Justin Verlander allowed one run and struck out 11 batters in seven innings and the Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-1 in a Major League Baseball American League Division Series game.
The Tigers have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series with Game 2 tomorrow at Comerica Park in Detroit. In the National League game tonight, the Cincinnati Reds are visiting the San Francisco Giants.
Verlander allowed three hits, including a home run by Coco Crisp leading off the game for the Athletics last night.
“Obviously, that takes the wind out of your sails,” Verlander said in a televised interview. “It’s like a heavyweight bout when you get popped in the face in the first round and it kind of wakes you up.”
Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth for Detroit and Jose Valverde got a save while striking out two in the ninth.
“I was out of sync early,” Verlander said. “Then I found my rhythm, my mechanics.”
The Tigers scored a run in the first on a double-play grounder by Miguel Cabrera. Omar Infante scored on an error by Oakland pitcher Jarrod Parker in the third and Alex Avila hit a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Parker gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings.