|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 05 October 2007 19:37|
Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning off Francisco Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 Friday night, taking a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.
The Red Sox, who tied the game in the fifth thanks to the friendly - and legal - grab of a front-row fan, have a chance to complete the sweep on Sunday.
Curt Schilling will face Jered Weaver in Game 3 in Anaheim. The bloody-socked hero of Boston's 2004 World Series run was on his way to the West Coast with Game 1 and 4 starter Josh Beckett, manager Terry Francona said a few hours before Friday's game.
If so, they landed in time to catch the ending of the grueling, four-plus hour affair, in which Daisuke Matsuzaka needed 60 pitches to get through the first two innings.
Four relievers from Boston's well-rested bullpen threw 4 1-3 innings of hitless ball, with Jonathan Papelbon getting the last four outs for the win.
Julio Lugo opened the Red Sox ninth with a single off losing pitcher Justin Speier. On a hit-and-run, Lugo took second on Dustin Pedroia's grounder.
Rodriguez relieved and struck out Kevin Youkilis, then intentionally walked David Ortiz - his record fourth walk of the game - to face Ramirez.
``You've got pick your poison with those guys,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Ramirez, who is coming off the worst offensive full season of his career, hit a 1-0 pitch over the Green Monster and the seats behind it. It was his 21st postseason home run, one behind Bernie Williams' career record.
Indians 2, Yankees 1, 11 innings
CLEVELAND (AP) - Helped by a freakish invasion of bombarding bugs that rattled rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain in the eighth inning, Cleveland rallied to take a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.
Travis Hafner's bases-loaded, RBI single with two outs in the 11th scored Kenny Lofton with the winner.
Lunacy. Surreal. Hitchcockian. Call it whatever you'd like. October baseball has rarely witnessed anything close to it.
After Chamberlain's wild pitch in the eighth gave Cleveland the tying run, the Indians won it three innings later.
Lofton, a gnat-like nuisance to the Yankees so far in this series, walked on four pitches to lead off the 11th against Luis Vizcaino. Franklin Gutierrez failed twice to get down a sacrifice before hitting a single.
Casey Blake moved the runners up with a bunt before the Yankees walked Grady Sizemore to load the bases. Rookie Asdrubal Cabrera missed his chance at being a hero by popping up right in front of the plate.
Seconds later, the Indians were swarming Hafner.
Cleveland's designated hitter lined a single on a 3-2 pitch to right-center - making Cleveland 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position - and was mobbed by his teammates as an exhausted crowd of 44,732 towel-waving fans celebrated a win they'll talk about for years to come.
Rafael Perez tossed two scoreless innings to get the win.