BOSTON (AP) -Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed a single in three innings, Manny Ramirez drove in his 14th run of the postseason and the Boston Red Sox led the Cleveland Indians 3-0 after three innings in Game 7 of the AL championship series Sunday night.
Matsuzaka, the $103 million pitcher who failed to get out of the fifth inning in his other two playoff starts, retired Cleveland's first eight batters. Casey Blake then singled and took second on a wild pitch before Grady Sizemore struck out.
Jake Westbrook, the Game 3 winner over Matsuzaka, was tagged for seven hits in the first three innings. Ramirez singled in a run in the first, another scored on Julio Lugo's double-play grounder in the second and the third scored on Mike Lowell's sacrifice fly in the third.
The Red Sox signed Matsuzaka to a $52 million, six-year contract after paying $51.11 million to the Seibu Lions, his former team, for the right to negotiate with him.
Before the game, Indians pitcher Paul Byrd responded to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday that he had used human growth hormone. He said that he used it for a medical condition but that he never injected the banned drug without a doctor's prescription.
Byrd, the Game 4 winner, was available to pitch in relief Sunday. So was Josh Beckett, who won Games 1 and 5 for Boston.
Boston was trying to reach the World Series for the second time in four years. In 2004 it ended an 86-year championship drought by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals.
Cleveland last played in the World Series in 1997 when it lost in seven games to the Florida Marlins. The Indians last won the championship in 1948. Only the Chicago Cubs have waited longer, last winning in 1908.
Teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win a series just 10 times. The 2004 Red Sox were the last to do it when they lost the first three games of the ALCS to the New York Yankees then won four straight before sweeping St. Louis in the World Series.
The Indians took three of the first four games, then Boston won 7-1 behind Beckett before returning home for a 12-2 victory Saturday night when J.D. Drew hit a grand slam and drove in five runs and Curt Schilling pitched seven solid innings.
Boston got a break in the first when Ramirez's hard shot took a bad hop and went off shortstop Jhonny Peralta's glove for an RBI single. Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis started the inning with singles before David Ortiz struck out.
Then Ramirez drove in his 14th run, most in this year's playoffs, and 10th of the ALCS as Youkilis scored from second. Lowell followed with a single, but Drew grounded into a double play.
Another double play cut short a potential big inning for Boston.
Jason Varitek led off the second with a double off the Green Monster and took third on Jacoby Ellsbury's single. Lugo then grounded to Peralta, who started a double play as Varitek scored.
Youkilis started the third with a double, the third leadoff hit off Westbrook. He advanced on a ground out. Ramirez was walked intentionally before Lowell hit a sacrifice fly to right fielder Franklin Gutierrez.
Matsuzaka retired the side in order in the first two innings on just 21 pitches, 16 for strikes. His only strikeout was against Travis Hafner, who fanned for the 10th time in his 0-for-16 slump. The fans stood and roared when the count went to 1-and-2 on Hafner.
Matsuzaka threw two straight balls before Hafner fouled the next pitch off then whiffed on a 94 mph fastball.
It was the biggest game of Dice-K's career that has included several others.
In the 1998 Japanese national high school championship, he pitched a 17-inning complete game in the quarterfinals and a no-hitter in the finals. He was a member of Japan's Olympic teams in 2000 and 2004. And in March 2006, he was the MVP of the first World Baseball Classic, won by Japan.
He went 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA during the regular season and struggled at the end. Then he lasted just 4 2-3 innings in each of his first two playoff appearances. In Game 3 of the ALCS, he was charged with four runs in the Indians 4-2 win that gave them a 2-1 lead.
Westbrook, 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA, got the win in that game, allowing two runs in seven innings.

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