12:47 a.m.: We're not done quite yet. Fuentes walks Bay on a 3-and-2 pitch and Mike Lowell is up as the potential tying run.
12:45 a.m.: No Big Papi magic tonight. Just a lazy fly ball to left for the second out. Jason Bay is the final chance.
12:41 p.m.: Youkilis hits a one-out double and here comes Fuentes. Visions of the 9-8 comeback game in Boston are swirling in the minds of a Nation as Ortiz comes to the plate.
12:39 p.m.: Jepsen starts the ninth and gets Martinez on a fly to center. Pretty interesting that Mike Scioscia chose not to bring Brian "My 48 saves are totally misleading" Fuentes into the game.
End 8th, Angels 4-1: Jonathan Papelbon relieves Wagner after a leadoff single by Abreu and gets three quick outs. It will be Martinez, Youkilis and Ortiz in the ninth. If they're going down, they're going down with their best.
Mid 8th, Angels 4-1: Pedroia taps back to the mound and the inning is over. Two runs over the past 26 innings. Not going to get it done, in any season.
12:17 a.m.: Ellsbury legs out an infield single to keep hopes flickering here with two outs. Kevin Jepsen is coming on to face Pedroia.
12:14 a.m.: Jed Lowrie is the pinch hitter for Gonzalez. Three pitches, three strikes, two outs.
12:12 a.m.: J.D. Drew can't pull the trigger on a perfect pitch for a called strike three and that's all for Jered Weaver, who follows up John Lackey with another brilliant outing. Darren Oliver is coming on to face Casey Kotchman, who was introduced as a pinch hitter for Gonzalez. We'll see if Francona counters with a righty bat.
End 7th, Angels 4-1: Wagner comes on and strikes out Figgins to end the inning, but the damage has been done. The Red Sox have one run in 16 innings. Can they get three in two? Drew, Gonzalez and Ellsbury are due up in the eighth.
12:03 a.m.: Game over? Season over? Erick Aybar knocks Beckett from the game, and maybe applies the knockout blow, doubling home two more runs for a 4-1 Angels lead. Should Terry Francona have pulled Beckett after hitting Napoli? Maybe. But he didn't, and Aybar made him pay dearly.
11:59 p.m.: Beckett hits Mike Napoli to put two runners on. Napoli made no attempt to get out of the way of a curveball that slipped out of Beckett's hand – a chronic issue tonight — and Beckett complained to C.B. Bucknor, to no avail. Beckett is now over 100 pitches as he works to Erick Aybar.
11:54 p.m.: Macier Izturis puts the Angels ahead 2-1 with a single to center, scoring Kendrick from second with two outs. The Red Sox are now six outs away from an 0-2 deficit.
11:52 p.m.: Lowell comes up huge again, handling a hot shot by Rivera that took a funny hop into Lowell's body. Lowell stayed with it and checked the runner at second before getting the second out. It appeared the ball hit Lowell's bare right hand, and he's in some pain.
11:50 p.m.: Kendrick steals second on the first pitch to Rivera. That's the first stolen base of the series, and it comes at a critical time for both teams.
11:48 p.m.: With Kendrick running on the third 3-and-2 pitch, Morales flies out to left for the first out. Rivera coming up…
11:45 p.m.: Beckett is picking a very bad time to do a Dice-K impression. Beckett walks the unwalkable Vlad Guerrero on five pitches to start the inning, then falls behind Kendry Morales 3-and-0 with Howie Kendrick pinch-running at first. Billy Wagner is up in the pen as Beckett works Morales back to a full count. Stay tuned…
Mid 7th, 1-1: Weaver had retired six in a row and 11 of 12 when Jason Bay took a borderline 3-and-2 pitch for ball four. He became the first right-handed batter to reach base, and with Weaver annoyed and up to 105 pitches, it appeared the Sox had a chance to break through. But Mike Lowell, who has yet to get a hit in this series, flied out to center to end the inning.
End 6th, 1-1: Since allowing the hit-and-run single to Guerrero in the fourth, Beckett has retired eight in a row, needing just 11 pitches to put the Angels away in the sixth, including his third strikeout, all looking. Beckett is at 75 pitches and should be able to get through eight before handing off to Jonathan Papelbon — provided the Red Sox can get Beckett a lead.
Mid 6th, 1-1: We've seen it far too many times this season: The Red Sox leave the friendly confines and forget to take the offense with them. Not even the lefty-righty advantage is of any use in the fifth, as Weaver strikes out both Ellsbury and Martinez in a 1-2-3 inning. One should expect the Red Sox to start hitting again Sunday afternoon. The question is, will they be forced to have to come back to Anaheim for a season-saving Game 5?
End 5th, 1-1: Beckett gets a much-needed 1-2-3 inning after laboring through the fourth. Beckett needs just eight pitches to set down the bottom three in the Angels lineup, his pitch count only at 64 through five. Ellsbury, who tripled his last time up, leads off the sixth.
Mid 5th, 1-1: If the Red Sox are going to score any more runs off Weaver, it's probably going to have to happen in the sixth, when 3 of the first 5 batters hit left-handed. In the second trip through the lineup, the four lefties went 2-for-3 with a walk, the RBI and the run. The five righties went 0-for-5 and are 0-for-10 against Weaver for the night.
End 4th, 1-1: The Angels manage to get Abreu home anyway, with Vlad Guerrero singling him to third after the Hunter liner and Kendry Morales hitting a sacrifice fly to left. But without that catch by Lowell, the Angels would have had a big inning there. Instead, we're tied up.
10:48 p.m.: Mark down the bottom of the fourth as a key turning point in this game. With Abreu on first and nobody out, Torii Hunter ripped a line drive that appeared headed down the left-field line for a double. But Mike Lowell made a spectacular diving grab for the out.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: David Ortiz has two career homers off Weaver, and he was going for No. 3 in the fourth inning. But Weaver won the battle of power-vs.-power, striking Ortiz out to end the inning, pumping his fist as he came off the mound.
10:35 p.m.: As he has so many times in his two months with the Red Sox, Victor Martinez comes up with the clutch hit, singling to center to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. It's their first postseason run in 21 innings.
10:34 p.m.: The first chance to score goes by, as Pedroia grounds out sharply to third, anchoring Ellsbury to the bag. Now, it's Victor Martinez's turn.
10:32 p.m.: Breakthrough: Ellsbury leads off the fourth with a triple to center. Walk off: Mark Teixeira wins Game 2 for the Yankees with a homer in the 11th.
End 3rd, 0-0: Beckett almost gets himself into trouble, going to a 3-and-1 count on Chone Figgins with Aybar running of first base. But Figgins gets under the pitch and flies out harmlessly to left for the final out. The Red Sox now must find a way to create some offense. Jacoby Ellsbury will lead off the fourth.
10:24 p.m.: Erick Aybar becomes the first baserunner for either team tonight, lofting a single to shallow left field with two outs in the third. If Beckett has had any weakness tonight, it's his inability to throw the backdoor curveball for strikes to left-handed hitters. Aybar waited them out and finally got a pitch to smack into left.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Weaver is allowing left-handed hitters a .276 average this season, while righties are hitting just .208. Everybody is .000 through one at-bat tonight, as Weaver is perfect through three. The flyball pitcher has five outs through the air, two on the ground and two strikeouts. Now it's Beckett's turn to try and match him.
End 2nd, 0-0: The answer is: 2007 Beckett. Six up, six down, with the second inning ending on a nasty fastball on the inside corner to Juan Rivera for a called strike three. Meanwhile in New York, for the second time in six years, Twins closer Joe Nathan is doing everything he can to set up a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Jered Weaver and Nick Adenhart were to be roommates this season for the Angels, before tragedy struck in April. Weaver puts Adenhart's initials behind the mound at Angels Stadium before each start, and he is giving a fitting tribute so far tonight, retiring the first six Red Sox hitters in a row.
End 1st, 0-0: Beckett works an easy 1-2-3 inning with thtree groundouts. Bobby Abreu walked all four times in Game 1, but he puts the ball in play his first time up tonight, only to be robbed of a hit by a diving Dustin Pedroia.
9:48 p.m.: Will it be the 2007 Beckett or the 2008 Beckett tonight? The Red Sox will settle for the 2009 Beckett, in terms of pitching after a loss. In 14 starts, Beckett was 8-1 with a 2.69 ERA. The Red Sox went 11-3 overall in those games.
Mid 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox have not scored a postseason run since Dustin Pedroia homered in the first inning of Game 7 against the Rays last October. With a 1-2-3 inning against Jered Weaver tonight, the streak is now 18 innings, a franchise record for futility.
9:33 p.m.: Hope you've gotten all your "A-Rod chokes in October" comments in already, because it isn't true anymore. Rodriguez just hit a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning off Nathan. Meanwhile, the Angels are taking the field to start Game 2.
9:28 p.m.: We're just a few minutes away from the first pitch of Game 2. Let's all hope C.B. Bucknor, who has the plate tonight, got it all out of his system Thursday. Terry Francona got it out of his system Thursday night — he got sick several times during the game — and is fine to manage tonight's game. He'll need his strength with Bucknor calling balls and strikes.
9:11 p.m.: The Twins take a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning in New York. If Joe Nathan can close it out, the Red Sox will play at 8:37 p.m. in Game 4 Monday night. And yes, there will be a Game 4. We think. Maybe.
9 p.m.: Josh Beckett is 7-2 with a 2,90 ERA in his postseason career, and those numbers include a down October last year, when he battled an oblique injury. If this series does go five games, Beckett will get the ball in the deciding Game 5, which is the way Terry Francona wants it.
"He was doing these types of things before we got him back when he was with the Marlins as a young kid. We all know about that," Francona said. "He works so hard. And it's just for these type of games. He looks forward to tonight's game. That doesn't guarantee anything, but we like when he has the responsibility of a game like this. He's going to go out and going to give you everything he has."
"And everything he has is pretty good. You can't just have the will to do it. You've got to have the stuff. But when you combine that, it ends up being some type of pretty special. And that's what he's done."
Francona indicated this afternoon that barring a physical setback, Jon Lester will pitch Game 4 on three days rest, instead of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
8:40 p.m.: If history is a guide, the Red Sox will lose Game 2 tonight, then storm back and take the series in five games. The last eight times the Red Sox lost Game 1 of a series, they also lost Game 2. The last time the Sox won a Game 2 to even a series was 1986 — against the Angels. But in their past 12 series when losing the first game, the Red Sox are 6-6, including 0-2 comebacks against Cleveland (1999) and Oakland (2003) and the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. On the other side, the Angels have never won a series of any kind when winning the first game.
5 p.m.: Here's something you haven't heard in a while: The Red Sox face a must-win game Friday night in the Division Series, trailing the Angels 1-0 in the best-of-five series after Thursday's 5-0 loss at Angels Stadium.
Jon Lester could not take his scoreless innings streak against the Angels into 2009, thanks to a prodigious blast by Torii Hunter.
Now it's the Sox that need a big time blast — from the past. Josh Beckett takes the hill tonight, looking to find his 2007 (or even 2003) postseason form, after gimping his way to mixed results in 2008. The changing of the guard behind the plate is now complete, with Victor Martinez getting the call tonight. And for good reason: Martinez (.375), David Ortiz (.350, 2 HR, 9 RBI), Kevin Youkilis (.300, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Mike Lowell (.313) all have monster numbers against Angels starter Jered Weaver. Jason Varitek (.250), not so much.
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