DENVER (AP) -David Ortiz hit a run-scoring single after yet another double by Jacoby Ellsbury, giving Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox a 1-0 lead over the Colorado Rockies after three innings of Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night.
Ortiz and the Red Sox were trying for their second Series sweep in four seasons - after going 86 years without a title. Of the 22 previous teams that took a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven World Series, 19 finished off the sweep.
Red Sox fans were ready, cavorting around Blake Street with brooms before the game and brazenly sporting their Boston gear while filling sections of seats at Coors Field. History says Colorado's hopes are slim. No club that fell behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven Series has even forced a Game 6.
Lester was opposed by Rockies starter Aaron Cook in a feel-good matchup of pitchers who survived serious health scares.
Less than a year ago, chemotherapy cured Lester of cancer that cut short his 2006 season and left his baseball career in doubt. Cook left the mound at Coors Field in 2004 due to dizziness and a month later had surgery to remove a rib that was pressing against a vein and causing life-threatening blood clots.
Lester went 4-0 with a 4.57 ERA this season and made two relief appearances in the AL championship series against Cleveland.
Cook also had an inspiring comeback, successfully returning to the mound in 2005. He was Colorado's opening-day starter this year and went 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA - but this was his first major league outing since Aug. 10 because of a strained side muscle.
The Rockies got leadoff doubles in the second and third but failed to score. Struggling at the plate all postseason, they have wasted one chance after another against Boston.
Perhaps trying to change their recent luck, the Rockies switched to their white uniforms with pinstripes. They wore black - even at home - throughout much of their remarkable run to the NL pennant.
Colorado also made another lineup change, starting its third center fielder in four World Series games. Ryan Spilborghs was back in the lineup, this time in center, after serving as the team's designated hitter at Fenway Park.
Slumping speedster Willy Taveras remained on the bench after starting the first two games in center. Cory Sullivan, who started Game 3, also was out of the lineup. Spilborghs batted sixth, with Brad Hawpe dropping to seventh after striking out eight times in 13 at-bats during the first three games.
Ellsbury, bumped up from the No. 9 spot to leadoff without a designated hitter available in Colorado, opened the game with a double to left. The rookie went to third on Dustin Pedroia's groundout and scored on a Ortiz's single to right.
It was the second consecutive night Ortiz drove in the game's first run. Manny Ramirez then grounded into an inning-ending double play, and Cook retired his next six batters.
Ellsbury went 4-for-5 with three doubles during Boston's 10-5 win Saturday night, including two in a six-run third inning.
Todd Helton hit a leadoff double in the second, but was stranded by Colorado. Ortiz, playing first base again despite a sore knee, made a slick pick of an in-between hop on a bad throw by shortstop Julio Lugo after he fielded Garrett Atkins' grounder.
With runners at the corners and two outs, Yorvit Torrealba grounded out, ending the threat.
Ramirez misplayed Kazuo Matsui's one-out double to left in the third, but Lester struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday.

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