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Torii Hunter: Tigers are ‘going to fight through’

10.18.13 at 5:50 am ET
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DETROIT — After their 4-3 loss on Thursday in Game 5 of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, the Tigers are now one win from elimination. The Red Sox need to win just one of two contests this weekend in Boston to secure a spot in the World Series.

But Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter suggested that his team is in a position to play without being encumbered by pressure or anxiety.

“If you had a tiger, and he was backed in a corner, he couldn’t go left, he couldn’t go right, he couldn’t go behind him, what’s he going to do? Fight through,” said Hunter. “And that’s what we’re going to try to do. That’s what Tigers do. Our backs are against the wall. We can’t go left, we can’t go right, we’re going to fight through.

“The pressure is on them to hold us back. We’re going to fight, we’re going to have fun, we’re going to go all out,” he added. “When we play looser, we’re a really good ballclub. So being down 3-2, I think you go in a little light, a little looser, you have some fun, play the game. It’s an uphill battle, but I think it’s good for us.”

The Tigers do have a formidable asset on their side in the form of starters Max Scherzer in Game 6 and, if they win that contest, Justin Verlander in Game 7. The Red Sox are mindful of that reality as they hope to close out the Tigers.

“They’re really good. They’ve got two really good pitchers still in their back pocket, so we need to come out, set the tone early,” said Sox catcher David Ross. “We’re just happy to be going back home up one.”

Yet while Scherzer and Verlander offer the Tigers a template for overcoming their deficit, Detroit suggested that they do not yet have the luxury of looking ahead to a winner-take-all contest with Verlander on the hill.

“We have to win one game and then take it from there,” said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “We’ve got to win one game.”

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