 hits on Wednesday, but still couldn't bring more than a handful -- three, to be precise -- of those runners in to score partly because of their proclivity for whiffs. Middlebrooks and Salty have combined for 10 punch-outs in the series.