Napoli homers, Lackey shuts out Tigers
Mike Napoli homered and John Lackey tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings as visiting Boston edged Detroit to take a 2-1 lead in the American League Championship Series.
Napoli smashed a full-count fastball from Justin Verlander over the fence in left-center field with out in the seventh for the lone run allowed by the Tigers ace in 23 innings this postseason. Game 4 in the best-of-7 series is Wednesday in Detroit.
Lackey (1-0) struck out eight and gave up four hits and walked none in a strong outing. The bullpen got the final seven outs, including four from Koji Uehara for the save.
Verlander (0-1) struck out 10 – setting a postseason record with six career games of 10 or more strikeouts – and allowed one run and four hits in eight innings. He also matched the postseason record of six consecutive strikeouts when he fanned the last three batters in the second inning and struck out the side in the third.
Detroit had runners on first and third in the eighth before Junichi Tazawa struck out Miguel Cabrera and Uehara entered and fanned Prince Fielder. Uehara allowed a lead single to Victor Martinez in the ninth before inducing Jhonny Peralta to bounce into a double play and striking out Alex Avila.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Detroit pitchers have fanned 43 batters, a record through three games of a Championship Series. … Napoli’s only previous homer against Verlander came on May 4, 2006 – in his first major-league at-bat as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. … The game was delayed for 17 minutes due to a power outage prior to the bottom of the second inning.