He was certain of one thing, however.
"It was right there," he said.
Then, it was over there.
Ramirez hit a two-run homer -- No. 493 of his career -- and Boston, down one entering the ninth inning, rallied for three runs against Borowski for a 6-4 victory Monday night against Cleveland in a stunning rerun of the AL Championship Series last October.
Ramirez's shot to left off Borowski (0-2) was merely the latest Red Sox comeback against the Indians. Last fall, Boston rallied from a 3-1 ALCS deficit to beat Cleveland and advance to the World Series. The stakes weren't nearly as high this time, but the Red Sox came through again.
And so did Ramirez, who hit his 132nd career home run at Progressive Field, which was known as Jacobs Field during the eight-plus seasons he played in Cleveland.
"Manny took such a pretty swing," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
With the Indians leading 4-3, Borowski, whose every appearance is an adventure, came in to try to close it out.
But the right-hander, who led the AL with 45 saves in 2007, gave up a leadoff double in the ninth to Julio Lugo, snapping the shortstop's 0-for-16 slump. Coco Crisp sacrificed on a bang-bang play at first and Dustin Pedroia followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left, scoring Lugo to tie it at 4.
With the Indians shifted to the right, David Ortiz dropped a bloop single into left -- his second hit. Ramirez then belted Borowski's first pitch into the left-field seats, a place he frequently visited with long balls while a member of the Indians.
The home run -- his 16th against his former team -- tied the long-haired hitting machine with Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 24th on the career list.
Borowski has blown two saves in a row, and is so concerned about a loss in velocity that he's going to have his arm examined.
"I'm grasping at straws. I think we're going to get it checked. Maybe it's nothing, maybe it is. It's driving me crazy, too," he said.
Mike Timlin (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his fifth save. But Boston middle reliever Julian Tavarez was the unsung star. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth by striking out Ryan Garko and Jason Michaels to keep the Red Sox down 4-1.
"Tavarez gave us a chance," Francona said. "That's not going to happen all the time."
Ortiz, benched Sunday in the throes of his worst career hitting slump, went 2-for-5 and raised his average from .070 to .104.
Kevin Youkilis' home run in the eighth off reliever Rafael Betancourt pulled the Red Sox to 4-3. In the 2007 ALCS, Youkilis went deep in Game 7 and batted .500 (14-for-28) with three home runs in the series.
Jake Westbrook, the losing pitcher in that Game 7, was in line to get the victory Monday before Borowski threw it away.
"I just felt like I had nothing, like I was throwing through water," Borowski said. "It's like I'm stuck in one gear. I had no extra gear. Not only that, I couldn't locate. What hurts is the guys played a great game except the one guy out there at the end."
Indians manager Eric Wedge is worried about Borowski.
"The ball just wasn't coming out of his hand like we've seen it," Wedge said. "I'm going to have to talk to him and see how he feels."
Wedge said he has no immediate plans to replace Borowski unless there's a reason he must.
"Before I go down that road," Wedge said, "out of respect to him, I want to talk to him."
It was another bitter loss for the Indians, who were one victory from a trip to the World Series last fall when they collapsed. They lost once at home before being trounced twice in the shadow of the Green Monster. Cleveland was outscored 23-4 in Games 6 and 7 by the Red Sox, who went on to sweep the Colorado Rockies for their second title in four years.
Two walks by Boston starter Jon Lester set up a two-run fifth that put Cleveland ahead 4-1.
- Ortiz snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a first-inning single.
- The Indians have lost five of seven.
- Jim "Mudcat" Grant threw out the ceremonial first pitch, marking the 50th anniversary of his major league debut for the Indians. Signed by Cleveland in 1954, he was the first black pitcher to win 20 games in the AL, with Minnesota in 1965. Grant was joined by J.R. Richard and Al Downing, who were also 20-game winners.
- Grady Sizemore and C.C. Sabathia -- as well as Boston's Crisp, coach DeMarlo Hale and Ortiz -- will each wear No. 42 on Tuesday to honor the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut.
- Cleveland's game Sunday against Oakland -- played in blustery, brutally cold conditions -- was about as bad as Wedge could remember. "We had some cold games in Buffalo, maybe more games with snow, but that one yesterday was probably the coldest I've ever been in baseball," he said.