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You’ve heard the dire scenario. Trailing the Los Angeles Angels two games to none in the best of five American League Division series, the Red Sox must win Sunday afternoon’s game, or their season is over.
Red Sox fans are hoping the lethargic offense comes alive on the home field. Sox batters were only able to muster one run in the first two games played in Anaheim. The heart of Boston's lineup has struggled with Victor Martinez going 1 for 7, Kevin Youkilis 1 for 8 and David Ortiz 0 for 8 with four strikeouts.
"There is no big picture for us," Youkilis said. "We have to go out and win a ballgame or we're going home."
This isn’t the first time the Red Sox faced elimination at the hands of the Angels. Twenty-three years ago, the Red Sox were trailing and down to their last strike when Dave Henderson dinged a two run homer, setting the stage for a comeback that earned the team a trip to the 1986 World Series.
Henderson has always been considered a good luck charm for the Sox, even to this day. He was on hand at Fenway Park Sunday afternoon to toss the ceremonial first pitch. The Fenway crowd cheered wildly as Henderson took the mound.
The Red Sox scored first with Dustin Pedroia’s one out, two run double in the bottom of the third inning. Victor Martinez was up next, and drove in the Sox third run with a single to left.
But the Angels responded in the top of the fourth. Kendry Morales got his team on the board with a solo shot into the right field grandstand. It was the first home run of this ALDS series.
The second home run of the series belonged to the Red Sox in the bottom of the fourth, as J.D. Drew had a two run blast to deep center, giving the Sox a 5-1 lead, and forcing the Angels to start activity in their bullpen.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz pitched well until he got himself in a jam in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. Manager Terry Francona went to the bullpen, calling on right-hander Daniel Bard.
Bard got Juan Rivera to hit into a double play, costing the Sox only a run. Angels second baseman Maicer Izturis then popped out to end the inning and the threat. The Sox headed into the bottom of the sixth inning leading 5-2.
The score held until the top of the eighth. The Sox brought in left hander Billy Wagner who pitched two thirds of an inning, putting two men on base. Francona made the call for closer Jonathan Papelbon, who gave up a two run single to Juan Rivera. Papelbon got out of the jam by picking off Reggie Willits at first base.
The Red Sox picked up what was hoped to be an insurance run in the top of the ninth, when Mike Lowell drove in Joey Gathright from second. Gathright was pinch running for David Ortiz, who picked up his first hit of the series with a line drive to center field.
But Papelbon got into trouble in the top of the ninth, giving up his first post season runs. The Angels picked up three runs off Papelbon to take their first lead of the game.
This program aired on October 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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