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Big League Stew

ALDS Game 1: Justin Verlander dominates Oakland, Detroit takes early lead on 3-1 win

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

(AP)

Score and situation: The Detroit Tigers fired the opening shot of the ALDS, recording a 3-1 victory of the Oakland A's at Comerica Park on Saturday night.

Leading lads: Justin Verlander did exactly what he was supposed to do as one of the league's leading aces, shaking off a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp and dominating the A's the rest of the way. The big righthander went seven innings, allowing only three hits and striking out 11 Oakland batters. Alex Avila homered in the fifth inning to give Detroit an insurance run that it ultimately wouldn't need.

[Related: Infield-fly rule call leaves baseball with a mess on its hands]

Head hangers: Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson couldn't provide anything for Oakland's offense. The middle of the A's lineup went a combined 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts.

Key play: Oakland starter Jarrod Parker made a fielding error on a Quintin Berry grounder near first base in the third inning, allowing Omar Infante to score and give Detroit a 2-1 lead. A successful putout would have ended the inning.

What they'll be talking about: This contest was a great example of the old saying that momentum only goes as far as the next game's pitchers. While Parker and Oakland's bullpen were solid, the streaking A's were halted by one of the best in the game in Verlander. If Doug Fister can give Detroit a similar effort on Sunday, Oakland's feelgood story will be one game away from an early end.

What's next: The two teams have a very quick turnaround for Game 2 as first pitch is scheduled for 12:07 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. Fister gets the chance to extend Detroit's lead while Tommy Milone gets the nod for Oakland.

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