Final

Series: Game 2 of 2

Boston won 2-0

Game 1: Monday, April 14
Boston6Final
Cleveland4
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15
Boston5Final
Cleveland3

Red Sox 5

(9-6, 5-4 away)

Indians 3

(5-9, 3-5 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 15, 2008

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    BOS 000010202 5 13 1
    CLE 000020100 3 8 1

    W: D. Aardsma (1-1)

    L: J. Lewis (0-1)

    S: H. Okajima (1)

    Varitek's pinch-hit HR clinches sweep of Tribe; Lowrie drives in three in debut

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jed Lowrie had an unforgettable major league debut. Jason Varitek's first appearance on Tuesday night wasn't bad, either.

    Coming-Out Party

    • Jed Lowrie drove in three runs for the Red Sox in his MLB debut.

    • The last Boston player with three-plus RBIs in his major league debut was Merrill Combs on Sept. 12, 1947. Combs drove in four against the Indians.

    • The last player with three-plus RBIs in his first game with the Red Sox was Gabe Kapler on June 28, 2003. He drove in three against the Marlins.

    -- ESPN Research

    Lowrie drove in three runs in his first game for Boston and Varitek hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning off Jensen Lewis, leading the Red Sox to a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians and a sweep of the two-game ALCS rematch.

    Varitek didn't start as Kevin Cash caught knuckleballing starter Tim Wakefield. But after warming up in the bullpen, the 36-year-old Varitek came up with one out in the ninth and drove a 1-2 sinker from Lewis (0-1) the opposite way to left-center for his third career homer as a pinch-hitter.

    "I've had my fair share of appearances as a pinch-hitter over my career," Varitek said while icing his knees. "I haven't been able to do that very often."

    Red Sox manager Terry Francona is concerned about playing Varitek too much and wanted to give him the whole night off. But needing a big hit, he turned to the veteran and Varitek delivered.

    "We can't have him catch 162 games," Francona said. "I struggle with that. Doesn't look like 'Tek does."

    Following Varitek's third homer this season, Boston made it 5-3 on Kevin Youkilis' RBI single.

    The Red Sox, who won three straight over the Indians to advance to the World Series last October, will take a four-game winning streak to New York for a two-game set at Yankee Stadium starting Wednesday. The rivals just met last weekend.

    David Aardsma (1-1) got the final out in the eighth and Hideki Okajima worked the ninth for his first save.

    Lowrie's first major league hit -- a two-run single in the seventh -- gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. When the 23-year-old got to first base he could hardly contain himself.

    "I can't even describe it," he said of standing on the bag. "It's one of those moments in your life you are always going to remember."

    Lowrie, a natural shortstop who started at third base, is the first Red Sox player to drive in three runs in his major league debut since Merrill Combs, who hit a three-run homer on Sept. 12, 1947.

    In his locker, the Salem, Ore., native had a souvenir lineup card and two balls -- one a joke the Red Sox initially gave him -- and the real ball commemorating his first hit.

    On the other side of the room, Varitek, whose first major league hit came on a ninth-inning pinch-hit single in 1997, was proud of the rookie.

    "That was a big hit," he said. "You go out there and just make contact in your first major league game and you're pretty happy. To walk away with three steaks [RBIs] and that puts you in the top five on our team."

    Victor Martinez had three hits and two RBIs for the Indians, who have dropped five of six and lost closer Joe Borowski on Tuesday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained triceps muscle.

    One of Cleveland's many problems is a lack of hitting. The Indians came in batting a league-worst .241 as a team, and they aren't excelling in many other areas.

    "We need to get going," starter Paul Byrd said. "We're just not clicking. We're not getting the two-out hit like we did last year. We're not making the big pitch at a key time like we did. It's just a little thing here or there and hopefully it will start falling into place."

    With Wakefield out, the Indians tied it 3-3 in the seventh when reliever Manny Delcarmen hit Ryan Garko with the bases loaded.

    Byrd didn't allow an earned run in six innings, but the right-hander could only sit and watch in the seventh as Cleveland's bullpen failed to hold a 2-1 lead.

    Jorge Julio came in and walked Boston's first two hitters before getting pulled. Rafael Perez relieved and nearly made a diving catch on Julio Lugo's bunt, but the ball bounced off his glove and caromed through catcher Martinez's legs.

    Lowrie, called up from Pawtucket last week, hit his two-run single to center to make it 3-2.

    Dumfounded by Wakefield's dancing knuckleball for four innings, the Indians scored twice in the fifth to take a precarious lead.

    Casey Blake led off with bloop single and Wakefield walked Grady Sizemore. Blake moved up on David Dellucci's fly to center, and after Travis Hafner walked, Martinez singled to center to score two. Jhonny Peralta missed a chance to add runs, bouncing into a 5-4-3 double play.

    Lowrie gave Boston a 1-0 lead in the fifth, beating the throw to first on a potential double-play grounder.

    Game notes


    Indians OF Dellucci robbed Coco Crisp with a diving catch in the sixth. Red Sox INF Alex Cora, out since April 9 with a sore right elbow, will be placed on the DL in the next few days, Francona said. Cora will also undergo an MRI. "If I'm not 100 percent, I'm not going to play, so why be here," Cora said. "I'll be fine." ... The Indians have lost four consecutive series for the first time since 2006. ... Gutierrez's gaffes were not limited to the field. He got picked off second in the third inning by Wakefield, who caught him wandering off one pitch after a steal.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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