Angels - 000 000 020 - 2 6 1YES!!!!!!!!
Red Sox - 000 020 001 - 3 9 0
Red Sox win the ALDS and will open the ALCS in Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Jed Lowrie's hard single to right field scored Jason Bay, who had hit a one-out ground-rule double, with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Bay's head-first slide got him across the plate before Reggie Willits's throw arrived at the dish. And it was Willits's ill-advised dive on Bay's fly ball that allowed it to hop into the seats for two bases rather than being fielded on a hop for a single.
The ALDS-winning run revitalized a Fenway crowd that had been stunned by the Angels's two-run rally against Hideki Okajima and Justin Masterson in the top of the eighth. Jeemer retired the first two Angels on ground balls to second, but he walked Mark Teixeira on four pitches. Masterson came in and got ahead of Vlad Guerrero 0-2, but ended up walking him. Then he crossed up Jason Varitek by throwing a fastball when Tek was expecting a slider. The passed ball moved the runners to second and third -- and Torii Hunter's single to right field scored them both.
The Angels threatened to take the lead in the ninth. Kendry Morales doubled. Howie Kendrick bunted pinch-runner Willits to third. Manny Delcarmen relieved Masterson. Erick Aybar tried to squeeze on 2-0 but missed the pitch. Varitek then chased Willits back up the line towards third, lunging and tagging him on the back when Willits was five feet from the bag. Tek then fell down and the ball popped out of his glove, but the umpire rightly ruled it an out. The Angels strongly disagreed. Two pitches later, Aybar grounded to first for the third out.
Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the fifth on singles from Mark Kotsay and Varitek, an RBI grounder from Jacoby Ellsbury and an RBI double off the Wall from Dustin Pedroia (who finished the series 1-for-17).
Lester (7-4-0-2-4, 109) was everything we could have asked for. Only four outs were recorded outside of the infield in seven innings and Lester allowed only one LAA runner past second base. In two ALDS starts, he gave up one unearned run in 14 innings. MVP awards are not given out for the DS, but Lester deserved one in this series.
In addition to doubling and scoring the winning run, Bay also walked and singled. Only Youkilis and Ellsbury did not collect hits, but Lyndon drove in the first Boston run and Yook was an absolute beast in the field yet again, playing third in place of Mike Lowell and making several excellent plays and throws. Kotsay also made two sterling plays on pop flies in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Rays beat the White Sox 6-2 earlier in the evening to win their series 3 games to 1.
John Lackey / Jon Lester
Lowell Replaced on Roster; Out For ALDS & ALCS
Mike Lowell has been removed from the Red Sox's roster due to a right hip strain. Gil Velazquez replaces Lowell and is available for tonight's game. This move means Lowell would be ineligible for the ALCS.
Photo: October 9, 2004
ish had a great line this morning:
Reality sneaks up on you fast in a short series, doesn't it?It sure does. The Red Sox -- riding high, up 2-0, with fans thinking ahead to Friday's ALCS -- are now faced with the prospect of flying back across the country to Anaheim for a do-or-die Game 5 with the often exasperating (despite the low ERA) Daisuke Matsuzaka on the hill if they cannot find their bats and win tonight.
Jacoby Ellsbury (6-for-14, 3 doubles, 3 SB, 5 RBI) and Jason Bay (5-for-14, 2 dongs, though he was 0-for-5 last night) are going their part, but several players, including Dustin Pedroia (0-for-13, "I've got to get on [expletive] base"), Mike Lowell (0-for-8) and Jason Varitek (2-for-11) are not.
On the mound, it's a rematch of Game 1, which Boston won 4-1:
The Globe reports that LowellIP H R ER BB K PIT
Lackey 6.2 4 2 2 3 5 92
Lester 7.0 6 1 0 1 7 117
could barely walk as he came into the clubhouse after the game. He was late, as many of his teammates had already done sessions with the media and moved on. He had difficulty putting on his pants.Hopefully, by midnight tonight, pants will be optional.
But first: Rays (2)/White Sox (1) at 5 PM