|Red Sox lead Rockies 6-2 after 6 innings in Game 3 of World Series|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 27 October 2007 18:37|
With the Red Sox trying to move within one victory of their second Series sweep in four seasons, a sizable contingent of Boston fans cheered and chanted at Coors Field all night. Rockies rooters tried to drown them out, revved-up themselves for the first World Series game in Colorado.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including two doubles in a six-run third that finished Rockies starter Josh Fogg. That was enough for Matsuzaka, pulled after walking consecutive batters with one out in the sixth.
Brad Hawpe and Yorvit Torrealba hit RBI singles off Javier Lopez, and pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs nearly got the Rockies back in the game. His drive to center off Mike Timlin was caught by Ellsbury just in front of the 415-foot sign.
Then, Boston shortstop Julio Lugo made a leaping catch to rob pinch-hitter Jeff Baker of at least one RBI. With the Red Sox still comfortably ahead, Lugo raised his fist in the air as he turned and headed back toward the dugout.
Mike Lowell also hit a two-run single off Fogg, replaced by Franklin Morales after giving up 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings. David Ortiz and Ellsbury each had an RBI double.
Before the game, there were a few hundred Red Sox fans in full regalia behind their third-base dugout. Several said they got tickets through the Rockies' online sale.
With no designated hitter allowed in the National League ballpark, the Red Sox played a hobbling Ortiz at first base and put Kevin Youkilis on the bench. Lowell remained at third, but Ellsbury moved up to the leadoff spot.
Ellsbury already had three hits before the No. 9 spot in Colorado's lineup even came up. The rookie outfielder became the second player in World Series history to hit two doubles in one inning. Arizona's Matt Williams also did it in 2001, in Game 6 against the New York Yankees.
The Rockies shuffled their lineup as well - by choice.
Slumping leadoff man Willy Taveras was benched and replaced in center field by Cory Sullivan, who batted eighth. Kaz Matsui moved from the No. 2 spot to leadoff, and Troy Tulowitzki jumped from seventh to second.
Colorado led the NL with a .280 batting average during the regular season, but hit .180 in the first two games of the Series at Fenway Park and took a .229 postseason average into Saturday night's game.
Boston's big inning could have been bigger. Manny Ramirez was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Matt Holliday on Jason Varitek's single, though it appeared on replays that Ramirez touched the plate with his hand after catcher Yorvit Torrealba missed on a lunging tag attempt.
Matsuzaka, the much-hyped, $103 million rookie from Japan, hit Garrett Atkins high on the left shoulder with his first pitch of the second, drawing a loud, collective groan from the crowd. But the right-hander blew away Hawpe with a 94 mph fastball, then retired Torrealba and Sullivan.
Each team had a chance to take the lead in the first inning. Boston's first two batters, Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, reached on infield singles before Ortiz struck out and Ramirez flied harmlessly to left. Lowell also flied out, ending the inning.
Matsui started the bottom half with a single to right and went to second when J.D. Drew misplayed the ball for an error. But with the crowd chanting ``Tu-lo! Tu-lo,'' Tulowitzki struck out. Matsui got trapped - Matsuzaka, his former teammate in Japan - started the rundown on Holliday's comebacker and was tagged out before Todd Helton grounded into an inning-ending force play.
The towel-waving crowd stood as an American flag the size of a football field was unfurled before fighter jets buzzed the ballpark with a fly over. Fireworks exploded as Carrie Underwood sang the national anthem. Cameras flashed all over the ballpark when Fogg threw the first pitch.
Since the Rockies last played at Coors Field on Oct. 15, the ivy crawling up the batter's eye beyond the center-field wall had turned from green to autumn rust.