Still, the Tigers have fallen behind because their bullpen blew a four-run lead late in Game 2 and the offense came up empty at home on Tuesday.
Detroit stranded runners on first and third in the first, then wasted Jhonny Peralta's leadoff double in the fifth. Peralta reached third with one out, but an overanxious Omar Infante struck out and Andy Dirks grounded out.
Verlander needed every bit of focus after Jacoby Ellsbury's one-out single in the sixth. The Tigers have not held runners well this year, but a number of pickoff throws helped prevent a steal. At one point, Verlander appeared to be pointing at his wrist, as if to ask the dugout if his delivery to the plate was quick enough.
Amid all that, Verlander got Shane Victorino on a flyout, and after Ellsbury moved to second anyway on a wild pitch, Dustin Pedroia grounded out to end the threat.
Napoli's homer was the first run allowed by Verlander since Sept. 18 — he pitched six scoreless innings in each of his last two starts in the regular season before blanking the opposition for 21 innings in the playoffs.
Lackey was pulled with one on in the seventh. Breslow came on and walked Alex Avila, but Infante's groundout ended the inning.
The Red Sox appeared to be in deep trouble when Detroit led 5-0 in Game 2 at Fenway Park, but David Ortiz tied it with an eighth-inning grand slam off closer Joaquin Benoit, and Boston won it in the ninth.
Verlander looked ready to halt any notion of momentum for the Red Sox. He struck out six straight in the second and third, matching a single-game postseason record.
Lackey did his best to keep pace, retiring 10 in a row before Peralta's double.
The Tigers had taken no-hitters into at least the sixth inning of the previous three games. Verlander fell an out short of extending that streak when Gomes hit a roller up the middle for an infield single in the fifth.
"We won a game with four hits tonight. It says a lot about this team," Gomes said.
NOTES: Detroit reliever Phil Coke struck out seven straight over multiple outings during last year's World Series against San Francisco, according to STATS. ... DTE Energy said the lighting outage was because of a cable failure in the area near the stadium. ... The last time there were four 1-0 games in one postseason was 1991, according to STATS. There were three in the NLCS and another when Minnesota beat Atlanta in Game 7 of the World Series.