10/02/08 2:34 AM ET
Red Sox Short Hops: Game 1
Lester's arm, Bay's bat swing momentum toward Boston
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
Boston shook off losing eight straight to the Angels in the regular season to grab a pivotal road victory in this short series.
Jason Bay connecting with a John Lackey fastball up in the zone, initiating the sound of silence in the Angel Stadium crowd.
0 -- That's how many leadoff men Sox pitchers let on base, severely hampering the Angels' pesky offensive attack. Game balls
Bay waited his entire career for the chance to play in the postseason, and he seized this first opportunity by crushing Lackey's 0-1 fastball over the left-field bullpens for the two-run shot that put the Red Sox on top -- for good.
The young lefty worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and only seemed to get stronger as the night wore on. Jed Lowrie's third-inning error behind him proved costly, but Lester limited the damage in that frame and was particularly effective with his curveball.
His heads-up play on Torii Hunter's single to shallow right in the eighth allowed him to nab a streaking Vladimir Guerrero at third. That was a big out that thwarted the Angels' chances of tying what was a 2-1 game.
Sense of October
Lowrie didn't make an error in 154 chances at short in the regular season. When the rookie booted the first ball sent his way by Guerrero in the third, it might have been an indication that the heightened importance of this game got to his head.
4 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 R
Comment: Manny who?
7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 Ks
Comment: Josh who?
"We never get greedy. Anything can happen. We know better than anybody else. We have come back two years in a row, so we know that you've got to try to bury the opposing team as much as you can." -- David Ortiz, on the Game 1 victory
The Red Sox have already swiped home-field advantage out of the Angels' hands. If Daisuke Matsuzaka can deliver opposite Ervin Santana in Game 2 on Friday night, it might be time to put in an order for champagne in Boston.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.