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Lackey Deals Red Sox Past Tigers to Give Sox 2-1 Series Lead

Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- John Lackey pitches 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, no runs, no walks while striking out eight as he outpitches Justin Verlander and leads the Boston Red Sox  to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series Tuesday.

Boston now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

"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."

It was lost on one pitch. In the seventh inning, Mike Napoli smacked a 3-2 fastball from Justin Verlander into the left field stands, scoring the only run of the game.

"He's tough. He was on his game tonight. He was keeping all of us off balance," Napoli said of Verlander. "I got to a 3-2 count and put a good swing on a pitch, was able to drive it."

Verlander may have been outpitched but that doesn't mean he pitched poorly. The right-hander pitched eight innings allowing four hits, one run, one walk while striking out ten. The run was the first Verlander has allowed in 23 innings this postseason.

"Obviously, it's tough, but you want to win every time you take the mound," Verlander said. "Obviously, to give my team a chance to win today, I would have had to throw up all zeros, and I wasn't able to do that. I wouldn't say it's frustrating, it's you know, I think you kind of expect that in this series. It's just kind of the way it's going to go. It's going to be a battle for every single out, every single run."

Game 4 is Wednesday in Detroit. Jake Peavy takes the mound for Boston and will be opposed by Doug Fister.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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