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Red Sox Take Series, Head to Yankeeland

By Phil Janowicz

SPORTS EDITOR

Break out your cowboy hats because it’s time to “Cowboy Up.” With their win Monday night, the Red Sox capped an amazing comeback to defeat the Oakland A’s in the American League Division Series. Derek Lowe recorded the final out of the series, getting Terrence Long to strike out while looking with the bases loaded and the Sox clinging to a 4-3 lead.

Monday’s game marked the third straight win for the Red Sox over the A’s to come back from a seemingly insurmountable 0-2 deficit. On Saturday, Trot Nixon came on to pinch-hit in the 11th inning and launched a walk-off two-run shot to straight away center. On Sunday, David Ortiz broke out of his 0-for-16 slump with a two RBI double to right field which gave the Sox a 5-4 victory. The Red Sox just keep pulling every little trick out of their bag to keep this season alive.

Monday’s win did come with some bad news when center fielder Johnny Damon received a concussion when he ran into Damian Jackson in the seventh inning. Immediately after the collision, Damon hit the ground and remained there motionless for a few minutes. All the Red Sox were worried for his safety and not for his status in the game. As Damon was being carted off the field, he attempted to point up to show he was okay, but he instead, ironically, pointed directly into the ambulance.

During Damon’s departure, David Ortiz tried to get some applause from Oakland, but one unruly fan yelled “[expletive deleted] you, Ortiz,” which even the television audience could understand. Ortiz and the rest of the Sox, understandably, took much offense to this, and they almost jumped into the stands to fight the guy. Thankfully, the fan was carried away in a stranglehold by security.

The Red Sox now turn their attention to the perennially-hated Yankees in the American League Championship Series. For this series, the Sox made a few roster changes. First of all, they decided to keep Damon on the roster because all tests run on Tuesday turned out to be negative. Trade deadline acquisition Jeff Suppan replaced center fielder Adrian Brown, and reliever Todd Jones replaced much maligned former closer, Byung-Hyun Kim. Kim was removed from the roster officially because he experienced a stiff shoulder while warming up in game three. Although manager Grady Little claims he would only remove Kim from the roster because of physical reasons, I’m sure that Kim’s recent actions played a role in his demotion as well.

During the game three introductions, Kim’s name was announced and a mixture of cheers and jeers ensued. Kim, known as a “trouble-maker” to the Red Sox front office, proceeded to give the Fenway Faithful the finger. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be playing for the Astros next year.

Even with the Sox somewhat shaken up, this series will prove to be another fall classic. I see the Sox taking it in six to meet the Marlins (in six over the Cubs) in the World Series.