for this game

Ramirez blasts walk-off homer to lift Red Sox over Angels

Oct 6, 2007 - 6:34 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Manny Ramirez can still turn on a fastball.

Ramirez blasted a three-run, walk-off homer to give the Boston Red Sox a 6-3 victory Friday over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and a two-games-to-none lead in their best-of-five American League Division Series.

The bullpen tossed 4 1/3 hitless innings for the Red Sox, who have not lost a postseason game to the Angels since Game Four of the 1986 AL Championship Series.

With the game tied, 3-3, in the bottom of the ninth, Julio Lugo led off with a single off losing pitcher Justin Speier (0-1) and moved to second when Dustin Pedroia grounded out to shortstop. Anaheim then turned to its All-Star closer, Francisco Rodriguez, who struck out Kevin Youkilis before issuing an intentional walk to David Ortiz.

"Pick your poison," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "In that situation, we chose not to pitch to David. It didn't work out tonight."

That set the stage for Ramirez, who took a 96 miles-per-hour fastball over the inner half of the plate way over the "Green Monster" and out of Fenway Park for the win.

"I remember today when I got to the clubhouse, (catcher Jason) Varitek said we wanted to leave Boston with a home run," Ramirez said. "I tried to see the ball well and put a good swing on the ball."

"I don't know about that," Varitek joked afterward in the clubhouse. "We said something to Manny. But the thing is that I think he would have been just as happy with a base hit."

It was his 21st career postseason homer, one behind Bernie Williams for the all-time lead.

Ramirez turned on the ball and raised both arms in the air, watching it sail deep out of the park as his teammates streamed out of the dugout.

"One of the best feelings ever," Ramirez said. "I never look for pitches. I always trust myself. In that situation, that guy has got me out so many times. But baseball's like that. Sometimes you get me, sometimes I get you. And I got him at the right time."

It was the ninth postseason walk-off win in Boston franchise history and the first since Ortiz won Games Four and Five of the 2004 ALCS in extra innings.

Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon (1-0) allowed for the blast by pitching out of trouble in the eighth. Howie Kendrick reached on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Lowell and Papelbon walked pinch hitter Juan Rivera.

With runners at second and third, Chone Figgins struck out looking to end the threat.

"That was the biggest pitch I threw tonight," Papelbon said. "That gave us some momentum and I think we carried it right into the dugout."

Ramirez's game-winning homer may not have been possible except for a hometown break created by one of Boston's fans.

With the Angels holding a 3-2 lead in the fifth, Pedroia led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a check-swing groundout by Youkilis before Ortiz was walked intentionally.

With a 2-2 count, Ramirez popped up the ball behind the Red Sox's on-deck circle. Catcher Jeff Mathis gave chase and reached over the camera well to make a play.

But a fan reached up and snared it before it hit Mathis' glove. The legal play by the fan preserved the at-bat.

The fan, 17-year-old Danny Vinik, is the son of Red Sox minority owner Jeffrey Vinik. He received a big ovation from the crowd and a pat on the back from Red Sox fan and famous author Stephen King, who was sitting one row behind Danny Vinik.

"That was awesome," Pedroia said. "He deserves a tour of this park or something."

Ramirez walked before Lowell followed with a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 3-3. The Angels lost Vladimir Guerrero to a contusion on his left shoulder when reliever Manny Delcarmen hit him in the seventh with a fastball clocked at 97 miles per hour.

The 4-hour, 5-minute marathon was played before 37,706 fans, the largest post-World War II crowd at Fenway Park and the largest postseason crowd in Fenway history.

The normally aggressive Angels were patient against Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka in the early innings, driving up the righthander's pitch count.

Matsuzaka threw 31 pitches in the first and 28 more in the second, when the Angels wiped out a two-run deficit with a three-run rally.

Casey Kotchman opened with a walk before Kendry Morales followed with a bad-hop single that glanced off second baseman Pedroia's glove and skipped a short distance away into right field. Pedroia, who landed hard on his left shoulder trying to make the stop, could not immediately get up to retrieve the ball, allowing Kotchman to get to third.

Mathis then grounded out to third, scoring Kotchman with the first run. Figgins lined a hit down the left field line that Ramirez overran, allowing him to reach second base for a double and Morales to score and tie the game at 2-2.

Former Boston postseason hero Orlando Cabrera, who was a member of the 2004 World Series team, followed with a double to left-center field that scored Figgins with the go-ahead run.

Matsuzaka allowed at least one baserunner in each of the first five innings and was pulled two outs into the Angels' fifth-inning threat. With Macier Izturis on third and Kotchman on first following a walk, lefthanded reliever Javier Lopez threw one pitch and induced Morales to hit into an inning-ending forceout.

Matsuzaka allowed seven hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out three while throwing 96 pitches - 62 for strikes.

Angels starter Kelvim Escobar yielded three runs and four hits in five frames, striking out five and walking five.

"Naturally, (being down 0-2) is not a desirable position," Scioscia said. "We'll just have to stay focused, inning to inning, at-bat to at-bat, pitch to pitch. We'll have to scratch and crawl. We have the type of team that can turn it around in a hurry."






  • GDawg Dice K is an over paid beeeeeeetatchhhhh !!!!

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 6 7:35 PM
  • marcman9 Glad I stayed up and watched the end last night

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  • bones manny!!!!!

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  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 0
    BOSTON 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 6 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, SCOT SHIELDS (6TH), JUSTIN SPEIER (8TH),
    FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH) AND JEFF MATHIS, MIKE NAPOLI (8TH)
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, JAVIER LOPEZ (5

    Oct 6 12:45 AM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MANNY RAMIREZ (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ SCORED JULIO LUGO AND DAVID
    ORTIZ.
    FINAL SCORE: BOSTON 6, LA ANGELS 3

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  • ekabrazi Lets go Sox ... time to step it up ... finish these clowns & move on!! Anyone know Dice-k's pitch count so far?

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 11:03 PM
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  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M RAMIREZ ON FIRST, D ORTIZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    BOSTON 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.400, 1-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 10:52 PM
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  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ORLANDO CABRERA SCORED CHONE FIGGINS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, O CABRERA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: V GUERRERO (.400, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 9:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHONE FIGGINS SCORED KENDRY MORALES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C FIGGINS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 2
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: O CABRERA (.000, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JEFF MATHIS SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K MORALES ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 1
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C FIGGINS (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 9:31 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.D. DREW SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS AND DAVID ORTIZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DREW ON FIRST, M LOWELL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.333, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Angels vs. Red SoxOct 5 9:13 PM
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