BOSTON - Austin Jackson was out, and he knew it.
He had been sneaking off first base in the seventh inning of the Red Sox's 5-2 win over the Tigers in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.
A player who consistently adds at least 1.0 wins-above-replacement per season in baserunning ability, Jackson was looking to steal a bag with the Tigers leading, 2-1. He had reached base more than 200 times during the regular season and been picked off just once. Jackson took a confident lead and got ready to go.
But Red Sox rookie pitcher Brandon Workman knew it.
Workman, who started the year in Double-A Portland, made Jackson look like a rookie. The pitcher got set, held his position long enough to make Jackson uncomfortable, and fired back to first base.
Jackson didn't see it coming. He was picked off for just the second time in 2013.
"Just trying to be too aggressive right there," he said afterward.
The Red Sox hadn't hesitated in putting their faith in Workman in big spots. He's pitched 5 1/3 innings this postseason and has yet to allow a run.
"Work's been one of those guys who comes in, any situation, and he throws strikes," said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "He's never feeling antsy. He's always calm. It's tough to have a young guy come in the game like that in that situation, act so calm and throw strikes."
A starting pitcher his entire Minor League career, Workman has adapted to a relief role due to team needs.
"For this to be happening right now in my first year, it's absolutely unreal," he said.
To Sox, Drew's glovework offsets cold bat
BOSTON -- Shortstops hitting .086 on a team trying to earn a World Series berth don't often receive standing ovations.
But Stephen Drew found himself on the good side of the Fenway Park crowd during the Red Sox's 5-2 win over the Tigers in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.
Before the grand slam by Shane Victorino, the Red Sox first had to escape the seventh inning, when two runners were on base and Miguel Cabrera was at the plate.
With two outs and the Tigers leading, 2-1, Cabrera smacked a hard grounder up the middle. It was almost certainly an RBI, until Drew came sprinting over from his spot between second and third, made a diving snag and threw out Cabrera at first.
Rally over. Minutes later, Victorino hit his grand slam.
"It's another run, that's what's huge," Drew said. "You don't know what that inning could have been. I'm just thankful that I was in the right mindset to position myself well to get that ball. It's a tough play. I'm glad to come through right there."
Drew, who is 3-for-35 with 12 strikeouts and one walk in the postseason, continues to see his name in the lineup because of his defense. He's happy to contribute in some way.
"Did I think I would be able to get it? I don't know, to be honest," Drew said. "Luckily I was able to get it. I knew [Dustin Pedroia] wasn't going to be there and the only play I was going to have is to get up and try and throw. I knew Miggy was hurt, but at the end of the day, you still have to make the play, and I was able to do that."
Drew also made a leaping grab to catch a Victor Martinez line drive in the top of the fourth inning.
Expect the Red Sox to stick with their shortstop.
"I'm not saying that we don't have good defenders otherwise," manager John Farrell said before Game 6, "but Stephen has taken good swings. We all recognize the struggles that are there. But he shores up the middle of our infield so well. I'm certainly going to preserve that."