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Anaheim at Boston

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L.A. Angels (3-0) «0001010237110
Boston (0-3)003200010671

Angels stun Papelbon in ninth to sweep Red Sox, advance to ALCS

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Torii Hunter emerged from the visitors' clubhouse at Fenway Park to spray champagne over the fans and family gathered there. Erick Aybar did him one better, handing over bottles of bubbly to those who came from California to see the Los Angeles Angels go for the sweep.

History gave no reason to hope for such a celebration.

COMMENTARY
Angels wipe out ancient history with long-awaited Fenway triumph
by Danny Knobler
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Tell Danny your opinion!
 

The Angels and Vladimir Guerrero shrugged off their postseason failures and swept away the Red Sox on Sunday, scoring three runs off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning to beat Boston 7-6 and advance to the AL Championship Series.

It was the first postseason sweep in Angels franchise history. And they did it against the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs the previous four times they met.

"I told you guys earlier: It's going to be a different scene," Hunter said in the clubhouse afterward. "Vladdy came through. That's probably one of the biggest hits of his career. They've been waiting for him to do it, and he did it."

Papelbon was one strike away from extending the series with three different batters, but Aybar singled on a two-strike pitch, Chone Figgins walked after fouling off a full-count offering and Bobby Abreu fouled off three straight pitches before doubling in one run.

Angels-Red Sox videos

Red Sox are going home

Angels-Red Sox links

Series: Angels 3, Red Sox 0

Papelbon can't save Boston's season

Hunter was walked intentionally before Guerrero singled the first pitch to center and Figgins and Abreu raced home to give Los Angeles a 7-6 lead. Major league saves leader Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth, and when Aybar caught Dustin Pedroia's popup to end the game, pumping his right arm even as he tracked the ball with his left, the Angels advanced.

"It's nice to be going home and playing again, instead of going home and it's over," said pitcher John Lackey, who was part of the Angels teams that were eliminated by Boston three times in the previous five years. "This is the most fun for me, and I've got a ring. That says a lot."

An eight-time All-Star and former AL MVP, Guerrero has a .321 career batting average, 407 regular-season homers and 1,318 RBI. But he'd managed only one extra-base hit in 69 at-bats going into Game 3, and he had one RBI in 19 playoff games since his grand slam against Boston in the 2004 Division Series.

And he came through against Papelbon, who had never before allowed a run in 27 postseason innings.

"You're not going to get to him too often. But we did this afternoon," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And I felt great for Vlad. hopefully, that's a momentum-builder for him. ... I know he's relieved. He's excited about contributing. And hopefully it will be the start of something good."

For the AL West champion Angels, it was a chance to extend their tribute to pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed in an April car crash with a man who has been charged with drunken driving. As they streamed out of the dugout to celebrate, and Jered Weaver carried Adenhart's jersey onto the field.

"When it comes down to honoring Nick Adenhart, and what happened in April in Anaheim, yes, it probably was the biggest hit [of my career]," Guerrero said. "Because I'm dedicating that to a former teammate, a guy that passed away."

The Angels open their first ALCS since 2005 on Friday against either the New York Yankees or Minnesota. The Yankees led that series 2-0 going into Game 3 Sunday night.

"We're finally here," said Angels owner Arte Moreno, who bought the team in 2003, a year after they won their only World Series. "I think that the fourth time's a charm. It's great for us, because we've been knocking on the door for a while."

Los Angeles trailed 5-1 early, was behind 5-2 after seven innings and still down 6-4 when Papelbon retired the first two batters of the ninth.

The crowd that just one inning earlier had been primed for a celebration quietly filed out of the ballpark for the last time in 2009, having seen the wild-card Red Sox beaten.

"The season doesn't wind down. It just comes to a crashing halt," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You go into the top of the inning excited because you think you're going to keep playing. Half an inning later, you're going home. So it's disappointing."

The Red Sox had won 12 of 13 postseason games against the Angels heading into the series, including an 11-game winning streak that dated back to Dave Henderson's homer off Donnie Moore in the 1986 ALCS. Henderson, not coincidentally, threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday, even adding a little jump and twist like the one he did after he helped propel Boston to within one strike of the '86 World Series title.

Hendu's shot in Game 5 sent the Red Sox to a win by the same 7-6 score.

Boston didn't win it that year, but they ended their 86-year championship drought in 2004 after sweeping Los Angeles in the first round. The Red Sox swept out the Angels again in '07 en route to a second title, and beat them in four games last year before losing to the Tampa Bay in the ALCS.

Darren Oliver earned the victory after getting one out in relief, and Papelbon took his first career postseason loss. The Red Sox closer had converted seven of his previous eight postseason save opportunities.

But after Billy Wagner put two on with two out in the eighth, the Red Sox were forced to bring Papelbon in with a 5-2 lead. He gave up a two-run single to Juan Rivera that made 5-4 before picking pinch-runner Reggie Willits off first base.

After Mike Lowell's RBI single made it 6-4 in the eighth, Papelbon got Maicer Izturis on a foul popup and pinch-hitter Gary Matthews Jr. on a fly ball to center. Abreu lined a double off the Green Monster to cut the lead to 6-5.

The three runs Boston scored in the third inning were more than it had scored in the first two games of the series combined. In fact, Boston had scored a total of two runs in 32 postseason innings before taking a 3-0 lead on Sunday.

Notes

  • The Red Sox hadn't been eliminated in Boston since the Chicago White Sox finished off a three-game sweep in the 2005 first round.
  • Napoli was hit by a pitch in the second inning, but Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez argued that it hit the end of his bat. Napoli was also hit in Game 2 by Josh Beckett, who argued that the batter didn't make any effort to get out of the way.
 
Copyright 2015 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.
 
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Torii Hunter and the Angels deserve to party after finally beating the Red Sox in a postseason series.  (AP)
Torii Hunter and the Angels deserve to party after finally beating the Red Sox in a postseason series. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Drew
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Anaheim

B. Abreu
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B4100121 .000
Bobby Abreu, RF5231001 .556
Torii Hunter, CF4110112 .200
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4122101 .400
Kendry Morales, 1B4111102 .200
Juan Rivera, LF4022000 .273
    Reggie Willits, PR-LF0000000 .000
Maicer Izturis, 2B4000011 .143
Mike Napoli, C2010010 .250
   a- Gary Matthews Jr., PH1000000 .000
    Jeff Mathis, C0000000 .333
Erick Aybar, SS4110013 .364
Totals36711646  
a-flied out for Napoli in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu 2 (2, Wagner, Papelbon), Torii Hunter (1, Buchholz), Mike Napoli (1, Buchholz)
HR - Kendry Morales (1, Buchholz)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (1), Vladimir Guerrero 2 (2), Kendry Morales (3), Juan Rivera 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (1), Vladimir Guerrero 2 (2), Juan Rivera 2 (2)
SB - Juan Rivera (1, 2nd base off Buchholz/Martinez)
PK - Reggie Willits (1, Papelbon)
Team LOB - 7
Los Angeles Angels
Scott Kazmir 6555311 7.50
Jason Bulger 1000110 0.00
Kevin Jepsen 0.2211010 6.75
Darren Oliver (W,1-0) 0.1000000 0.00
Brian Fuentes (S,2) 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 90-54, Jason Bulger 18-10, Kevin Jepsen 21-12, Darren Oliver 4-3, Brian Fuentes 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 5-12, Jason Bulger 2-0, Kevin Jepsen 1-0
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 26, Jason Bulger 4, Kevin Jepsen 4, Darren Oliver 1, Brian Fuentes 3
Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF5110000 .250
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4112100 .167
Victor Martinez, C4011011 .182
Kevin Youkilis, 1B-3B4000011 .083
Jason Bay, LF3000111 .125
David Ortiz, DH4010001 .083
    Joey Gathright, PR-DH0100000 .000
Mike Lowell, 3B3121101 .200
    Brian Anderson, PR0000000 .000
    Casey Kotchman, 1B0000000 .000
J.D. Drew, RF4112002 .222
Alex Gonzalez, SS2100100 .167
   a- Jed Lowrie, PH1000000 .000
Totals3467643  
a-flied out for A. Gonzalez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (1, Kazmir)
HR - J.D. Drew (1, Kazmir)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia 2 (2), Victor Martinez (2), Mike Lowell (1), J.D. Drew 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Lowell (1)
SB - Joey Gathright (1, 2nd base off Jepsen/Napoli)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Lowell-Pedroia-Youkilis
E - Kevin Youkilis (1, Missed catch of throw)
Boston Red Sox
Clay Buchholz 5622131 3.60
Daniel Bard (H,1) 2000020 0.00
Billy Wagner (H,1) 0.2122110 18.00
Jonathan Papelbon (BS,1; L,0-1) 1433200 13.50
Hideki Okajima 0.1000000 0.00
IBB - Hunter by Jonathan Papelbon
HBP - Napoli (by Clay Buchholz)
Pitches-Strikes - Clay Buchholz 95-58, Daniel Bard 25-16, Billy Wagner 19-11, Jonathan Papelbon 32-20, Hideki Okajima 2-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clay Buchholz 6-6, Daniel Bard 2-1, Billy Wagner 1-0
Batters Faced - Clay Buchholz 23, Daniel Bard 5, Billy Wagner 4, Jonathan Papelbon 8, Hideki Okajima 1
Game Information
Attendance - 38704
Game Time - 3:49
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Dan Iassogna