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Red Sox take 2-0 World Series lead
Boston take upper hand in baseball's World Series after another win over Colorado.
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2007 07:49 GMT

Boston's Hideki Okajima became the first Japanese player to pitch in a World Series game [GALLO/GETTY]

The Boston Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven World Series after a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies in game two moved them a step closer to their second championship crown in four seasons.
After thrashing the Rockies 13-1 in the series opener, the Red Sox relied on some impressive pitching to win game two on a chilly night at Fenway Park in Boston.
Curt Schilling, winning pitcher, improved his career post-season win/loss record to 11-2 and limited Colorado to just one run before Hideki Okajima, left-arm reliever, took over with two on and one out in the sixth.
 
Okajima, who became the first Japanese pitcher to appear in a World Series game, pitched two-and-a-third flawless innings, including four strikeouts, before giving way with two out in the eighth to Jonathan Papelbon who sealed the win.
 
Terry Francona, Red Sox manager, praised the way his top two relievers finished off the victory.
 
"It was a phenomenal effort on both their parts," said Francona, giving special praise to Okajima for shutting the Rockies down into the eighth.
 

"He was so good. His command was spectacular. That set up the whole game."

Terry Francona, Red Sox manager, comments on Japanese pitcher Hideki Okajima

"He was so good. His command was spectacular. That set up the whole game."
 
Japan's Okajima registered his milestone two days ahead of compatriot and Red Sox team mate Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is due to start game three against the Rockies in Denver.
 
Okajima arrived in Boston this year with far less fanfare than Matsuzaka, who the Red Sox paid more than $100 million to acquire.
 
He told reporters after the game that he had not been aware of his milestone moment.
 
"I didn't know about it," Okajima said through an interpreter, adding that a previous appearance in the Japanese championship had prepared him for the pressure.
 
"I have experience on a big stage like this," the 31-year-old added.
 
"I had the confidence to do it, I felt really good out there."
 
Okajima became the sixth Japanese-born player to appear in the World Series, the first being Tsuyoshi Shinjo of the San Francisco Giants in 2002.
 
Rockies keen to get home
 
Colorado opened the scoring in the first inning on a ground-out by Todd Helton, while Boston's Mike Lowell scored the American League champions' first run in the fourth and drove in the leading run in the fifth on a double into the left-field corner.
 
Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies rookie pitcher, took the loss after giving up three hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings.
 
The World Series now moves to Coors Field in Denver for game three on Saturday.
 
Clint Hurdle, Colorado manager, lamented his team's lack of offense but said the National League champions were happy to be heading home for the next encounter.
 
"It's disappointing," Hurdle said.
 
"But we're going to go home and play some baseball.
 
"We scored two runs in 18 innings in this ballpark. That makes it tough to win. I anticipate us playing better baseball when we get home."
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