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BOSTON (CBS) – Follow along for all the updates from Game 3 of the ALCS!
FINAL — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: High fives everywhere! The Red Sox have a 2-1 lead in the ALCS after squeaking out a 1-0 win over the Tigers in Game 3.
Koji Uehara gave up a leadoff single in the ninth to Victor Martinez, who injured himself getting back to the bag, but quickly worked around it. He got Peralta to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, and then Alex Avila swinging to end it.
The offense was silent again, minus one swing of Mike Napoli’s bat, but Boston’s pitching was lights out. They struck out 11 and didn’t allowed any of the eight Detroit base runners find their way home. John Lackey outdueled Justin Verlander with 6.2 shutout innings, striking out a new playoff career-high eight batters.
Boston has their first lead of the series heading into Wednesday’s Game 4, with Jake Peavy on the hill against Detroit’s Doug Fister (14-9, 3.67).
Middle 9th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: It took three Detroit relievers, but the Red Sox go down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
Uehara will now face Martinez, Peralta and Avila as Boston is three outs (and countless high-fives) away from taking a 2-1 lead in the ALCS.
End 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Uehara needed just three pitches to retire Fielder, getting the first baseman to swing and miss at each of them.
The Tigers had first and third and just one out with their two biggest bats coming to the plate, but get nothing out of it thanks to a back-to-back strikeouts by Tazawa and Uehara.
Detroit is now 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position tonight.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Make that 1-for-4 with three strikeouts for Cabrera in his career against Tazawa.
The Sox righty got Cabrera swinging on four pitches on a pitch outside of the zone.
That’ll do it for Tazawa, as Koji Uehara makes his way out for the four-out save. He’ll face Prince Fielder, who is 0-for-2 against Uehara in his career.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: This one just got very interesting.
Hunter lined a single to right, moving Jackson to third. That means it will be Tazawa vs. Miguel Cabrera with two on and just one out, as Boston clings to a 1-0 lead.
Cabrera is 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in his career against Tazawa.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Maybe Breslow should have only faced one batter.
He walked Jackon (who walked just 52 times in the regular season) on five pitches, giving him another two-walk outing of the series. Breslow did that just twice in 61 appearances during the regular season.
In come Junichi Tazawa to face Torii Hunter.
Bottom 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: I was wrong on two counts.
That one batter wasn’t Dirks, it was pinch-hitter Jose Iglesias, who struck out on three pitches.
And Breslow remains in there to face Austin Jackson.
It does look like Verlander’s night is done though after 120 pitches in eight innings.
Middle 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: After Drew reaches, Verlander gets the Sox 1-2-3 on two fly outs and a line out.
It’s kind of curious that Will Middlebrooks didn’t try to bunt Drew over with runs at a premium this series. We’ll see if that decision comes back to bite Boston (especially since Ellsbury flew out to deep left for the inning’s second out).
Breslow is back out for the eighth, but it may just be for one batter — lefty Andy Dirks.
Top 8th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Stephen Drew gives the Red Sox a good chance to add to their lead, getting things started with a single down the right field line. Drew went to second as Torii Hunter takes his sweet time to get to the ball and gets charged with an error.
End 7th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: After Breslow walked Avila to lead off his outing, he calmly got Infante to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Which is a good thing, because John Lackey’s head would have exploded if that inning turned into anything for the Tigers.
Lackey’s final line of the night: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K (66 of 97 pitches went for strikes)
Very good stuff as he goes toe-to-toe with Verlander, and then some.
Verlander, by the way, is heading back out there for the eighth.
Bottom 7th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: John Lackey did not want to come out of this ballgame, but John Farrell is going with Craig Breslow to pick up the final out of the bottom of the seventh with Victor Martinez on first.
Jonny Gomes’ intangibles were on full display for the first out of the inning, as he sprawled out to make a nice diving catch on a Prince Fielder liner.
But Martinez followed that with a single up the middle to give Detroit their first baserunner since the fifth.
Lackey went 3-0 to Peralta, but got the hottest bat in the Detroit lineup to fly out to right field. That’s when Farrell made the call to the pen for Breslow to face Alex Avila.
Lackey, who was at 97 pitches, pleaded to stay in and let out a big “wow” in the dugout after getting the hook.
Middle 7th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Verlander struck out two more to give him 10 on the night, but Boston finally got to the Detroit ace for a run.
Verlander is up to 112 pitches on the night, so it will be interesting to see if Leyland sends him back out there for the eighth.
Out comes Lackey, who is at just 88 pitches, to face Fielder, Martinez and Peralta for Detroit.
Top 7th — Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: Mike Napoli may be 1-for-7 in the ALCS, but that one is a big one.
Napoli took Verlander’s 100th pitch of the game, a 96-mph fastball, out to left for a solo shot, breaking up the scoreless tie to give Boston a 1-0 lead. It’s Napoli’s first homer since September 18.
Everyone, myself included, will now apologize for asking for Daniel Nava at first in Game 4.
End 6th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: We’re still scoreless, as John Lackey is dominating the Detroit batters.
He struck out two more in the sixth to give him eight for the game, a new playoff career-high for Lackey. He got Torii Hunter looking bad at another curveball, which has been a deadly pitch for Lackey today.
Miguel Cabrera popped out to first to end the inning, as Lackey sits at 88 pitches through six innings.
David Ortiz leads off for the Sox as they try to figure out Verlander.
Middle 6th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Ellsbury clearly bothered Verlander as he made numerous throws over to first, including a few in which Ellsbury was standing on the bag, but the speedy center fielder didn’t attempt to steal with Shane Victorino at the plate.
Instead, he made it to second on a wild pitch during Dustin Pedroia’s at-bat, but it didn’t matter. Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch and the Red Sox stranded their second runner of the game.
Verlander is up to 90 pitches now through six innings, but he’ll probably be able to go up to 120+ if need be.
Top 6th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Jacoby Ellsbury has his first hit of the ALCS thanks to a one-out single to center. He is now 1-for-9 in the series, with that single being the first ball he’s hit out of the infield.
Now we’ll see if he can cause some havoc on the base baths, and if it gets to Verlander at all.
End 5th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: John Lackey is making some big-game pitches right now.
After giving up a lead-off double to Jhonny Peralta (who is 5-for-10 in the series), Lackey got Avila to ground out to second. Peralta moved to third on the play, forcing John Farrell to move his infield in with just one out.
But Lackey got Infante to strike out on another nasty curveball after an eight-pitch battle, Lackey’s sixth K of the game, and then got Dirks to ground out to second on one pitch.
While Verlander has looked stellar, Lackey isn’t far behind in that department. Now we’ll see if the Boston bats can feed off their pitcher’s strong showing on the bump.
Middle 5th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: The Red Sox finally have a hit before the sixth inning this series!
Following strikeouts by Napoli and Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes hit a slow grounder up the middle for an infield single. Jhonny Peralta tried to make a play on the ball, but his throw to first was low and Prince Fielder couldn’t scoop it out of the dirt.
But it didn’t matter much, as Stephen Drew grounded out to second to end the inning.
Things just keep getting worse for Napoli, who is now 0-for-6 in the series with six strikeouts. He is just 2-for-19 with 10 K’s in the playoffs.
Daniel Nava at first, anyone?
End 4th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: We’ve got ourselves another nicely little pitcher’s duel today.
Lackey sets down the Tigers in order in the bottom of the fourth, starting things off with a nice punch-out of Miguel Cabrera. With a 1-2 count, Lackey elevated with a high fastball and got the Tigers’ slugger swinging for his fifth strikeout on the afternoon.
He got both Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez to ground out, and has now set down the last 10 in order.
Like Verlander, Lackey is at just 55 pitches through four innings.
Middle 4th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Verlander needed just seven pitches to sit down the Sox 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth.
Victorino fouled out to catcher Alex Avila on three pitches, followed by a fly out to left by Pedroia.
David Ortiz gave the second pitch he saw from Verlander a ride to deep center, but Andy Dirks made a nice grab near the wall to retire the side.
Just 55 pitches for Verlander through four innings of work, as the Red Sox are still looking for their first hit of the game.
Top 4th — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: MLB released a statement about the power outage, saying a nearby substation went offline.
The stadium needed 15 minutes to reboot the lights, and Lackey was given as much time as he needed to warm up when play was resumed.
End 3rd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: As good as Verlander has looked on the mound for the Tigers, John Lackey looks just as good for the Red Sox.
He struck out Andy Dirks swinging on a nice curve, followed by Austin Jackson swinging to give him five straight strikeouts. He retired the side in order by getting Torii Hunter to hit a check-swing grounder to Pedroia at second.
Lackey has just 44 pitches through three innings.
Middle 3rd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: If anything, the 30-minute break made Verlander look even better.
He needed just 15 pitches to strike out the side again in the top of the third, and has sat down the last six Boston batters by way of the K.
Verlander got Stephen Drew swinging on five pitches, and both Will Middlebrooks and Jascoby Ellsbury looking.
So far in the ALCS, 38 of Boston’s 57 outs are strikeouts.
47 pitches for Verlander through three innings, and the Red Sox are still looking for their first hit of the game.
End 2nd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Lackey made quick work of the Tigers in the bottom of the second, needing just 15 pitches to set them down in order.
He got Jhonny Peralta to fly out on three pitches, and then struck out both Alex Avila and Omar Infante swinging for his first two punch-outs of the day.
Lackey is up to just 30 pitches through two innings, with 21 of them going for strikes.
Now we’ll see how Verlander does after roughly a 30-minute break.
Bottom 2nd — Red Sox 0, Tigers, 0: The lights are back and so is baseball.
It was only a 17-minute delay, so it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on the pitchers, but we’ll have to wait and see. John Lackey did not look to happy as he stood in the Boston dugout waiting for the all clear sign from the umpires.
It’s a good thing the delay didn’t go on for too long, as there is rain due in the Detroit area around 8 p.m. tonight.
Middle 2nd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: There’s a small power outage at Comerica Field right now and the game is being delayed.
Some of the lights and parts of the scoreboards have gone out, and despite the fact that there’s still plenty of sunlight, the umpires are delaying this one. It could take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to resume play.
This brings back memories to the Super Bowl when the Super Dome in New Orleans lost power shortly after halftime. Wonder what Ray Lewis will have to say about this one?
Middle 2nd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Verlander worked around a leadoff walk of Ortiz and came back to strike out the side.
After Ortiz’s free pass, Verlander got Mike Napoli swinging at a nasty curve ball on four pitches. Napoli is now 0-for-5 with 5 K’s in the ALCS. He then struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia on five pitches.
Jonny Gomes nearly took a 2-2 curveball and wrapped it around the foul pole in left, but it was just out of play. He put together a good at-bat overall, but ended up striking out after nine pitches.
It was a good inning for Sox batters in regards to the amount of pitches seen. They made Verlander throw 26 pitches in the frame, mostly thanks to Ortiz and Gomes, and have him up to 34 pitches through two innings.
Top 2nd — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: David Ortiz just saw as many pitches as the Red Sox’ first three batters in the top of the first, working an eight-pitch walk to lead off the top of the second.
End 1st — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: The Tigers came out hacking against Lackey, but came away with just a couple of singles to show for it.
Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter each swung at the first pitches they saw, with Jackson flying out to right and Hunter singling to center.
Miguel Cabrera swung at the first pitch he saw as well, and flew out to deep center on the fourth pitch he saw. After looking at a strike, Prince Fielder singled to shallow center to give Detroit runners on first and third with two outs.
Victor Martinez worked a seven pitch at-bat against Lackey, but flew out to center to end the inning and any threat by Detroit.
It was a 15-pitch inning for Lackey against an aggressive top of the order for Detroit.
Middle 1st — Red Sox 0, Tigers 0: Verlander made quick work of the Red Sox in the top of the first, retiring the side on just eight pitches.
Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to third on a check swing and was followed by a pair of weak fly-outs by Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia.
Boston wanted to work the count against Verlander in hopes of getting to the Detroit bullpen early, but they didn’t so much working in the first.
Pregame — 3:27 p.m.: The Red Sox and Tigers will break the 1-1 tie in the ALCS with some afternoon baseball in Detroit.
Detroit sends ace Justin Verlander to the hill in Tuesday’s Game 3, who has been fantastic on the mound since mid-September. Verlander hasn’t allowed a run in his last 28 innings (including the regular season and postseason) and is coming off an 10 strikeout performance in Detroit’s 3-0 ALDS-clinching win in Oakland last Thursday. The 6-5 righty has 21 K’s in 15 innings this postseason while allowing just six hits and two walks. Imagine what he could do against the Sox, who have struck out 32 times over the first two games.
So base runners will be at a premium today if Verlander is on, but the Red Sox did manage to get to him during the regular season. Back in late June — when Verlander was somewhat human — the Sox made him work through five innings, tagging him for four runs off seven hits and three walks. They saw 112 pitches from Verlander that day, and grinding out at-bats will be key once again this afternoon. That’s much easier said than done against Verlander, especially given his recent hot streak, but the Red Sox did that better than anyone else this season.
Manager John Farrell has decided to go with Jonny Gomes over Daniel Nava in left field today despite a right-hander being on the mound. Farrell praised Gomes for his “intangibles” on Monday, and will see what Gomes can do against Verlander this afternoon. He is hitless in eight career at-bats against Verlander with a sac fly and three walks, and was just 1-for-9 with a double and RBI at Comerica Park this season.
It’s a decision that some are questioning already, after Nava has put up good at-bats so far this postseason. He is batting just .250, but has three hits and three walks in 11 plate appearances, and gave the Red Sox their lone hit in Game 1 on Saturday. Nava has faced Verlander just once in his career, going 1-for-3 with a three-run double in a Boston win in 2012. We’ll have to wait and see if this is a move that people are still second-guessing after the game.
One Boston bat that has had success against Verlander is Game 2 hero David Ortiz, who touts a .370 average against the righty. Ortiz is 10-for-27 with four doubles, two home runs and four RBIs,
“We’re going against one of the best pitches in the game. He knows how to get you chasing pitchers out of the strike zone,” Ortiz told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Monday. “He has good velocity and good off-speed pitches. I tell the team to go out and try not to hit everything.”
John Lackey gets the start for Boston. His road struggles during the regular season are well-noted, but Lackey had some success in his only start at Comerica this year. He allowed just two runs over seven innings while striking out five, earning a no decision in a 4-3 Boston loss.
Here is the full Red Sox lineup for Game 3 of the ALCS:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
7. Jonny Gomes, LF
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
– John Lackey, SP
If you’re stuck at work or can’t make it home in time for the game, we’ll have all the updates here on CBSBostonsports.com and full reaction and analysis following the game!
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