Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Boston won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Tampa Bay 1Final
Boston 6
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Tampa Bay 9Final
Boston 6
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Tampa Bay 8Final
Boston 11

Devil Rays 8

(55-106, 25-55 away)

Red Sox 11

(93-69, 42-39 home)

    1:05 PM ET, September 29, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 010034000 8 - -
    BOS 02005220 - 11 - -

    W: F. Castillo (6-15)

    L: W. Alvarez (2-3)

    S: U. Urbina (40)

    Boston again left to ponder what could have been

    BOSTON (AP) -- Manny Ramirez walked, hugged his pinch-runner, waved his cap to the fans and left Fenway Park with his first AL batting title.

    And not a word about how he felt.

    Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez won the AL batting title despite missing 39 games with a broken finger.

    "Manny has never been an outspoken person,'' Pedro Martinez said after Boston's 11-8 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. "He's that type of hitter. I'm not surprised and he's also very proud and very happy.''

    He'd be happier if the Red Sox reached the playoffs. But despite winning 93 games, they were eliminated from contention on Wednesday.

    The Devil Rays finished at 55-106, the most losses in their six-year history.

    Ramirez walked with the bases loaded as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, driving in Boston's last run of the season in his only plate appearance Sunday. His average of .349 beat the .340 of Mike Sweeney, who sat out Kansas City's final game with a bruised shin.

    A Red Sox player won the batting championship for the third time in four years and ninth in the last 22.

    "He breaks a finger and it's tough to come back from that,'' said Nomar Garciaparra, the champ in 1999 and 2000. "He went out there after being off still swinging the bat and still being hot. Doing what he did, it's a tribute to him.''

    Ramirez missed 39 games with a broken finger but ended the season with a 13-game hitting streak, batting .468 in that stretch. He drove in his 30th run in September with the walk.

    Red Sox owner John Henry said he reacts like other fans when Ramirez is at bat.

    "When he came to the plate today with the bases loaded there was electricity,'' Henry said.

    Ramirez finished with 33 homers and 107 RBI and led the AL with a .450 on-base percentage. Cleveland's Jim Thome was second at .445.

    The 93 wins were the third-most by the Red Sox in 24 years but not enough to earn a playoff berth. Boston won 95 games in 1986, when it lost the World Series, and 94 in 1999, when it lost in the AL championship series. It last won the World Series in 1918.

    "Going through the season, we had a lot of success,'' Boston manager Grady Little said, "but still, we win 93 games and we're disappointed.''

    The Red Sox set a home attendance record of 2,650,063, breaking the old mark of 2,625,333 set last year. Sunday's announced crowd was 32,194, the 62nd sellout at Fenway Park this season.

    Ramirez's walk as a pinch-hitter for Cliff Floyd capped a two-run inning that Jason Varitek began with his 10th homer of the season. Brian Daubach then singled, Lou Merloni reached first on an error and Benny Agbayani singled to load the bases.

    After Freddy Sanchez struck out for the second out, Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch from Travis Harper. Rickey Henderson came out of the dugout to run for Ramirez and they embraced as their paths crossed.

    Frank Castillo (6-15) pitched 2 2-3 innings of relief before Ugueth Urbina got his 40th save in 45 chances.

    Boston had taken a 9-8 lead with two runs in the sixth. Wilson Alvarez (2-3) hit Shane Andrews with a pitch, walked Sanchez and allowed a game-tying double to Floyd. Shane Hillenbrand's sacrifice fly off Travis Harper put the Red Sox ahead.

    The Devil Rays took the first lead of the game in the second on Ben Grieve's RBI double. Boston went ahead 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on doubles by Hillenbrand and Trot Nixon and an RBI single by Varitek.

    Tampa Bay starter Delvin James, who suffered a minor wound to his left shoulder in a shooting incident at a North Carolina restaurant Sept. 2, allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings.

    "I haven't pitched very much in the last few weeks because I got shot,'' he said. "It's kind of hard to stay in pitching shape without pitching.''

    Tampa Bay made it 4-2 with a three-run fifth highlighted by Randy Winn's 14th homer of the year, a two-run shot. He hit .298 this season.

    "It's a very small consolation,'' he said. "When you're losing a lot of games, it's not fun.''

    Boston went ahead again in the bottom of the inning with five runs.

    Floyd's RBI grounder, Hillenbrand's single and Nixon's double drove in one run each before Daubach's two-run double made it 7-4.

    Then the Devil Rays went ahead with four runs in the sixth. They scored on a one-run double by Brent Abernathy, a two-run double by Damian Rolls and an RBI single by Carl Crawford.

    Game notes


    Tampa Bay pitchers broke the major league season record by hitting 94 batters, one more than Boston hit last year. The Devil Rays hit two batters Sunday, both by Alvarez. ... Garciaparra went 2-for-2 with a walk before Sanchez pinch-ran for him. Garciaparra was out in the first trying to stretch a single to a double. His 56 doubles were one shy of Carlos Delgado for the sixth-most in an AL season. ... Winn's 14 homers are four more than he had his entire career before this season. ... The Red Sox had baseball's best road record at 51-30 but finished 42-40 at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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