Strong pitching and a mammoth home run by Mike Napoli helped lead the Boston Red Sox to a nail-biting 4-3 road victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

Thursday night's win at Comerica Park gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, which now shifts back to Boston for a Game 6 and, if necessary, a decisive Game 7.

Napoli kicked off the scoring in the top of the second with a solo blast that easily cleared the center field wall, one of three runs Boston scored that inning off Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.

The Red Sox's first baseman would then score on a wild pitch in the next inning to give his team a four-run cushion.

Detroit would not give up another run, however, and gradually chipped away at the lead.

Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera drove in his team's first run with a single in the bottom of the fifth.

Detroit's third run scored off his bat in the seventh inning, although it came when he grounded into a costly double play as Detroit was threatening to tie the game or even take the lead.

Boston starter Jon Lester turned in a solid outing, working 5 1/3 innings and giving up just two runs.

Closer Koji Uehara also played a crucial role, coming into the game in the bottom of the eighth and earning a five-out save to wrap up the victory.

The series now goes back to Boston, where Saturday afternoon's Game 6 pitching matchup will feature the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz against this year's Cy Young Award favorite, the Tigers' Max Scherzer. EFE