(Reuters) - The visiting Red Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 1-0 with Mike Napoli’s seventh-inning home run the difference as Boston took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series on Tuesday.
The series featured another pressure-packed pitchers’ duel, this time with Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Boston’s John Lackey matching zeroes until Napoli’s crushing blow with one out in the seventh on a 96 mph fastball.
Detroit threatened in the eighth with runners on first and third and one out, and the dangerous Miguel Cabrera at-bat.
Reliever Junichi Tazawa struck out Cabrera on an outside fastball before Red Sox manager John Farrell summoned closer Koji Uehara to face Prince Fielder.
Uehara struck out Fielder on a dipping split-fingered fastball to end the threat.
The game was delayed 17 minutes before the bottom of the second due to a power failure, but Napoli supplied the necessary jolt of power for the Red Sox to push ahead in the pivotal game.
Boston starter Lackey went 6-2/3 innings, giving up four hits and no walks, while striking out eight.
Verlander pitched eight innings, giving up one run on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
Game Four is scheduled for Wednesday in Detroit with Doug Fister expected to start for the Tigers against Jake Peavy.
Writing by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue