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After 'tough' series, Tigers give Red Sox their due

BOSTON -- Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer admitted it would be easy to look back at different situations during the American League Championship Series and wonder what if.

There were games the Tigers should have won, Scherzer said. But he and his Detroit teammates preferred to give credit to the Red Sox after a 5-2 loss in Game 6 on Saturday night.

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"Anytime you have these type of games, you know there are situations where you could have done something different," Scherzer said. "But to say there were games we could have won does a disservice to the Red Sox. They are a very good team. Playing what if takes away from what they did."

The Red Sox won the series in six games and advance to the World Series for the first time since 2007 while the Tigers missed out on a second consecutive trip. They were swept by the Giants last year.

This ALCS was much closer, and if the Tigers had won on Saturday night, they would have forced Game 7 with Justin Verlander on the mound.

"It's disappointing, but we got beat by a good team," outfielder Austin Jackson said. "Just have to give them credit -- get away for a little bit, regroup and try to do it again. We fell short, we gave it our all, we battled, we just weren't able to get it done."

"They played well," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. "We can always look back and think of certain situations, certain pitches, certain situations we didn't come through in. You can always look back and second guess. We probably should've won at least one of these games, and it should've been 3-3, but why? It's over with. You can't do anything about it, can't take it back, it's over. It's tough."

Tigers pitchers gave up only 19 runs over six games. But eight of those runs came on a pair of late-inning grand slams by David Ortiz in Game 2 and Shane Victorino in Game 6. The power-laden Tigers couldn't overcome that as their sluggers failed to hit a home run in the final four games of the series and scored just 18 runs in the series.

"As disappointing as the loss is, we can't be upset on how we played, how hard we played," catcher Alex Avila said. "They're a great team over there, they played their tails off, too. I think fans got everything they could ask for in this series."

"Well, both teams played good all series," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We had a couple of blunders tonight, but it was a tough series. I want to congratulate the Boston Red Sox, [manager] John Farrell, [general manager] Ben Cherington, the players. They deserve to win; they beat us. And I wish them the best. They played very well and there were a lot of good games.

"Like I said, collectively, start with me, the coaches, the players, we just didn't do quite enough."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Detroit Tigers, Alex Avila, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer