Lose the no-hitter, win the game.

That's a trade Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers were happy to make to take the lead over the host Boston Red Sox in the A.L. championship series.

Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, striking out 17 to beat Boston 1-0 in the series opener Saturday night.

"I wasn't worried about a no-hitter," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Would have been nice. There were several guys involved. But it worked out well for us."

Sanchez struck out 12 -- including a record-tying four in the first inning -- but also walked a season-high six and was pulled after six innings and 116 pitches. Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras and Drew Smyly stretched the no-hitter through eight innings.

After Joaquin Benoit struck out Mike Napoli to open the Boston ninth, Daniel Nava lined a single to center field to end Detroit's bid for the third postseason no-hitter ever.

Stephen Drew flied out to right, and, with the potential tying run on second, Xander Bogaerts hit a game-ending pop out to shortstop.

Boston's Clay Buchholz will face Max Scherzer in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Jhonny Peralta had an RBI single off Jon Lester in the sixth for the game's only run. Boston was shut out at Fenway Park in the postseason for the first time in 95 years.

Cardinals 1, Dodgers 0: Rookie Michael Wacha pitched into the seventh inning with zero margin for error, and host St. Louis silenced Los Angeles for the second straight day for a 2-0 lead in the N.L. championship series.


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"He's becoming a guy a lot of teams wish they drafted," teammate David Freese said of Wacha, the 19th pick in the 2012 amateur draft. "What he's done is remarkable, especially on this stage."

The Cardinals got only two hits off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, but Jon Jay's sacrifice fly set up by A.J. Ellis' passed ball in the fifth stood up.

The Dodgers' scoreless streak in the NLCS reached 19 innings after they averaged 6½ runs in a four-game division series against Atlanta. Rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth with a heater reaching 101 mph, fanning pinch-hitter Andre Ethier on three pitches to end it.

A day after outlasting Los Angeles 3-2 in 13 innings, the Cardinals moved two wins away from the World Series.

Game 3 is Monday at Dodger Stadium, with Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright facing rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Dodgers have already used their top two starters and have nothing to show for it.

"We don't get too far ahead of ourselves," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We don't deny also what's happened here the last two days. Those were two very good wins, two very tough wins when you face starters like that."

Hanley Ramirez (ribs) and Ethier (ankle) were out of the Dodgers' lineup with injuries after starting in the opener. Los Angeles went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position for a two-day total of 1 for 16. Yasiel Puig struck out in all four of his at-bats and is 0 for 10 in the series with six strikeouts.