Verlander's job is to steady the defending AL champion Tigers.
"Obviously that was a tough one," Verlander said. "At the same time you know this series is going to be a dogfight. Nobody is going to walk over anybody."
The Tigers looked like they were ready to roll through the series after they won the opener and took a 5-0 lead in Game 2. Anibal Sanchez held Boston hitless for six innings on Saturday, and Max Scherzer allowed a run and two hits in seven innings Sunday.
Boston trailed 5-1 in the eighth in Game 2 before a remarkable rally against four relievers. Ortiz tied it with a two-out grand slam off closer Joaquin Benoit.
"I made a mistake that I take full responsibility for," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I should have just reminded him that we didn't want Ortiz to really beat us. He tried to make a great pitch. He tried to get it low and away out of the strike zone, but he didn't get it there."
Boston managed to win one of two at home despite striking out 32 times eight more than the previous record for the first two games of an LCS, set by the Los Angeles Dodgers a day earlier. The Red Sox are hopeful their bats will come around against Verlander in Game 3 at Comerica Park on Tuesday.
"I think we certainly gained some confidence in the last couple innings," Boston manager John Farrell said. "The work of Sanchez and Scherzer has been nothing short of spectacular. ... We feel like tomorrow's starter in Verlander is going to be a similar, if not a more difficult, challenge than what we faced already."
After a pedestrian regular season by his standards, Verlander pitched 15 scoreless innings in the division series against Oakland, including eight in Game 5. The Tigers have taken no-hitters into at least the sixth inning in three straight games, a remarkable feat even for a staff that set a major league record with 1,428 strikeouts during the regular season.
All games on Ch. 13
Saturday • Detroit 1, Boston 0
Sunday • Boston 6, Detroit 5
Tuesday • Boston (Lackey 10-13) at Detroit (Verlander 13-12), 2:07 p.m.
Wednesday • Boston (Peavy 12-5) at Detroit (Fister 14-9), 6:07 p.m.
Thursday • Boston at Detroit, 6:07 p.m.
x-Oct. 19 • Detroit at Boston, 2:37 p.m.
x-Oct. 20 • Detroit at Boston, 6:07 p.m.