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ALCS Game 5
October 18, 2007 • Jacobs Field, Cleveland

Red Sox 7, Indians 1

Box Score

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

Boston    1  0  1  0  0  0  2  3  0   7 12  1
Cleveland 1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   1  6  1

The Red Sox trailed the series, 3-1, when they faced off with the Indians for Game 5. Both teams sent their aces to the mound, repeating the Game 1 matchup of Josh Beckett and C.C. Sabathia. The Indians claimed it was a coincidence, but they asked country singer Danielle Peck, who used to date Beckett, to sing the National Anthem. But instead of getting inside his head, if anything it just served to motivate him further. And a well-rested and highly-motivated Josh Beckett is not something that other teams should look forward to. The Sox had had real trouble scoring runs in the past few games, but Kevin Youkilis got them off to a good start in Game 5. With one out in the first, he hit a laser of a home run into the left field stands, giving them a quick 1-0 lead. Later in the inning, Manny Ramirez doubled, but he was thrown out at the plate on Mike Lowell's single to end the inning.

Beckett gave up a couple of hits in the first, and the Indians tied the game on a ground ball double play. Both teams had the bottom of their order go down quickly in the second. With two outs in the Red Sox' third, David Ortiz walked. Ramirez hit a long fly ball to right, which hit off the top of the wall and bounced back into the playing field. Big Papi was running all the way, and was able to score from first with the go-ahead run. But Manny thought it would be over the fence and stopped to admire it, so he made it only as far as first base. It was a very close call as to whether it hit the yellow line on top of the wall or went over it, and Terry Francona came out to argue. The umps conferred, and let the call - a long single - stand.

Once the Sox regained the lead, Beckett settled down. He rang up two strikeouts in the third and induced three quick ground balls in the fourth. In the fifth, there was some excitement when Kenny Lofton started out ahead in the count 3-0. Beckett's next pitch was right on the corner, and Lofton dropped his bat as if he thought it was ball four. But it was called strike one, and Lofton ended up flying out to left. Beckett yelled something at him on his way back to the bench, and he charged toward the mound. Order was restored before anything could happen, and Beckett picked up two more strikeouts in the inning, followed by two more in the sixth.

Dustin Pedroia had hit some balls hard in the series without much to show for it yet, but in the top of the seventh, he finally got one in the gap for a leadoff double. Youkilis followed with a hit to the same part of the park. Grady Sizemore dove for it and almost made the catch, but it hit off the end of his glove and rolled to the wall. Pedroia scored an important insurance run, and Youk wound up with a triple. That was the end of the night for Sabathia, who was well over 100 pitches. He was replaced by Rafael Betancourt, and Big Papi knocked in the Sox' fourth run with a sacrifice fly.

The bullpen collapsed on the Indians in the eighth. The Red Sox loaded the bases against Rafael Perez, and then proceeded to score three runs off Tom Mastny, on a passed ball, a bases loaded walk, and a sac fly. Beckett was done after eight strong innings, and Jonathan Papelbon came on for the ninth. He gave up a double and a walk, but got Franklin Gutierrez to fly to center and end the game. The Indians still led the series, 3-2, but the teams were headed back to Boston for the rest of the series.

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