Final

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 9/20)

Game 1: Friday, September 19
Boston2Final
Cleveland0
Game 2: Saturday, September 20
Boston4Final
Cleveland13
Game 3: Sunday, September 21
Boston2Final
Cleveland0

Red Sox 4

(90-64, 40-37 away)

Indians 13

(67-89, 38-42 home)

7:05 PM ET, September 20, 2003

Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

123456789 R H E
BOS 010001200 4 10 0
CLE 00001075 - 13 14 0

W: D. Lee (1-0)

L: D. Lowe (16-7)

Brutal ending could prove costly

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox let one slip away -- a big one they may soon regret.

Eight outs from an easy win, Boston gave up 12 runs in the final two innings to the Cleveland Indians, who tightened the AL wild-card race by rallying for a 13-4 win over the stunned Red Sox.

"I can't recall ever seeing a game that was going so smoothly go in the opposite direction," Boston manager Grady Little said. "It got ugly and it's something you want to forget about right away."

That may be impossible if the Red Sox end up missing out on the playoffs because of it.

Casey Blake's two-run double triggered a seven-run rally in the seventh when Cleveland chased Derek Lowe (16-7), who dominated the Indians for six.

Trailing 4-1, Josh Bard hit a leadoff homer off Lowe in the seventh and Cleveland's rookie catcher capped the unexpected inning with a two-run single.

The Indians added five more runs in the eighth, turning what looked like another loss into a surprising blowout win.

Boston's loss allowed Seattle to move 1{ games behind the Red Sox for the wild card with eight games remaining. The Mariners beat Oakland 9-3 Saturday.

"That might be the most frustrating game I've had in years," Lowe said. "We were up 4-1, and we weren't able to close it out. It's one that's going to stick with you for a long time."

Blake's crucial hit came shortly after a costly error by second baseman Damian Jackson and a wild pitch by Lowe, who came in 4-0 with eight saves in 23 career games against Cleveland.

Ben Broussard had four RBI and homered in the fifth off Lowe, who dominated the Indians for six innings before becoming unglued in the seventh.

Dave Lee (1-0), acquired by Cleveland in a trade earlier this month with Los Angeles, got his first AL win and first in the majors since Sept. 1, 2001, with San Diego.

Trot Nixon hit a solo homer for the Red Sox.

In the seventh, Lowe, who has dominated the Indians in the past, gave up Bard's homer with one out and consecutive singles to Jhonny Peralta and Angel Santos -- Cleveland's No. 8 and 9 hitters -- before getting Coco Crisp to hit a grounder toward second.

Jackson charged and fielded the ball but missed when he tried to tag Santos going to second. Jackson then dropped the ball attempting to hurry a throw to first, loading the bases for Cleveland.

"It was a costly mistake," Jackson said in a somber Boston clubhouse. "I take full responsibility. I tried to get the double play and I probably should have gotten an out. It's a terrible feeling."

Lowe's wild pitch scored Peralta and Blake followed with his double down the left-field line, giving the Indians a 5-4 lead.

Lowe was replaced by Scott Sauerbeck, but Cleveland wasn't done scoring.

The Indians loaded the bases again on two walks and went ahead 6-4 when Sauerbeck hit Broussard, forcing in a run. Bard then capped the Indians' second-biggest inning this season with a two-run single.

As Jacobs Field rocked, the young Indians got a rare chance to see how it used to be when Cleveland was an AL powerhouse.

"When we started to come back you could feel the tension," Broussard said. "It was a playoff atmosphere. You could tell it really meant something on every pitch."

Blake hit another RBI double in the eighth off Scott Williamson and Alex Escobar had a two-run single to make it 11-4.

Lowe lost for the first time in six starts, charged with four earned runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Early on, it appeared the right-hander would have little trouble with the Indians.

He coasted through the first three innings, and retired 10 straight before Blake singled in the fourth. Then, he could have never envisioned how his night would end.

"I know I keep saying it," Lowe said. "But it's very frustrating. Things were looking so good."

Game notes


The Indians, who had just nine hits in their previous two games, got 14 and matched their season high for runs. ... Nomar Garciaparra picked up his 100th RBI, beating out a fielder's choice in the seventh. ... Lowe hadn't lost since Aug. 19 when he left a start against Oakland with a blister on his thumb after six scoreless innings. ... Little expects Johnny Damon (abdominal strain) and Bill Mueller (back spasms) to play in Sunday's series finale. ... Only Toronto's Roy Halladay (40) has more wins than Lowe (37) the past two seasons. ... Broussard's homer was also Cleveland's first extra-base hit in 22 innings.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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