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Red Sox into World Series
Boston complete their revival as they down the Indians in Game Seven.
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2007 11:30 GMT

Daisuke Masuzaka enjoys himself after his starring role [GALLO/GETTY]

The Boston Red Sox are through to the World Series after they overpowered the Cleveland Indians 11-2 in Game Seven of the American League championship series.
 
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five solid innings and Dustin Pedroia drove in five runs as their side completed their remarkable comeback after trailing 3-1 in the series after Game Four.
"The season is almost over we were down 3-1, you get that sense of urgency," said Pedroia, who hit his first postseason home run and doubled with the bases loaded.
 
"Nobody wanted to go home, nobody wanted to say goodbye to each other. Once we got that win in Cleveland, we started to believe."

Having ended their 86-year title drought in 2004 after digging out of a 3-0 hole against the Yankees in the ALCS, the Red Sox now have a date with Colorado in the World Series.

The Rockies, who have won 10 in a row and 21 of 22, will come back from a record eight days off for Game 1 at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

Magical run

"The Rockies are on a magical run and we are going to have our hands full. We're going to try and represent the American League the best we can," general manager Theo Epstein said.

"We haven't grown up any since '04. That's part of what keeps these guys so good. It keeps us all loose and we never stop believing."

Colorado outscored Boston 20-5 in winning two of three during an interleague series at Fenway in June.

But, the Red Sox did even better in winning the last three games against Indians, outscoring them 30-5 in that span.

While Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Josh Beckett helped Boston advance, the Indians only added more misery to a city that hasn't celebrated a World Series championship since 1948.

So close, so far

The Indians were a double-play grounder from winning the crown at Florida in 1997.

Boston Red Sox fans are in a confident
mood [GALLO/GETTY]
They appeared to take control of this series with three consecutive victories, but aces C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona failed to close it out.

"We won three games in a row and they won three in a row," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

"I'm disappointed, obviously, we weren't able to finish it off."

Jake Westbrook pitched valiantly in Game 7, but still the Indians came up short.

They had a chance to tie it at 3 in the seventh inning, but third-base coach Joel Skinner mistakenly held up speedy Kenny Lofton as he rounded the bag.

With runners at the corners, Casey Blake grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Then, the Red Sox blew it open. Pedroia, who homered earlier, hit a three-run double and Kevin Youkilis launched a bottle rocket, a two-run drive off the giant Coke bottle above the Green Monster.

Boston finished it off in style, with center fielder Coco Crisp racing back into the center-field triangle to catch Blake's drive for the final out before crashing into the wall.

Matsuzaka magic

A star in big games throughout his career in Japan, Matsuzaka followed two sub-par playoff outings with his first American postseason victory.

He allowed two runs on six hits in five innings, striking out three and walking none.

"I thought he pitched his heart out," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

"Those were some tough innings. He gave us what we needed."

Fellow Japanese rookie Hideki Okajima pitched two innings of shutout ball.

Papelbon closed, sending the sold-out Fenway into a frenzy.

Source:
Agencies
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