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MLB: Boston edges Detroit 1-0 in Game 3

Published October 15, 2013 8:46 pm

ALCS • Napoli's home run lifts Red Sox over Verlander, Tigers.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Detroit • Once again this October, one run was enough.

The Boston Red Sox scored it — and now they lead an AL championship series that seemed to be slipping away last weekend.

John Lackey edged Justin Verlander in the latest duel of these pitching-rich playoffs, and Boston's bullpen shut down Detroit's big boppers with the game on the line to lift the Red Sox over the Tigers 1-0 Tuesday for a 2-1 advantage in the ALCS.

Mike Napoli homered off Verlander in the seventh inning, and Detroit's best chance to rally fell short in the eighth when Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder struck out with runners at the corners.

"This game had the feel it was going to be won or lost on one pitch," Boston reliever Craig Breslow said. "Lackey kept us in the game. Every inning where he was able to throw up a zero gave us a lift."

Despite three straight gems by their starters, the Tigers suddenly trail in a best-of-seven series they initially appeared to control. Game 4 is Wednesday night at Comerica Park, with Jake Peavy scheduled to start for the Red Sox against Doug Fister. Peavy set the tone Tuesday during a pregame news conference, when he sounded miffed that so much of the attention was focused on Verlander before Game 3.

"It's been funny for me to watch all the coverage of the game coming in," Peavy said. "Almost like we didn't have a starter going today. Our starter is pretty good, too."

Lackey backed that up and then some.

He allowed four hits in 62⁄3 innings, striking out eight without a walk in a game that was delayed 17 minutes in the second inning because lights on the stadium towers went out.

"I think that little time off gave him a chance to slow down a little bit. He was excited and pumped that first inning," Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Kind of getting excited with his slider, throwing a little too hard and leaving it over the middle, but he was still pretty effective."

It was the second 1-0 game in this matchup between the highest-scoring teams in the majors. Dominant pitching has been a running theme throughout these playoffs, which have included four 1-0 scores and seven shutouts in the first 26 games.

"The runs are pretty stingy," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "This is what it's about in postseason, is good pitching."

After rallying from a five-run deficit to even the series in Game 2, Boston came away with a win in Detroit against one of the game's best pitchers. The Tigers had a chance for their own comeback in the eighth when Austin Jackson drew a one-out walk and Torii Hunter followed with a single.

But Cabrera, who failed to reach base for the first time in 32 postseason games for the Tigers, never looked comfortable against Junichi Tazawa, swinging and missing at the first two offerings and eventually chasing an outside pitch for strike three.

"To me, I [got] myself out. I was swinging at a lot of balls out of the strike zone," said Cabrera, who has been banged up for a couple of months but homered in Game 2. "When you swing at balls, you're not able to have success."

Fielder looked even more overmatched against Koji Uehara, striking out on three pitches.

Uehara also worked the ninth for a save, ensuring that Lackey's fine performance wouldn't go to waste.

Lackey pitched poorly his first two seasons in Boston after signing an $82.5 million, five-year contract in December 2009. Then he missed all of 2012 following elbow ligament-replacement surgery.

He's been better this season, and he kept the defending AL champions off balance Tuesday by effectively changing speeds.

"He just never gave in," Saltalamacchia said. —

Schedule

All games on Fox

Detroit 1, Boston 0

Boston 6, Detroit 5

Boston 1, Detroit 0

Wednesday • Boston (Peavy 12-5) at Detroit (Fister 14-9), 6:07 p.m.

Thursday • Boston at Detroit, 6:07 p.m.

x-Saturday • Detroit at Boston, 2:37 p.m.

x-Sunday • Detroit at Boston, 6:07 p.m.

x-if necessary Red Sox 1, Tigers 0

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

Ellsbury cf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .100

Victorino rf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .091

Pedroia 2b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .200

D.Ortiz dh 3 0 0 0 1 0 .100

Napoli 1b 4 1 1 1 0 2 .125

Saltlamcchia c 3 0 0 0 0 3 .125

J.Gomes lf 3 0 1 0 0 2 .286

Drew ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 .111

Middlebrooks 3b

3 0 0 0 0 1 .125

Totals 31 1 4 1 1 11

Detroit AB R H BI BB SO Avg.

A.Jackson cf 3 0 0 0 1 2 .077

Tor.Hunter rf 4 0 2 0 0 1 .214

Mi.Cabrera 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .182

Fielder 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .273

V.Martinez dh 4 0 2 0 0 0 .364

1-H.Perez pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 —-

Jh.Peralta ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 .417

Avila c 3 0 0 0 1 2 .300

Infante 2b 3 0 0 0 0 2 .100

Dirks lf 2 0 0 0 0 1 .000

a-Iglesias ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 .250

D.Kelly lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Totals 32 0 6 0 2 12

Boston 000 000 100 — 1 4 0

Detroit 000 000 000 — 0 6 1

a-struck out for Dirks in the 8th.

1-ran for V.Martinez in the 9th.

E—Tor.Hunter (1).

LOB—Boston 4, Detroit 7. 2B—Jh.Peralta (3). HR—Napoli (1), off Verlander. RBIs—Napoli (1).

Runners left in scoring position—Boston 2 (Pedroia, Victorino) Detroit 4 (V.Martinez, Dirks, Infante, Fielder). RISP—Boston 0 for 4 Detroit 0 for 7.

Runners moved up—Avila. GIDP—Jh.Peralta.

DP—Boston 1 (Drew, Pedroia, Napoli).

Boston IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Lackey W, 1-0

62⁄3 4 0 0 0 8 0.00

Breslow 2⁄3 0 0 0 2 1 0.00

Tazawa 1⁄3 1 0 0 0 1 0.00

Uehara S, 1-1 11⁄3 1 0 0 0 2 0.00

Detroit IP H R ER BB SO ERA

Verlnder L, 0-1 8 4 1 1 1 10 1.13

Veras 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 1 6.75

Coke 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00

Albrquerque 1⁄3 0 0 0 0 0 5.40

Inherited runners-scored—Breslow 1-0, Tazawa 1-0, Uehara 2-0. WP—Verlander.

Umpires—Home, Ron Kulpa First, Alfonso Marquez Second, Dale Scott Third, Dan Iassogna Right, Rob Drake Left, Joe West.

T—3:20 (Rain delay: 0:17). A—42,327 (41,255)