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Multiple heroes for Red Sox
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10/18/2004 4:06 AM ET
Multiple heroes for Red Sox
Veterans provide the spark for Boston in Game 4
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Dave Roberts celebrates after scoring the tying run in the ninth inning. (Elise Amendola/AP)
BOSTON -- Hemmed in and counted out, the Red Sox needed some good old-fashioned heroes to help them make a break for it.

One by one, they stepped forward Sunday night.

Derek Lowe, moved up one day to be the starting pitcher, worked 5 1/3 solid innings.

The bullpen held the Yankees without a run in the final six innings.

Pinch-runner Dave Roberts swiped a base and scored on Bill Mueller's single for a 4-4 tie in the ninth inning.

Then came the big one: David Ortiz followed Manny Ramirez's single with a home run that crushed the Yankees, 6-4, in the 12th inning.


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Ortiz, a hulking left-handed hitter who faced right-hander Paul Quantrill, was doing some thinking in the batter's box. He'd noticed that Quantrill liked to throw fastballs that came right at him and then cut back toward the plate.

"He gave it to me a couple of times, one for a ball and one for a strike," Ortiz said. "It's a good pitch. I guess it's a good pitch from a right-hander to a left-hander because once it's coming, you give up. And I was kind of looking for it."

Boom. The ball soared over the right-field wall and the Red Sox had escaped elimination.

Facts machine
League Championship Series walk-off home runs (* series clinching game):
Player Opponent Game
David Ortiz,
Red Sox
Yankees 2004 ALCS Game 4
Aaron Boone, Yankees Red Sox 2003 ALCS Game 7*
Alfonso Soriano, Yankees Mariners 2001 ALCS Game 4
Bernie Williams, Yankees Red Sox 1999 ALCS Game 1
Bernie Williams, Yankees Orioles 1996 ALCS Game 1
Lenny Dykstra,
Mets
Astros 1986 NLCS Game 3
Ozzie Smith, Cardinals Dodgers 1985 NLCS Game 5
Steve Garvey, Padres Cubs 1984 NLCS Game 4
John Lowenstein, Orioles Angels 1979 ALCS Game 1
Chris Chambliss, Yankees Royals 1976 ALCS Game 5*
Bert Campaneris, A's Orioles 1973 ALCS Game 3
Johnny Bench, Reds Mets 1973 NLCS Game 1

"I think that's the way the game is supposed to be played, either if you win or lose, you have to keep playing hard till the last out," he said.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, so often invincible, was working the ninth when he walked Kevin Millar. Roberts ran for Millar and stole second base.

"I didn't know what to expect from myself. It's been so long since I've been out in the field," Roberts said.

But he knew the Red Sox had to get the run home to survive.

"It's amazing. That's what really gets my juices going," Roberts said. "I love situations like that -- against the Yankees and down a run."

Roberts swiped second, beating catcher Jorge Posada's throw by an instant.

Mueller's single to center drove him home.

"Billy gets a lot of credit from us," manager Terry Francona said. "We respect him a lot. He's the kind of kid where if he doesn't play good, you'd like to adopt him. He's just the perfect guy to have on your club."

Conquering Rivera was huge for the Red Sox.

"Coming back against a guy like Mariano, we just have some momentum now and we broke the ice, so to speak," winning pitcher Curtis Leskanic said.

Lowe left the game with a 3-2 lead in the sixth after giving up a triple to Hideki Matsui.

"I told my wife that it was going to be the hardest game I pitched for the Red Sox," Lowe said.

"I hadn't pitched in 16 days, we were down 3-0 and it might be my last game for the Red Sox. But I had to be ready emotionally for the game."

That he was.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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