BOSTON — The Red Sox were one strike away from a win that would have prolonged their season another day. But the Angels wouldn’t stand for it, coming up with three runs in the top of the ninth en route to a 7-6 victory that swept Boston out of the American League Division Series.
The victim of the jarring rally was closer Jonathan Papelbon, who entered Sunday never having allowed a run over 26 postseason innings. The Angels started their improbable rally with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. Erick Aybar laced a single up the middle. Chone Figgins worked a walk. Bobby Abreu brought the Angels within one on a double to left. The Red Sox walked Torii Hunter intentionally to load the bases for Vladimir Guerrero, and the star slugger delivered with a two-run single that gave the Angels their first lead of the day, silencing the Fenway faithful.
With some pep back in their offense, the Red Sox rode a two-run double by Dustin Pedroia and a two-run homer by J.D. Drew to a 5-1 lead through four innings against Angels starter Scott Kazmir.
Clay Buchholz performed well for Boston, allowing two runs over five-plus innings. The Angels got one back in the sixth, and two in the eighth to make it 5-4.
But Mike Lowell gave the Red Sox breathing room with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. As it turns out, it wasn’t enough breathing room.
The Red Sox entered the day 13-3 in potential elimination games under manager Terry Francona, and seemed primed to give themselves life again and force Game 4 on Monday night.
This time, however, it didn’t happen.
Well it wasn’t trips to the Quick Weight Loss Center after all. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are the latest names to surface on the 2003 steriods list. Big Papi has seen his numbers plummet this year, hence the Red Sox are now shopping for offensive talent.
QWL may be to credit for the Rush Limbaugh diet as he has dropped 58 pounds. In football betting news, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has a new girlfriend and it’s Natalie Smith, a 22-year-old Jessica Simpson look-alike.
Perhaps Kim Kardashian, fresh off her breakup with Reggie Bush, will be Romo’s next babe.
Now to the Yankees-White Sox.
Following an awful road trip, the Chicago White Sox hope returning home can help them get back on track.
It won’t be easy with consecutive series against the two best teams in the league, beginning tonight with a four-game set against the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
New York arrives in town after defeating Tampa Bay 6-2 on Thursday to move a season-best 3 ½ games up on second-place Boston.
In the series opener, Andy Pettitte seeks his first victory in nearly a month.
Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the results.
Some of baseball’s most cherished storylines of the past decade have been tainted by performance-enhancing drugs, including the accomplishments of record-setting home run hitters and dominating pitchers. Now, players with Boston’s championship teams of 2004 and 2007 have also been linked to doping.
Baseball first tested for steroids in 2003, and the results from that season were supposed to remain anonymous. But for reasons that have never been made clear, the results were never destroyed and the first batch of positives has come to be known among fans and people in baseball as “the list.” The information was later seized by federal agents investigating the distribution of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes, and the test results remain the subject of litigation between the baseball players union and the government.