Red Sox
Rays
4 - 2 Final
  for this game

Varitek, Youkilis help Red Sox force Game Seven

Oct 19, 2008 - 5:36 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- The comeback kids struck again, and now it all boils down to one game.

Jason Varitek homered and Kevin Youkilis drove in two runs to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six of the American League Championship Series on Saturday.

Josh Beckett turned in five solid innings and Coco Crisp had three hits for the Red Sox, who forced a deciding Game Seven on Sunday.

"I hope (our experience) is a factor," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Again, you know, any way you can gain an advantage, you're going to try. They're going to try to do the same thing.

"It's going to come down to who plays better. It's probably pretty appropriate. We come down to the last game and whoever plays better gets to move on."

Boston looked to be on the verge of elimination in Game Five at Fenway Park on Thursday, when the Rays held a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning. But the Red Sox battled back for the win, becoming the first team since 1929 to overcome a deficit of seven runs in a playoff game.

They carried that momentum into Saturday's contest, erasing an early deficit behind Beckett's right arm and some clutch hitting from an unlikely source.

With the game tied at 2-2 with two outs in the sixth, Varitek came up to face righthander James Shields. Boston's captain, who had yet to record a hit in the series, grabbed hold of a 2-0 fastball and pulled it into the seats in right-center field to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

"I don't think I could, from our side, think of anything more appropriate," Francona said. "I mean, our whole dugout went crazy. We'll take runs any way we can get it, but by that means and by who hit it, it was not just a big run, it was a huge run."

Shields was lifted after allowing an infield hit by Crisp, and Boston added an insurance run due to some poor fielding by Tampa Bay. Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to shortstop that Jason Bartlett fielded and threw wide of first base, keeping alive the inning.

David Ortiz followed with an RBI single to center off lefthander J.P. Howell to push it to 4-2.

Beckett (1-0) - who has pitched with an injured oblique muscle all postseason - battled through five innings, allowing two runs - both on solo homers - and four hits while walking one and striking out three. He threw 50 of 78 pitches for strikes, topping out at 93 miles per hour with his fastball but relying on a potent curveball and a changeup with some late fade.

"I felt like I executed pitches when I needed to," Beckett said.

It was a swift departure from his Game Two start, in which he surrendered eight runs in 4 1/3 innings and had trouble

commanding his fastball, leading some to speculate about whether he had recovered enough from his injury to be able to pitch effectively.

"I thought (Beckett threw) more breaking balls (Saturday) than he had the last time out," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He relied on the curveball more. I'm sure that he came out of the game as soon as he did based on (a long delay after home plate umpire Derryl Cousins was injured). That may have had something to do with it, because he still was in pretty good shape.

"But I thought primarily velocity was the same as we saw last time, more breaking balls tonight."

The bullpen took over from there, with Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon combining for four hitless innings.

"We've been fighting hard all year," Masterson said.

"Big Game James" Shields (0-2) suffered his second loss of the series, yielding four runs - three earned - and nine hits while walking three and striking out three.

The Rays jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first, when Upton continued his onslaught against Boston pitching by driving a 3-2 fastball from Beckett into the left-field seats. It was Upton's seventh homer of the playoffs, the third-highest total for one postseason.

The 24-year-old slugger, who managed only nine blasts during the regular season, has four in this series.

Tampa Bay's lead was short-lived, however, as Youkilis led off the second by driving a 2-1 pitch from Shields over the wall in left to knot the game at 1-1.

"He's unbelievable," Pedroia said of Youkilis. "He keeps getting big hit after big hit. That's why we're here."

Youkilis struck again in the third, capping a rally with an RBI groundout. Pedroia drew a one-out walk before Ortiz pulled a double just inside the first base bag and down the right field line, putting runners on second and third.

With the infield back, Youkilis tapped an 0-1 pitch to shortstop, allowing Pedroia to score.

Beckett set down 10 of 12 before Dioner Navarro led off the fifth with a single. Ben Zobrist was retired on a flyout to

center before Navarro was erased at second base on a botched hit-and-run play.

"Yeah, that was just a bad pitch for (Bartlett) to work with," Maddon said.

With the bases clear, Bartlett, who hit only one homer during the regular season, stroked a solo blast down the left field line to tie it at 2-2.

"I always pride myself on my defense," Bartlett said. "He hung it there and I hit it."

The Red Sox have now won nine of the last 10 elimination games in which they have been involved, and are one win away from overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit in the ALCS for the second consecutive season.

The Rays are looking to clinch the first trip to the Fall Classic in franchise history.

"It's all about how we react to the moment, and it's a seventh game," Maddon said. "It's a great learning experience. For us to win that game would be something special for us, also. So it's not about looking into the past. It's about looking into the future right now."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 10 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JOSH BECKETT, HIDEKI OKAJIMA (6TH), JUSTIN MASTERSON (8TH),
    JONATHAN PAPELBON (9TH) AND JASON VARITEK
    TAM - JAMES SHIELDS, J.P. HOWELL (6TH), GRANT BALFOUR
    (

    Oct 18 11:59 PM
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    CubsnCards Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 4, Rays 2  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 18 11:25 PM
  • AFaust3 C'mon Rays, the last thing we need is YET ANOTHER Red Sox comeback.

    Red Sox 4, Rays 2  Top 8, 0 OutsOct 18 11:19 PM
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    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 4, Rays 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsOct 18 10:46 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID ORTIZ SCORED COCO CRISP.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, D ORTIZ ON FIRST, D PEDROIA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 4
    TAMPA BAY 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.400, 1-FOR-3, HR, 2 RBI)

    Red Sox 4, Rays 2  Top 6, 0 OutsOct 18 10:33 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON VARITEK (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JAMES SHIELDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 3, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: C CRISP (.467, 2-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 3, Rays 2  Top 6, 0 OutsOct 18 10:24 PM
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    AFaust3 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Rays 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 18 10:15 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON BARTLETT (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JOSH BECKETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2, TAMPA BAY 2
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: A IWAMURA (.217, 0-FOR-2)

    Red Sox 2, Rays 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 18 10:15 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 16 roots

    Red Sox 2, Rays 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsOct 18 10:04 PM
  • #1 Cards Fan An umpire got injured and couldn't return. Notice that there's no left field umpire. The one who's calling third base has double duty now.

    Red Sox 2, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsOct 18 9:44 PM
  • mattnv Why are umps changing? I just tuned back in and have no idea what's happening!

    Red Sox 2, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsOct 18 9:34 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 2, Rays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsOct 18 9:34 PM
  • #1 Cards Fan Interesting to see how Boston is responding to the game 48 hours ago.

    Red Sox 1, Rays 1  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 18 8:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY KEVIN YOUKILIS SCORED DUSTIN PEDROIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D ORTIZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.278, 1-FOR-1)

    Red Sox 2, Rays 1  Top 3, 0 OutsOct 18 8:58 PM
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    Red Sox 1, Rays 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsOct 18 8:47 PM
  • craftmafia crap. Mark, you better not be hoping for an "interesting" game again.....

    Red Sox 1, Rays 1  Top 2, 0 OutsOct 18 8:34 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF JAMES SHIELDS.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J DREW (.235, 1 HR, 3 RBI)

    Red Sox 1, Rays 1  Top 2, 0 OutsOct 18 8:33 PM
  • craftmafia LOL...what is hangin' with mr. cooper then? hahaha. i couldn't come up with steve harvey's name....

    Red Sox 0, Rays 1  Top 2, 0 OutsOct 18 8:32 PM
  • mark okay the game is on now. and for the record, it was the steve harvey show :)

    Red Sox 0, Rays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 18 8:29 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY B.J. UPTON (4) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF JOSH BECKETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0, TAMPA BAY 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.368, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    Red Sox 0, Rays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 18 8:25 PM
  • mark i'm getting that too. EPIC FAIL.

    Red Sox 0, Rays 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsOct 18 8:18 PM
  • craftmafia MY TBS IS SHOWING HANGING WITH MR. COOPER. They say they're experiencing technical difficulties. Argh!

    Red Sox vs. RaysOct 18 8:16 PM
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    Red Sox vs. RaysOct 18 11:39 AM
  • Fabs1788 Go Rays. End Boston's crap

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  • Yankee82 Go Rays

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