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Napoli homer puts Red Sox on top, ends Verlander scoreless streak

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

cutline text here too
Mike Napoli has connected off Justin Verlander before -- in his first career MLB plate appearance in 2006. (USATSI)

Verlander ties postseason record | Detroit pitchers' early no-hit ways continue

With Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander doing his thing against the Red Sox early on in Game 3 of the ALCS, it became evident that the Red Sox's margin for error was pretty small. And give John Lackey credit, because he matched Verlander with zeroes through six innings.

Then, with one out in the seventh, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli broke the scoreless tie, taking Verlander deep for his first home run since Sept. 18.

Here it is:

Of note: Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave Napoli a little beard tug (via @buzzfeedsports):

Not only was this a late-inning, tiebreaking home run, but it broke Verlander's postseason scoreless innings streak at 21 1/3 innings. Big-time home run.

The shot was Napoli's sixth career postseason home run.

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