DETROIT (WXYZ) - A solo home run to left field off the bat of Boston first baseman Mike Napoli provided the only scoring offense as the Red Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 1-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Justin Verlander was once again brilliant through an eight-inning performance, striking out 11 and only allowing the home run to Napoli. With the Tigers offense lacking again, it wasn't enough to carry the team to a win.
Throughout the game, Verlander was matched pitch-for-pitch by Red Sox starter John Lackey, who struck out eight Tigers in 7.2 innings of work. Lackey expressed frustration when he was pulled from the game in the 8th, but Craig Breslow got Omar Infante to ground out to second, stranding two Tigers on base.
Verlander carried a no-hitter into the 5th inning. Jonny Gomes reached first on an infield single past second base that was fielded by Jhonny Peralta. Peralta's throw to first was low and could not be handled by Prince Fielder. Previously in Gomes' at-bat, Tigers catcher Alex Avila was unable to catch a foul pop by the Tigers dugout.
The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the 8th inning as Austin Jackson walked and advanced to third base on a single by Torii Hunter off Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa.
With Jackson and Hunter aboard and one out, Tazawa struck out Miguel Cabrera and Koji Uehara struck out Prince Fielder to end the inning.
The Tigers had the tying run on base once again in the 9th, as Victor Martinez led off the inning against Uehara with a single to left center.
Hernan Perez pinch ran for Martinez.but Jhonny Peralta grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
With two outs and nobody on base, Avila struck out to end the game.
Game Four will be played Wednesday night at 8:07 at Comerica Park. Doug Fister gets the start for the Tigers and Jake Peavy will be on the hill for Boston.
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