10/14/07 2:42 AM ET
Red Sox Short Hops: Game 2
Boston bats stifled late as Cleveland evens ALCS
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Former Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon jump-started a seven-run outburst in the 11th for the Indians to end a lengthy slugfest. Frozen moment
Boston's Kevin Youkilis and Indians reliever Rafael Betancourt engaged in a classic confrontation in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the score tied at 6, two outs in the books, and a runner on second base, Betancourt fired 11 straight fastballs, each clocking between 92-95 mph. With a 2-2 count, Youkilis fouled off six heaters in a row before rifling a pitch into center field, where Cleveland's Grady Sizemore snared the ball with a sliding grab to end the inning. Big number
12 -- The number of Red Sox hitters set down consecutively between the fifth and ninth innings. Game balls
Ramirez continued his tear through these playoffs with another strong showing at the plate for the Red Sox. The left fielder went 1-for-3, but he drilled a two-run home run in the fifth inning and drew a bases-loaded walk in the third. Ramirez has walked three times in the past two games with the bases loaded, giving him the most such free passes in one postseason in baseball history.
While Ramirez and David Ortiz have hogged the spotlight with their stellar playoff showings, Lowell has quietly followed the duo with impressive performances of his own. Lowell drove in three runs for the Red Sox for the second game in a row, giving him nine RBIs this postseason. On Saturday, Boston's third baseman followed Ramirez's fifth-inning homer with a solo shot of his own, belting an offering over the Green Monster to put the Red Sox ahead, 6-5.
After the Indians tied the score at 6 in the sixth, the Red Sox summoned Okajima from the bullpen with a runner on second base and one out. The left-handed reliever escaped a bases-loaded jam that inning, set down the Tribe in order in the seventh, and finished with three strikeouts in his 1 2/3 innings.
Sense of October
Ramirez jumped on an 0-2 pitch from Indians reliever Rafael Perez and sent it rocketing to deep center field in the fifth inning. The ball carried over Boston's bullpen for a two-run homer, giving Ramirez 23 career long balls in postseason play. That moved the Red Sox slugger past Bernie Williams for the most homers in playoff history.
4 AB, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 R
Comment: Ortiz's record-tying streak of reaching base in 10 staight plate appearances in the playoffs came to an end.
4 2/3 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR
Comment: Schilling had a forgettable showing for the Red Sox, but the veteran right-hander escaped with a no-decision.
"It went back and forth -- that's baseball. The last team that strikes wins. They did a good job after that inning we scored, coming back and showing they weren't dying." -- Dustin Pedroia
After an off-day on Sunday, the Red Sox and Indians will resume play in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday at Jacobs Field. Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka is slated to take on Cleveland's Jake Westbrook.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.