Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rays Pound Red Sox; Phillies' Late-Inning Homers Drop Dodgers

Players of the Day from Monday, October 13, 2008 ALCS: Tampa Bay 9 Red Sox 1 Matt Garza limited the Red Sox hitters to one run, working into the 7th inning and the Rays played long ball, knocking four homers as the Rays took a 2-1 lead in the ALCS with a 9-1 thumping of Boston at Fenway Park. The only run off Garza came in the bottom of the 7th inning when he walked Jason Varitek to open the inning. The Red Sox catcher moved to third on Alex Cora's single, and Garza was lifted for reliever J.P. Howell, who got Jacoby Ellsbury on a sac fly, scoring Varitek, then induced a double play grounder from Dustin Pedroia. Howell pitched through the 8th, allowing just a single by J.D. Drew before giving way to Edwin Jackson who mopped up in the ninth. The Rays got home runs from B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Rocco Baldelli and Carlos Pena. Upton and Baldelli's blasts were three-run shots, while Longoria and Pena hit solo homers. Notes: The Red Sox are in serious trouble with game 4 set for Tuesday night at 8:07 pm ET. Two of their best pitchers - Josh Beckett and Jon Lester - have both been hammered by the Rays. Boston sends Tim Wakefield to the mound against the Rays' Andy Sonnanstine, who won the ALDS clincher over the White Sox on October 6. NLCS: Philadelphia 7 LA Dodgers 5 The Phillies displayed their plate power once more and took a commanding 3 games to 1 lead over the Dodgers when Shane Victorino (R) and Matt Stairs each launched 2-run bombs in the 8th inning to lead the Phillies to a 7-5 win over the Dodgers. The teams each had and surrendered leads in the game before the critical 8th inning outburst. Ironically, it was the Dodger's supposedly superior pitching that unraveled late in the game. Reliever Cory Wade gave up Victorino's blast and closer Jonathan Broxton gave up Stairs' game winner. LA has managed to score 5, 7, and 5 runs off Philly pitchers in the last three games, but have lost two of them. Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8:22 pm ET. Game 1 winner Cole Hamels can wrap up the series for Philadelphia as he goes to the mound against LA starter Chad Billingsley.

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