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Home » 2013 PostseasonOctober 2013 » Light ’Em Up Up Up

Light ’Em Up Up Up

Although John Lackey was visibly annoyed that a 17-minute power outage prevented him from taking the mound for the bottom of the second that frustration channeled itself into spectacular pitching. In the first inning Lackey gave up two singles but for his remaining 5⅔ innings he only surrendered a double to Jhonny Peralta in the sixth and a single to Victor Martinez in the seventh.

Lackey outdueled Justin Verlander, of all pitchers. If there were a proposition bet on such an occurrence someone would be a billionaire. Verlander didn’t permit a hit until fifth inning when Jonny Gomes tapped a two-out single to Peralta. In the sixth Jacoby Ellsbury also managed a single off the Tigers’ ace but didn’t advance past second.

Mike Napoli dispensed with single-base bleeders and bloops and bopped a one-out home to left field with the count full. It was the only run in a tense contest.

Craig Breslow was summoned in the bottom of the seventh to take care of the final out with Martinez, a runner he inherited from Lackey, on first. Alex Avila took a called strike but Breslow failed to get the next four pitches in the zone. Omar Infante didn’t display such patience and ended the frame by grounded out to his counterpart at second base.

Breslow sat former teammate Jose Iglesias with three pitches but allowed speedy Austin Jackson to reach on a base on balls. Junichi Tazawa took over for Breslow but got into a jam when Torii Hunter laced a liner to left that allowed Jackson to race to third.

John Farrell trusted Tazawa to face Miguel Cabrera with runners at the corners and one out. Cabrera, the destroyer of worlds, who could change the face of the game with a single swing. Tazawa dismissed him in four pitches, three of which Cabrera failed to make contact.

Farrell then called on Koji Uehara for a four-out save. Prince Fielder was dispatched with assassin-sharp efficiency: two fastballs he failed to get into play and a splitter that Fielder’s bat kissed for a foul tip.

Martinez led off the ninth and Jim Leyland sent in Hernan Perez as a pinch runner. Perez didn’t have a chance to advance as Peralta grounded into a nifty 6-4-3 double play. What Uehara did to Avila was so filthy it wouldn’t make the cut into the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaptation.

David Ortiz (who may be seeing a lot more of Phil Coke rather than Joaquin Benoit in the late innings of the upcoming games) picked up Uehara and carried him on his shoulder during the post-game celebration like they were trudging off to a slumber party. Good morning, good afternoon, good night.

ALCS Game 3: October 15, 2013
WinBoston Red Sox
1 W: John Lackey (1-0)
H: Craig Breslow (1), Junichi Tazawa (1)
S: Koji Uehara (1-0)
HR: Mike Napoli (1)
Detroit Tigers
0 L: Justin Verlander (0-1)
2B: Jhonny Peralta (3)

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