posted 8 years ago
(Sports Network) - Boston introduced a new late-game hero, as Jed Lowrie's two-out seeing-eye single to right scored Jason Bay with the winning run in the ninth frame, as the Red Sox advanced to the American League Championship Series with a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Game 4 at Fenway Park.Bay, the man who replaced much-maligned yet still terrorizing hitter Manny Ramirez in a three-team deal prior to the trade deadline, scored the winning run as part of a solid series.
He hit a bloop tight to the right-field line that bounced just to the side of Reggie Willits, who was put into the game as a pinch-runner in the top of the frame. The ball caromed into the seats for a ground-rule double. Mark Kotsay followed with a line-drive shot that appeared destined for right field, but first baseman Mark Teixeira lunged to his left and made an acrobatic catch for the second out.Lowrie followed with the dribbler that rolled into right field just past the diving Howie Kendrick.
"It's a funny game. It's all a matter of keeping a steady approach," Lowrie said of his mind set prior to the last at-bat.
Manny Delcarmen (1-0) retired two batters to pick up the victory, and Scot Shields (0-1) gave up the winning run in the ninth to suffer the loss.
The Red Sox will now meet AL East rival Tampa Bay in the American League Championship Series starting Friday in St. Petersburg.
Torii Hunter drove in the lone two runs for the Angels, while Bay and Lowrie each recorded a multi-hit game for the Red Sox, who won the best-of-five series, 3-1.
"It hurts," Hunter said of yet another early exit. "[Our] team is good. We have a good ball club, just things didn't work out for us and it's tough and frustrating. All we can do is talk about next year. This is over with. I guess I'm going to be watching it, again."
The defending-champion Red Sox are back in familiar territory -- the American League Championship Series -- behind a new cast of characters. Ramirez is in Hollywood, Mike Lowell's bad hip landed him off the roster for this game and the entire ALCS and David Ortiz continued a below average postseason.