He slammed a long home run over the bullpen and into the seats in right. He drilled an RBI single that got the Tigers their first run on a night when Max Scherzer pitched as if one run might be enough as it was for the Tigers Saturday.

And he was inches from David Ortiz’s bat when it blasted into Joaquin Benoit’s first pitch in the eighth inning Sunday night driving the ball on a line into the bullpen in right good for a grand-slam homer that tied the score and set up the Red Sox’s 6-5 victory in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park.

“You know they’re gonna come at you” Avila said patiently and in a low voice as he handled a flurry of postgame questions inside the Tigers clubhouse. “You’ve got to be able to slow it down and make good pitches.”

The Tigers in the latter innings didn’t. And that destroyed a magnificent effort Scherzer credited Avila for making possible with a catcher’s contributions.

“We were really in a rhythm” Scherzer said speaking of the pitch-calls and targets Avila had executed in his partnership with Scherzer who struck out 13 and who allowed only two hits before leaving after seven innings.

Avila had also helped out on offense Sunday. Scoring runs has been the Tigers’ ongoing hassle since Miguel Cabrera’s sore groin chopped into his run-production and seemed to trigger a general Tigers offensive malaise.

But the Tigers had a better time of it Sunday. Cabrera who had hit only one home run from Aug. 26 until Oct. 10 hit his second in three games Sunday when he drove a Clay Buchholz change-up high and far beyond the Green Monster in left field.

Avila followed in the same inning with a two-run shot — this a 400-foot-plus rocket into the right-field seats. It came two innings after he had ripped a RBI single up the middle against Buchholz for a 1-0 Tigers lead.