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. Mike Evans stands behind Michael Bennett


    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Mike Evans, left, hauls in a pass in front of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
  2. Man, I miss Planet Simeon


    Simeon Rice, right, works with Bucs defensive end Ryan Russell.
  3. Bucs roundtable: Time for another kicking panic?


    Five days after the beleaguered Roberto Aguayo got cut after missing a PAT and a field goal, new Bucs kicker Nick Folk had a PAT blocked and missed a field goal.

  4. The Bloomingdale's that a Ruth baseball built

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — A treasure, possibly worth half a million dollars, could lie behind a granite slab at the base of the Bloomingdale's flagship store in Manhattan in New York City, just a few feet from a window displaying designer handbags: a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

    According to reports from 1930, this cornerstone of Bloomingdale's flagship store in New York City could have a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and other items entombed with instructions not to open for 200 years. The Ruth ball, if there and in good condition, could be worth a record $500,000. [ New York Times]