American League Game Summary - Boston at Detroit|
(Tuesday, October 15th)
Final Score: Boston 1, Detroit 0
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Hits have been hard to come by for the
Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, but they've sure
made them count.
Mike Napoli broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run off Justin Verlander in
the seventh inning, and John Lackey and the Boston bullpen made the blast
stand up in a 1-0 Game 3 squeaker that gave the Red Sox the upper hand in this
The Red Sox had mustered a mere three hits and one run for the series entering
the eighth inning of Sunday's Game 2, when David Ortiz brought Boston back to
life with a game-tying grand slam and the AL East champs rallied for a
thrilling 6-5 win. They managed only four hits and struck out 10 times in
eight innings against Verlander (0-1), but shut down a Detroit lineup that
continually failed in the clutch to take a 2-1 series lead heading to
Wednesday's Game 4.
Lackey (1-0) was splendid during his 6 2/3-inning stint, holding the Tigers to
four hits and striking out eight without a walk. Three relievers finished off
the shutout, with Game 2 winner Koji Uehara shutting the door with a four-out
"John Lackey was outstanding," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He held his
stuff throughout the entire time he was out there. Just very good work by
every guy that went to the mound today."
Detroit went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position for the game, with Torii
Hunter and Victor Martinez each going 2-for-4 in the loss.
"Today I thought Lackey and [catcher Jarrod] Saltalamacchia were absolutely
terrific, game calling, pitch making," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
"[Alex] Avila and Verlander were exactly the same. It was just tremendous
pitching and both guys called a great game. And that pretty much sums it up."
Boston's slumbering bats were kept quiet by Verlander through the first six
innings of play, with the Tigers All-Star surrendering just two hits and a
walk over that stretch. Lackey was up to the task, however, matching zeros
with his counterpart while permitting only a Jhonny Peralta double between the
second and sixth frames.
Verlander was able to get the dangerous Ortiz to ground to short to begin the
seventh, but fell behind in the count to Napoli, who drilled a high fastball
on the righty's 100th pitch of the night into the bullpen area behind left-
center field to end the stalemate.
The homer snapped a string of 34 straight scoreless innings for Verlander, 21
of which had come during this postseason.
"Going to that at-bat, he got me twice early in the game," said Napoli. "Threw
me four sliders, which he's never done to me before. But I just kept on going
at it. I put a good at-bat together. I was able to get [the count] to 3-2 and
got a pitch I could handle."
Lackey allowed a one-out single to Martinez in the bottom of the seventh
before getting Peralta to fly out. He was then removed by Farrell in favor of
left-hander Craig Breslow, who promptly walked Avila to advance the tying
run to second but averted damage by retiring Omar Infante on a slow grounder.
The Boston bullpen snuffed out another threat in the eighth, when a walk to
Austin Jackson and Hunter's single off Junichi Tazawa put runners at the
corners with one out. Tazawa came up with a huge strikeout of AL batting
champion Miguel Cabrera, however, and Uehara did the same to Prince Fielder to
keep the one-run edge intact.
"We liked the matchup with [Tazawa's] power against Cabrera," said Farrell.
Cabrera has had good success against Koji in the past, hit a couple of balls
out of the ballpark against him. And particularly after the base hit the other
way by Torii to put them in the first-and third-situation, we felt power was
the best way to go here. Whether he climbed the ladder away from him late or
just stayed hard with him, it was a pivotal moment. You're getting the best
guy in baseball at the plate, trying to preserve a one-run lead."
Martinez led off the bottom of the ninth with a single, but Uehara induced a
6-4-3 double-play bouncer to Peralta and then fanned Avila to close out the
The Red Sox didn't collect a hit off Detroit starters Anibal Sanchez and Max
Scherzer through the first five-plus innings of Games 1 and 2, and nearly
suffered the same fate in this one. Verlander took a no-no into the fifth
until Jonny Gomes legged out an infield single with two outs, though he was
Verlander had permitted just one baserunner prior to the hit, when Ortiz
worked an eight-pitch walk in the second. Gomes narrowly missed hitting a two-
run homer later in the frame, however, before becoming the third of six
consecutive Verlander strikeout victims that tied a postseason record.
Lackey was in a groove of his own, setting down 10 straight batters until
Peralta drove a fastball into the gap in left center to open Detroit's half of
the fifth. Peralta advanced to third on an Avila grounder, but was kept there
when Lackey fanned Infante in front of Andy Dirks' inning-ending grounder.
The game was delayed for approximately 15 minutes in the middle of the second
inning due to a brief power outage ... Verlander also became the first in
postseason history to record six career games with double-digit strikeouts,
breaking a tie he shared with Cliff Lee, Randy Johnson and Bob Gibson ...
Cabrera finished 0-for-4 and had a club-record 31-game streak of reaching base
in postseason play halted ... Lackey threw 16-of-24 first-pitch strikes and
set a postseason best for strikeouts in a game, bettering the seven he had
with the Angels in both the 2002 and '09 ALCS ... A moment of silence was held
prior to the game in honor of longtime umpire Wally Bell, who passed away
Monday at the age of 48 after suffering a heart attack ... The Red Sox will
send Jake Peavy to the hill in Wednesday's Game 4 opposite Detroit's Doug
10/15 23:24:47 ET