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Tigers’ ace aces A’s

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp, but that was it. Enlarge photo

Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander allowed a leadoff home run to Coco Crisp, but that was it.

DETROIT – Justin Verlander shut down Oakland after a leadoff homer, and Alex Avila went deep in the fifth inning to lift the Detroit Tigers over the Athletics 3-1 in the opener of their AL playoff Saturday night.

Verlander allowed three hits in seven innings and matched his career postseason high with 11 strikeouts. The only run he allowed was Coco Crisp’s leadoff home run that quieted the Comerica Park crowd.

Reds 5, Giants 2

SAN FRANCISCO – Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce homered off San Francisco’s Matt Cain, and Cincinnati beat San Francisco in Game 1 of the NL division series opener, despite losing ace Johnny Cueto to a back injury after eight pitches.