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ALCS Game 3
October 15, 2007 • Jacobs Field, Cleveland

Indians 4, Red Sox 2

Box Score

          1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   R  H  E
___________________________________   _______

Boston    0  0  0  0  0  0  2  0  0   2  7  0
Cleveland 0  2  0  0  2  0  0  0  x   4  6  1

The series shifted to Cleveland for Game 3, and the Red Sox sent Daisuke Matsuzaka agains the Indians' Jake Westbrook. Westbrook had his sinker working from the outset. Kevin Youkilis walked in the first, but he got David Ortiz to ground into a double play. In the second, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs, but a shallow fly ball and another double play got him out of it. Matsuzaka, meanwhile, got the Indians in order in the first, but in the second, he gave up a single and then a 2-run homer to the aged Kenny Lofton. After three quick outs in the third, the frustrations continued for the Red Sox in the fourth. Big Papi led off with a double, but when Manny Ramirez followed with a single, Papi was hit by the ball, making him out. After that, two more groundouts quickly ended the threat. In the fifth, all three Red Sox batters were retired on ground ball outs.

While Westbrook worked quickly and efficiently, Matsuzaka labored through his outing. Aside from the Lofton homer, he was keeping the Indians off the board, but he was throwing a lot of pitches in the process. He struck out Trot Nixon to open the fifth, but then a single, a wild pitch, a walk, and another single gave Cleveland their third run of the night. A fielder's choice groundout made it 4-0, and pushed Dice-K over the 100-pitch mark. Finally Mike Timlin was called upon to get out of the fifth. The Red Sox got two runners on in the sixth, but another double play squelched that rally.

In the top of the seventh, J.D. Drew singled with one out. And this time, instead of hitting into a double play, Jason Varitek launched a home run. That pulled the Sox to within two runs, at 4-2, and two batters later, Westbrook was finally out of the game. But the relievers turned out to be even more stingy. For the Red Sox, Timlin was followed by Hideki Okajima, who allowed only a harmless walk in the eighth, and Manny Delcarmen, who retired both batters he faced. For Cleveland, it was Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt, and Joe Borowski, none of whom allowed so much as a baserunner the rest of the way. The score stayed 4-2, and the Indians took a 2-1 series lead.

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