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Red Sox short hops
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10/19/2004 2:53 AM ET
Red Sox short hops
Ortiz, bullpen save the day for Red Sox in Game 5
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BOSTON -- Most of the talk prior to the ALCS was how good the Boston starters were going to be, specifically Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling, but the relievers have since stolen the show.


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During the last two games, the bullpen has allowed just one run in 14 2/3 innings and on Monday the pen worked eight scoreless innings, allowing five hits and two walks, in the Red Sox's 5-4 come-from-behind victory in Game 5.

"We used, basically, everybody," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "To get shutout innings out of your bullpen for that length of time it was an unbelievable performance."

Martinez and Schilling have yet to win a game. By contrast, David Ortiz has accomplished the feat twice with game-winning hits Sunday and Monday.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 5 of the ALCS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 7.06 thank the bullpen again
BA .259 Ortiz comes up big when needed -- again
Runs 27 scoring machine is starting to roll
Errors 1 errors are costly in any game, especially in the playoffs

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
David Ortiz .478, 2 HR, 9 RBI Ortiz making it happen when it counts
Orlando Cabrera .348, 2 2B, 4 RBI a force on defense, now a threat on offense

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Johnny Damon .083, 0 HR, 1 RBI Red Sox need Damon in a bad way
Kevin Millar .176, 0 HR, 2 RBI Time to Cowboy Up before time runs out

Behind the numbers
Ortiz drove in three runs Monday and has nine of the team's 25 RBIs this postseason. Ortiz has four career stolen bases but none since 2002 while with Minnesota. He tried to change that in the 12th inning but was throw out. Ortiz did stroke the game-winning hit in the 14th inning. He hit a walk-off home run Sunday and homered again in the eighth inning Monday.

Frozen moment
In the sixth inning, Martinez hit Miguel Cairo with two outs to load the bases and set off a chain of events that ended with the Red Sox trailing 4-2. Three pitches later, Derek Jeter hit a bases-clearing double that put the Yankees ahead by two runs. Martinez hit the next hitter, Alex Rodriguez, and walked Gary Sheffield on five pitches, but was rescued by a fantastic catch on a line drive off the bat of Hideki Matsui by Trot Nixon for the final out. With that, Pedro was done for the evening.

Slick move
Francona putting Cabrera in the No. 2 hole in the order for the second consecutive game provided the spark to the offense that has been lacking since Damon hit his recent slump. The speedy Cabrera went 1-for-6 Monday, not good, but good enough while the club waits for Damon to get on track.

Modern history
Monday's win marked only the third time in postseason history that a team has won consecutive extra-inning games to avoid elimination.

Missing Mirabelli
Doug Mirabelli is Tim Wakefield's usual catcher and it showed on Monday. Starter Jason Varitek had trouble with the knuckleballer and was charged with three passed balls in the 13th inning, a postseason record for a single inning. The previous record holder was Toronto's Pat Borders, who was charged with two passed balls in the 1991 ALCS while catching knuckleballer Tom Candiotti.

Last word
"We have nothing to lose. We lose one more game and we go home. Maybe that's making it easy for us to let it all hang out and not be uptight or nervous or wrapped up in the situation." -- Doug Mientkiewicz

Jesse Sanchez 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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