|Nixon nails old mates, Indians beat Red Sox 13-6 in 11 innings to tie ALCS at 1 apiece|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 13 October 2007 19:53|
The former Red Sox stalwart snapped an 11th-inning tie with a pinch-hit single, and the Cleveland Indians broke loose for six more runs to beat the Red Sox 13-6 early Sunday morning and tie the AL championship series at a game apiece.
The best-of-seven series moves to Cleveland for Game 3, when Red Sox rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka will face Jake Westbrook.
The anticipated matchup of 2001 World Series co-MVP Curt Schilling and 19-game winner Fausto Carmona fizzled into a stalemate that lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes. It ended at 1:37 a.m. EDT, when Joe Borowski got a game-ending double play.
Tom Mastny got the win and deserved it: He retired David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell in order in the 10th - something few other pitchers have done this offseason. With Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon done after pitching two innings, Eric Gagne came in for the 11th.
The trade deadline acquisition fanned Casey Blake to start the inning, then gave up a single to Grady Sizemore and walked Asdrubal Cabrera.
Nixon, a first-round draft pick who spent the first 13 years of his career in the Boston organization, singled off Javier Lopez to right-center to break the tie.
The Indians, handcuffed by Josh Beckett and the Boston bullpen in Friday's opener, weren't done.
After a run-scoring wild pitch and Ryan Garko's RBI single chased Lopez, Jon Lester came on and gave up Jhonny Peralta's RBI double and a three-run homer to Franklin Gutierrez that made it 13-6.
In Cleveland, the Indians will need Westbrook, their No. 3 starter, to do what co-aces C.C. Sabathia and Carmona couldn't: Keep Ortiz and Ramirez off base, or at least keep Lowell from driving them in.
``We have enough depth throughout the lineup, or if people pitch around somebody, it ends up hurting them,'' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game, a day after his top two sluggers reached base in all 10 plate appearances and scored four times. ``If you want to walk somebody, we want them to pay for it.''
Lowell is the key to that.
The third baseman, who had a career-high 120 RBIs protecting Ortiz and Ramirez in the lineup, has driven home a run in all five of Boston's playoff games. On Saturday, he hit a bases-loaded single in the third to knock in two runs and then joined Ramirez in back-to-back homers - and curtain calls - in the fifth when the Red Sox briefly took a 6-5 lead.
The Indians tied it in the sixth on Gutierrez's RBI groundout.
Ramirez hit his 23rd postseason homer, breaking a mark he had shared with former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams. The left fielder, who tipped his cap to the crowd when the accomplishment was noted on the scoreboard, also drew his third bases-loaded walk in two days, setting the record for one postseason.
Ortiz, who walked in the first and singled in the third, tied a postseason record by reaching base safely in 10 straight plate appearances before grounding into a fielder's choice in the fifth. But the big slugger hustled down the line to beat out a potential double play before Ramirez went deep.
Schilling made his first playoff appearance at Fenway Park since his second bloody sock outing, Game 2 of the 2004 World Series, when he took the mound with a surgically repaired ankle and allowed the St. Louis Cardinals just one unearned run in six innings.
He pitched seven shutout innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in the first-round clincher.
But the Indians got to him quickly.
Sizemore doubled leading off the game and scored on Victor Martinez's double. After the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead in the third, Peralta put Cleveland back on top with a three-run homer to center in the fourth.
Sizemore made it 5-3 with his solo shot in the fifth, then Travis Hafner and Martinez reached on consecutive singles with two outs and that was all for Schilling. It was the second-shortest postseason start of his career, and his postseason ERA went from 1.93 to 2.53.
Carmona also had the second-shortest postseason start of his career - out of two. He pitched nine innings of three-hit ball in the ``Bug Game,'' an extra-inning, first-round victory over the New York Yankees.
Notes: Former Red Sox right-hander Jim Lonborg threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The 1967 AL Cy Young Award winner pitched a one-hit shutout in Game 2 of the World Series that year and won Game 5 with a three-hitter before coming back on two days' rest and losing to Bob Gibson in Game 7. ... Commissioner Bud Selig, who was at the NLCS in Arizona on Friday night, was at Fenway for Saturday's game.