ALCS Game 1
October 12, 2007 Fenway Park, Boston
Red Sox 10, Indians 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 8 0
Boston 1 0 4 0 3 2 0 0 x 10 12 0
The American League Championship Series paired the two teams with the best regular-season records. Both Boston and Cleveland had finished at 96-66, but since the Red Sox had gone 5-2 against the Indians, they had home field advantage, and the series began at Fenway Park. Both teams had won their respective Division Series early and had time to set up their rotations, so Josh Beckett (20-7, 3.27 in the regular season) and C.C. Sabathia (19-7, 3.21) squared off. It didn't start well. Beckett struck out the side in the first, but in between the strikeouts Travis Hafner launched a home run over the bullpen for a 1-0 Indians lead. In the bottom of the inning, three straight singles by Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Manny Ramirez got the run back.
In the third, Sabathia made his second trip through the Red Sox lineup. With Julio Lugo on third after a double and a sacrifce bunt, Youkilis walked. Ortiz was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, and Ramirez walked, forcing in the go-ahead run. Mike Lowell doubled to knock in two more runs, and the Sox tacked on their fourth run of the inning on Jason Varitek's groundout. In the fifth, Papi and Manny came up again, and again they both reached base, on a walk and a single. Lowell walked to load the bases, and Bobby Kielty, starting in right field against the left-handed Sabathia, ripped a single to right, driving in two more runs and knocking Sabathia from the game. Jensen Lewis was greeted by a double from Varitek, and the Sox had an 8-1 lead.
When Casey Blake doubled to lead off the sixth, he was just the third baserunner Beckett had allowed. Asdrubal Cabrera's single drove Blake in, making the score 8-2. Big Papi and Manny were at it again in the sixth. After Dustin Pedroia and Youkilis singled, they both walked, and Mike Lowell's sac fly made it 10-2 in favor of the Sox. The big lead allowed the Sox to rest Beckett after the sixth. Mike Timlin and Javier Lopez took care of the seventh and eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, the dynamic Dominican duo got another chance to bat. Again, they both reached base. This time it was a double by Ortiz and another walk by Ramirez. That made five trips to the plate for each of them, and they both reached base every time up. Thanks to their hot streak and the timely hitting of the rest of the lineup, the Sox dominated Game 1. Eric Gagne loaded the bases in the ninth, but he struck out Grady Sizemore to end the game and give the Red Sox a 1-0 series lead.
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