Monday, October 15, 2007

ALCS: Lofton, Westbrook Lift Tribe

Cleveland 4 Boston 2 - In the bottom of the second inning, Kenny Lofton launched a first-pitch fastball from Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka into the right-center field stands to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead and Jake Westbrook worked into the 7th inning to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead in the ALCS. Westbrook (right), in his second post-season start, shut out the Red Sox over the first six innings, but eventually gave way when Jason Varitek smashed a two-run bomb to dead center field.
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By then, however, the Indians had already scored two more runs on a single by Asdrubel Cabrera and a fielder's choice RBI by DH Travis Hafner. Both runs came in a two-run 5th inning and were charged to Matsuzaka, who suffered the loss. Westbrook finished with 6 2/3 innings of work, allowing 7 hits and both runs on Varitek's homer. Following Westbrook, Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt and Joe Borowski didn't allow a Red Sox hit or walk the final 2 1/3. Lofton (right), who has made a career of playing in the postseason for a handful of clubs is in his 11th postseason overall and sixth in the last seven years. It's his third stint with the Indians. Game 4 is Tuesday night at 8:00 pm in Cleveland. Paul Byrd will head to the mound for Cleveland against Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Boston manager has the option of going to Game 1 winner Josh Beckett on three days rest, though the manager has publicly stated that Wakefield will definitely start game 4.

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