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MLB: Detroit 3, Oakland 1

Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:29 PM

DETROIT, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Justin Verlander struck out 11 Oakland batters in seven innings Saturday and Detroit bested the Athletics 3-1 in their American League Division Series opener.

Verlander (1-0) yielded one run on three hits while walking four, becoming the first pitcher with 11 or more strikeouts in seven or fewer innings in an AL post-season game since 1999.

The Tigers' ace placed 79 of his 121 pitches for strikes and fanned five straight Athletics batters at one point as the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Joaquin Benoit hurled a scoreless eighth and Jose Valverde notched a save.

Alex Avila added a solo homer for Detroit.

Oakland's Jarrod Parker (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits through 6 1/3 frames.

The right-hander mishandled Quintin Berry's infield grounder in the third inning, allowing Omar Infante to score for a 2-1 Detroit lead.

Coco Crisp provided Oakland's only offense by socking a solo homer to lead off the game.

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