Red Sox Short Hops: Game 5
Beckett stifles Indians, while bats perk up to extend series
CLEVELAND -- Fielding Boston's 7-1 Game 5 win over Cleveland on a short hop.In < 25 words ...
Red Sox starter Josh Beckett handcuffed the Indians' hitters at Jacobs Field to keep Boston's World Series hopes alive. Frozen moment
Beckett began barking at Cleveland's Kenny Lofton in the fifth inning, while the left fielder jogged up the first-base line after flying out. Lofton yelled back and headed toward the mound after touching first base, prompting the benches and bullpens to clear in a minor fracas. It was one of a handful of tension-filled moments in the contest. Big number
8 -- Beckett logged eight innings for Boston, which had its last three starters each last just 4 2/3 innings. Game balls
Things didn't start off great for Beckett, who gave up one run on three hits in the first inning, but the American League Cy Young Award contender settled down and cruised the rest of the way. Beckett yielded just two hits over his final seven innings and fanned 11. Thanks to Beckett, the Red Sox will head back home for at least one more game.
Ramirez continued his postseason tear, going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI single and a walk. In the third inning, Ramirez launched a pitch from Indians starter C.C. Sabathia deep to right-center field, where the ball bounced off the yellow line on top of the wall for a long run-scoring single. In these playoffs, Ramirez is hitting .440 (11-for-25) with four homers and 12 RBIs.
Youkilis has also wielded a potent bat for the Red Sox this postseason. On Thursday, Boston's first baseman went 2-for-4 with three RBIs against the Indians. Youkilis belted a solo homer off Sabathia in the first inning and added an RBI triple in the seventh. He also walked with the bases loaded in the eighth. During the ALCS, Youkilis has hit .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs and four RBIs.
Sense of October
Youkilis silenced Jacobs Field in the seventh when he drilled a pitch from Sabathia just beyond the reach of diving center fielder Grady Sizemore for a triple. The three-base hit put Boston ahead, 3-1, with Cleveland running out of time to mount a comeback against a dominant Beckett. Rally towels at their sides, the quieted fans suddenly felt a sense of inevitability about the Tribe's need for a sixth game in the series.
4 AB, 2 H, 1 R, BB
Comment: Pedroia enjoyed his first multihit affair of the postseason after entering the contest with just five hits over the previous seven games.
8 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K, W
Comment: Beckett delivered exactly the kind of outing that the Red Sox so desperately needed with their season hanging in the balance.
"We're excited to get back to Boston. It's going to be a great flight. Better than if we would have went down losing. This is not where we want to be, but obviously we're inching closer to where we want to be." -- Beckett
The Red Sox return to their home turf to try to complete a comeback in the AL Championship Series against the Indians, who still hold a 3-2 edge in the series. Boston's Curt Schilling will oppose Cleveland's Fausto Carmona in a Game 6 matchup at Fenway Park on Saturday.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.