Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John Lackey, Mike Napoli Get Red Sox Past Detroit, 1-0; Matt Holliday Pushes Dodgers to the Brink in 4-2 St. Louis Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 15, 2013

American League
Mike Napoli

John Lackey
John Lackey gave the Red Sox his best, blanking the Detroit Tigers for 6 2/3 innings, and Mike Napoli delivered the only run of the game with a one-out, seventh-inning solo shot as Boston took a 2-1 lead in the AL championship series with a 1-0 victory in Detroit.

Lackey notched his second post-season win for the Red Sox in as many starts, improving his career marks to 5-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 14 starts. Giving up just four hits, Lackey fanned eight and did not walk a batter. Leaving in the bottom of the seventh with one aboard and two down, a trio of relievers finished his work, culminating with a four-out save by Koji Uehara, his third save of the post-season.

Napoli's homer came off Detroit starter, Justin Verlander, who went eight innings, giving up four hits and striking out 10. Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez both went 2-for-4 for the Tigers - all singles - but the 3-4 batters, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder produced only one hit between them, an inconsequential single by Fielder, a combined 1-for-8.

The series resumes Wednesday in Detroit at 8:07 pm EDT.

National League

Matt Holliday
After fouling out in the first inning, slugger Matt Holliday was still searching for his first hit of the series, 0-for-13 against the Dodgers in the NLCS.

When he came up in the third with a run already in, two outs and Matt Carpenter on third, Holliday didn't waste any time, mashing the first pitch from Ricky Nolasco into the far reaches of Dodger Stadium beyond left field, a 423-foot blast that put the Cardinals ahead 3-1.

Holliday's homer set the stage for the Cardinals' third win in four games over the Dodgers, putting LA on the brink of elimination in the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 victory and a three-games-to-one lead.

LA struck back with a pair of runs off starter Lance Lynn in the fourth, but it was all they could muster and proved insufficient, as Lynn picked up his second win of the series, going 5 1/3, and three relievers completed the job, blanking the Dodgers the rest of the way.

Shane Robinson added a solo homer in the seventh as a pinch-hitter, giving the Cards a cushion down the stretch.

Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig each went 2-for-3, but the Dodgers largely failed to get runners home despite eight hits and three walks (all off Lynn), grounding into three double plays. Nick Punto was picked off at second base by reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. LA stranded five and were 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

St. Louis will be looking to qualify for the World Series in game five Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles, Game time is 4:07 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: Who holds the record for most stolen bases in a single World Series? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Mickey Mantle holds the career mark, scoring 42 runs in multiple World Series as a member of the New York Yankees.

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