DEREK LOWE

THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 11 ...
IT'S TIME TO "COWBOY UP"

 2003 ALDS, GAME #5
Derek Lowe comes to the rescue as
the Sox beat the A's and advance to the ALCS

October 6, 2003 ... Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez paced an improbable comeback from a two-game deficit in the best-of-five American League Division Series to eliminate the A's in a 4-3 thriller before 49,397 at Network Associates Coliseum.

The game nearly slipped away in the bottom of the ninth inning as the A's moved runners to second and third base with one out and then loaded the bases with two outs, before Derek Lowe rescued Scott Williamson to save the season. Lowe propelled the Sox to their first trip to the ALCS since 1999 by fanning Adam Melhuse for the second out and Terrence Long for the final out, both on nasty sinkerballs.

The sun will continue to rise on Boston's pursuit of its first world title in 85 years as the Sox return home this weekend for Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS thanks largely to Martinez, who limited the desperate A's to three runs over seven-plus innings, and Ramirez, whose three-run shot in the sixth inning off 2002 Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito provided the margin of victory. It was the fourth game of the series that ended amid dramatic tension, the outcome in serious doubt until the final out.

The triumph came with a price, however, as Johnny Damon was rushed away by ambulance after he suffered a concussion when his head violently collided with Damian Jackson's head as they chased a fly to shallow center in the seventh inning. Damon, who was bleeding near his right eye, lay unconscious for three to four minutes, according to Sox physician Bill Morgan, and lay on the field for nearly 10 minutes before he was taken to Highland Hospital for evaluation. He was conscious as he was lifted into the ambulance and raised his hand as if to say he would be OK. But Morgan said it was doubtful that Damon, who was held overnight at the hospital, would return for at least a few days.

Martinez and Ramirez got plenty of help pacing the Sox, particularly from Jason Varitek, whose solo blast off Zito accounted for the team's first run, and from a couple of members of Boston's long-maligned bullpen. When Martinez ran out of steam after surrendering two hits for a run to open the eighth inning, Alan Embree and Mike Timlin combined to complete the frame.

 

MANNY RAMIREZ

The A's squandered their ninth straight chance to clinch a postseason series since 2000 by allowing the Sox to become only the fourth team to dig themselves out of a 2-0 deficit since the Division Series was inaugurated in 1995.

Martinez was just nasty enough to beat the A's without his untouchable stuff. He prevailed by scattering seven hits, walking one, and hitting a batter before he departed amid Oakland's last-gasp rally in the eighth. The A's gambled that Zito could match the Sox ace despite pitching on three days' rest for the first time in his career. And though Zito was nearly unhittable in the early innings, the Sox wore him out by the sixth, when Varitek and Ramirez went deep to rout him.

First, Varitek homered leading off, ripping a 3-and-2 fastball over the wall in left field, to erase a 1-0 deficit after Martinez surrendered a run in the fourth. Then, as Zito seemed to tire, Damon further wore him down by waging a nine-pitch battle to emerge from an 0-and-2 hole and draw a key walk. A batter later, Zito plunked Todd Walker with a 2-and-1 pitch, pushing Damon to second and bringing up Ramirez.

Ramirez had looked terrible earlier against Zito, fanning the first two times he faced him. But he told his pal, staffer Ino Guerrero, and others that things would change. When Zito left an 89-m.p.h. fastball over the plate, Ramirez seized the moment, launching his shot high over the left-field wall to ease the Sox into a 4-1 comfort zone.

In the winners' clubhouse, empty champagne bottles rattled in bins, some players smoked cigars, and management personnel wandered among the heroes.

Twenty-eight years ago, former Sox owner Tom Yawkey sipped champagne from a paper cup in this place to celebrate a sweep over Oakland that sent his team to a World Series. The Sons of Grady Little are planning on their own trip to the Fall Classic, but first they have to beat the Yankees, which has never been an easy task for the Boston Red Sox.

 

 



CLICK TO
VIEW SCORECARD
 
 

2003 A.L. DIVISIONAL SERIES

 

 

Boston Red Sox

3 Games

 

 

Oakland Athletics

2 Games

 

 

 

 
 


2003 American League Divisional Series, Game 5
 

 
 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

   

4

6

0

 
 

OAKLAND A's

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

   

3

7

0

 

 

W-Pedro Martinez (1-0)
S-Derek Lowe (1)
L-Barry Zito (1-1)
Attendance 29,397

2B-Guillen (Oak), Durazo (Oak),
Tejada (Oak), Singleton (Oak)
HR-Varitek (Bost), Ramirez (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED SOX

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Johnny Damon cf 4 0 2  

 

Adrian Brown ph/cf 3 0 1  

 

Nomar Garciaparra ss 3 0 1  

 

Todd Walker 2b 4 0 0  

 

Damian Jackson 2b 3 0 1  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 3 0 1  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 0 0  

 

Gabe Kapler pr 3 0 0  

 

Kevin Millar 1b 4 0 0  

 

Bill Mueller 3b 4 0 1  

 

Trot Nixon rf 3 0 0  

 

Jason Varitek c 1 0 0  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Pedro Martinez 7 7 3 6  
  Alan Embree 0.2 0 0 0  
  Mike Timlin 0.1 0 0 0  
  Scott Williamson - 0 0 0  
  Derek Lowe 1 0 0 2  

 

         

 

             

 

ATHLETICS

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Mark Ellis 2b 3 0 0  

 

Billy McMillon ph 1 0 1  

 

Frank Menechino pr/2b 0 0 0  

 

Terrence Long ph 1 0 0  

 

Erubiel Durazo dh 4 1 1  

 

Eric Chavez 3b 4 0 0  

 

Miguel Tejada ss 4 0 1  

 

Scott Hatteberg 1b 2 1 0  

 

Eric Byrnes pr 0 0 0  

 

Jose Guillen lf 3 0 2  

 

Ramon Hernandez c 2 0 0  

 

Jermaine Dye rf 3 0 1  

 

Adam Melhuse ph 1 0 0  
  Chris Singleton cf 3 1 1  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Barry Zito 6 4 4 4  

 

Ted Lilly 2 0 0 2  

 

Chad Bradford 0.1 2 0 1  
  Ricardo Rincon 0.2 0 0 1