Anaheim at Boston

Scoreboard
L.A. Angels (0-2)030000000370
Boston (2-0) «200010003661

Manny's HR wins it; fan intervention not so divine for Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

BOSTON -- Manny Ramirez sent one fan home with a baseball and the rest with a reminder of Boston's last World Series run.

The MVP of the 2004 Series homered off Francisco Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth inning Friday night, and the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 to take a 2-0 lead in their AL playoff series.

"I am one of the best players in the game," said Ramirez, who missed almost all of September with a strained side muscle and finished with the worst full-season stats of his career. "I have confidence in myself, and I know my train doesn't stop here."

Boston, which tied the game in the fifth thanks to a friendly -- and legal -- grab by the son of a Red Sox part-owner, has a chance to complete the sweep on Sunday in Anaheim when Curt Schilling faces Jered Weaver in Game 3.

"We've got the big daddy, Curt Schilling going," said Jonathan Papelbon, who got the last four outs for the win. "And I think anybody would love to have him going for us to seal the deal, and I know he'll be ready to go."

Schilling, the bloody-socked hero of Boston's 2004 title, was on his way to the West Coast with Games 1 and 4 starter Josh Beckett, manager Terry Francona said a few hours before Friday's game. If so, they landed in time to catch the ending of the grueling, 4 hour, 5 minute affair, in which Daisuke Matsuzaka needed 60 pitches to get through the first two innings and lasted just 4 2/3.

Four relievers from Boston's well-rested bullpen threw 4 1/3 innings of hitless ball. Anaheim's relievers matched them until Julio Lugo opened the Red Sox ninth with a single off losing pitcher Justin Speier. On a hit-and-run, Lugo took second on Dustin Pedroia's grounder.

Rodriguez relieved and struck out Kevin Youkilis, then intentionally walked David Ortiz -- his record fourth walk of the game -- to face Ramirez.

"Well, you really pick your poison with those guys," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Both those guys are terrific. It just made sense not to go after David, and it didn't work tonight."

Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch over the Green Monster, the seats behind it and onto Lansdowne Street below. The bat flew out of his hands and he raised both arms in victory.

It was his 21st postseason home run, one behind Bernie Williams' career record.

"It was a great swing, but part of the reason he got a chance to swing is David is such a good hitter, such a clutch hitter," Francona said. "That's why you want to have as many good hitters as you can, so they can't pitch around people."

It was Boston's eighth consecutive postseason victory over the Angels, who blew a 3-1 lead in the 1986 AL Championship Series and got swept in the first round of '04 when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought.

They could be well on their way again.

And having the only World Series MVP in Red Sox history at full strength is going to help

Ramirez also helped tie the game in the fifth with some help from 17-year-old Danny Vinik, sitting in the front row. Vinik barehanded Ramirez's foul popup and kept it away from Angels catcher Jeff Mathis.

As Mathis punched the air in frustration, Vinik got high-fives from neighboring fans, including horror-meister Stephen King.

"When you're reaching in there," Scioscia said, "all bets are off."

Ramirez, who had fallen behind 0-2, then watched four straight balls go by to load the bases. Mike Lowell followed with a fly ball to center -- the third out, if not for Vinik's catch -- for a sacrifice fly that made make it 3-all.

"That was big," Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said. "Glad he was paying attention."

But Ramirez didn't need any help in the ninth.

He cleared everything with his three-run shot, setting off a celebration reminiscent of 2004. Back then, it was Ortiz's 10th-inning homer to eliminate the Angels from the first round of the playoffs and send the Red Sox on their way to the World Series title.

"He's one of the greatest closers in the game," Ramirez said of Rodriguez, "and I'm one of the best hitters in the game."

Most years, he is.

Ramirez had just 20 homers and 88 RBI this season -- his lowest totals since he played half-time in 1994 -- as he struggled with injuries. He missed almost a month at the end of the season, but he came back for the last week and went 7-for-18.

"I haven't been right all year," Ramirez said in his first interview of the season. "When you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's how you know you're a bad man."

Los Angeles will return home and hope to avoid a sweep.

Already without regular center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. for the series, the Angels took right fielder Vladimir Guerrero out in the eighth inning with a bruise on his left shoulder where he was hit by a pitch in the seventh. Left fielder Garret Anderson is playing with a swollen right eye from conjunctivitis.

"You try to stay as short in focus as you can in a series, bat-to-bat, and you try to scratch and claw your way back into a series," Scioscia said. "It can be done. It can turn in a hurry."

The Red Sox staked Matsuzaka to a 2-0 lead in the first, but he gave it away in the second even as the crowd seemed more concerned about how the rival Yankees were faring in Cleveland.

The fans cheered the when the Indians beat New York, but there was trouble at home.

Matsuzaka gave up RBI doubles on consecutive pitches to allow Los Angeles to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. The Boston fans cheered again when the New York loss was posted on the Green Monster scoreboard, and again when the game-winning run was shown in centerfield.

They should have been more concerned about what was going on in front of them.

Making his first appearance in the American playoffs, Matsuzaka allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out three in 4 2/3 innings.

Notes

  • 2B Pedroia grimaced in pain, clutching his shoulder after diving for a ground ball in the second inning, but he stayed in the game.
  • A hard line foul by Casey Kotchman in the fifth hit trainer Rick Smith sitting in the Angels dugout, but he was OK.
  • The attendance of 37,706 was the largest at Fenway Park since World War II, and the largest ever for a postseason game at the ballpark.
  • Ortiz walked four times in the game, setting a record for the first round of the playoffs. He was intentionally walked in the playoffs for the sixth time in his career, also a record.
  • The Angels recorded an 8-3-4 double play in the sixth when Coco Crisp missed second base on his way back to first after Lugo's fly ball.
  • Howie Kendrick was the second player in AL Division Series history to steal two bases in an inning, the eighth.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Manny Ramirez knows this one is all over -- and so does Angels catcher Mike Napoli.
 
Manny Ramirez knows this one is all over -- and so does Angels catcher Mike Napoli. (US Presswire)
 

Players of the Game
Boston

M. Ramirez
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Anaheim

O. Cabrera
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

November 21, 2014
Brandon Flowers joins Jim Rome (5:03)
November 21, 2014
Boomer & Carton: McAdoo says Giants 'took a step back'
(2:20)
November 21, 2014
Boomer and Carton's Week 12 NFL Picks
(4:33)
November 20, 2014
Solomon Wilcots on Jets vs Bills
(5:14)
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, CF-RF5111032 .222
Orlando Cabrera, SS4011101 .125
Vladimir Guerrero, RF3000002 .286
    Mike Napoli, C1000000 .000
Garret Anderson, LF4020101 .250
Maicer Izturis, 3B5010024 .125
Casey Kotchman, 1B2100201 .000
Kendry Morales, DH4110013 .200
Howie Kendrick, 2B4010012 .286
Jeff Mathis, C3001001 .000
   a- Juan Rivera, PH0000100 .000
    Reggie Willits, PR-CF0000000 .000
Totals3537357  
a-walked for Mathis in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chone Figgins (1, Matsuzaka), Orlando Cabrera (1, Matsuzaka), Garret Anderson (1, Matsuzaka)
RBI - Chone Figgins (1), Orlando Cabrera (1), Jeff Mathis (1)
2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (1), Orlando Cabrera (1)
SB - Maicer Izturis 2 (2, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek), Howie Kendrick 2 (2, 2nd base off Papelbon/Varitek, 3rd base off Papelbon/Varitek), Reggie Willits (1, 2nd base off Papelbon/Varitek)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Chone Figgins 1
DP - Figgins-Kotchman-Kendrick
Los Angeles Angels
Kelvim Escobar 5433550 5.40
Scot Shields 2000310 0.00
Justin Speier (L,0-1) 1.1111000 6.75
Francisco Rodriguez 0.1122111 54.00
IBB - Ortiz by Kelvim Escobar, Ortiz by Francisco Rodriguez
Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 101-60, Scot Shields 43-22, Justin Speier 12-10, Francisco Rodriguez 10-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 6-4, Scot Shields 1-3, Justin Speier 3-1
Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 24, Scot Shields 8, Justin Speier 5, Francisco Rodriguez 3
Boston Red Sox
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5110000 .111
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4100122 .250
David Ortiz, DH1210400 .750
Manny Ramirez, LF3113213 .333
Mike Lowell, 3B2001103 .200
J.D. Drew, RF4012002 .286
Jason Varitek, C4000012 .143
Coco Crisp, CF3010110 .167
Julio Lugo, SS4110022 .286
Totals3066697  
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (1, Escobar)
HR - Manny Ramirez (1, Rodriguez)
SF - Mike Lowell (1)
RBI - Manny Ramirez 3 (3), Mike Lowell (2), J.D. Drew 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 3 (3), J.D. Drew 2 (2)
SB - Coco Crisp (1, 2nd base off Escobar/Mathis)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Mike Lowell (1, Misplayed grounder)
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka 4.2733330 5.79
Javier Lopez 0.1000000 0.00
Manny Delcarmen 1.1000010 0.00
Hideki Okajima 1.1000020 0.00
Jonathan Papelbon (W,1-0) 1.1000210 0.00
HBP - Guerrero (by Manny Delcarmen)
WP - Daisuke Matsuzaka (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 90-62, Javier Lopez 2-2, Manny Delcarmen 17-10, Hideki Okajima 24-15, Jonathan Papelbon 31-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 7-4, Javier Lopez 1-0, Manny Delcarmen 1-2, Jonathan Papelbon 1-3
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 24, Javier Lopez 1, Manny Delcarmen 5, Hideki Okajima 4, Jonathan Papelbon 7
Game Information
Attendance - 37706
Game Time - 4:05
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Brian Runge, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Tim Tschida