Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Red Sox find a way to click

The Red Sox’s Kevin Youkilis comes through in the clutch again, hitting a solo home run in the second inning to tie the score at 1.


The Red Sox’s Kevin Youkilis comes through in the clutch again, hitting a solo home run in the second inning to tie the score at 1.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Red Sox were not pitching well. They were hitting worse. Their fans were vacating Fenway Park in droves and making peace with the notion of having to follow the NHL's Bruins.

Then the Rays let them back in the American League Championship Series, blowing a seven-run, seventh-inning lead in Game 5 on Thursday with a handful of outs remaining between them and the World Series.

The Rays let them feel better about themselves in making a 3-1 series 3-2. They let the defending World Series champion — a team that had come back from a 3-1 deficit in the ALCS last year against the Indians — feel as if it could do it again.

Now the Red Sox are pitching better. Josh Beckett gave them five strong innings Saturday. They are hitting better, with designated hitter David Ortiz going 2-for-4 with a double after hitting a confidence-changing, three-run homer in Game 5. This was the career .320 hitter in the ALCS who said Friday that he would "talk with my bat tomorrow."

"I fight," Ortiz said. "I fight even though I might not get the right results. I don't give in."

J.D. Drew had two more hits after producing a key two-run homer and the winning single in Game 5. Kevin Youkilis, one of the best hitters in LCS history, had a homer and two more RBIs. Coco Crisp had three hits and a walk to become the leadoff hitter who has been firing up a once-dormant lineup.

"(Saturday night) we had a lot of good at-bats, got (Rays starter James) Shields' pitch count up early," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said.

And the heart of the Red Sox, captain Jason Varitek, who was in an 0-for-14 slump and perhaps on the verge of playing in his last game of a 12-year career, put Boston ahead for good in the sixth with a home run. His quick fist pump and brisk trot around the bases passed for jubilation from the understated 36-year-old veteran.

Now the Red Sox are feeling very good about themselves indeed, in a one-game playoff tonight for the right to defend their world title and end the Rays' story of destiny with the most bitter of conclusions.

"We did actually meet the other night just for a couple minutes, I think just to remind them of how we felt about them, things like that. No Knute Rockne, foam trash cans or anything like that," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We've gotten ourselves into a lot of predicaments, and fortunately we've had the ability to get out of them. There's no other choice. But that gets a little big picture-ish. I think the best way to go about it is play the game at hand. We do it all year, and there's no reason to change that philosophy now because that's the only way."

Brant James can be reached at or (727) 893-8804.

Red Sox find a way to click 10/18/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 26, 2008 1:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB


    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  2. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  3. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  4. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  5. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.