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For starters, Sox held almost hitless by Sanchez, Tigers

BOSTON - A 2005 trade brought in two of the key figures in the 2007 World Championship for the Boston Red Sox: third baseman Mike Lowell and pitcher Josh Beckett.

On Saturday night, Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, one of the prospects the Sox gave away in that deal, set the stage for a near no-hitter.

Sanchez struck out 12, walked six and didn't allow a hit to a Boston batter in the first six innings as the Tigers beat the Red Sox, 1-0, in the first game of the American League Championship Series.

Jhonny Peralta's RBI single in the top of the sixth scored Miguel Cabrera with the only run the Tigers could muster off Jon Lester, who went 6-1/3, striking out four and walking one. Game 2 is tonight at 8 p.m. at Fenway Park.

Daniel Nava's one-out single in the ninth off Joaquin Benoit was the only hit the Red Sox could manage.

Sanchez was masterful through the first five innings, but finally tired in the sixth as he hit the 100-pitch mark. After walking the bases loaded, he ended the threat by striking out Stephen Drew to end the inning.

Detroit relievers Al Alburquerque, Jose Veras, Drew Smyly took care of the seventh and eighth innings.

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