CLEVELAND—Six months later, the Red Sox came back on the Indians again. Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer -- No. 493 of his career -- and Boston rallied for three runs in the ninth inning against closer Joe Borowski for a 6-4 win Monday night over Cleveland in a stunning rerun of last October's AL championship series.
Ramirez's shot to left off Borowski (0-2) was just the latest Red Sox comeback against the Indians. Last fall, Boston rallied from a 3-1 ALCS deficit to beat Cleveland and advance to the World Series. The stakes weren't nearly as high this time, but the Red Sox came through again.
And so did Ramirez.
With the Indians leading 4-3, Borowski, whose every appearance is an adventure, came in to try to close it out.
But the right-hander, who led the AL with 45 saves in 2007, gave up a leadoff double in the ninth to Julio Lugo, snapping the shortstop's 0-for-16 slump. Coco Crisp sacrificed on a bang-bang play at first and Dustin Pedroia followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left, scoring Lugo to tie it 4-all.
With the Indians shifted to the right, David Ortiz dropped a bloop single into left -- his second hit. Ramirez then belted Borowski's first pitch into the left-field seats, a place he frequently visited with long balls while a member of the Indians.
The homer tied the long-haired hitting machine with Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 24th on the career list.
Mike Timlin (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his fifth save.
Ortiz, benched Sunday in the throes of his worst career hitting slump, went 2-for-5 and raised his average from .070 to .104.
Kevin Youkilis' homer in the eighth off reliever Rafael Betancourt pulled the Red Sox to 4-3. In last year's ALCS, Youkilis homered in Game 7 and batted .500 (14-for-28) with three homers in the series.
Jake Westbrook, the loser in last October's decisive game, was in line to get the win before Borowski threw it away. The closer has lost significant velocity on his fastball in the season's first month, leading some to wonder if he's injured.
It was another bitter loss for the Indians, who were one win from a trip to the World Series last fall when they collapsed. They lost once at home before being trounced twice in the shadow of the Green Monster. Cleveland was outscored 23-4 in Games 6 and 7 by the Red Sox, who went on to sweep Colorado for their second title in four years.
Travis Hafner had two RBIs and Victor Martinez added three hits and an RBI for the Indians.
Two walks by Boston starter Jon Lester set up a two-run fifth that put Cleveland ahead 4-1.
Notes:@ Ortiz snapped an 0-for-17 slide with a first-inning single. ... Jim "Mudcat" Grant threw out the ceremonial first pitch, marking the 50th anniversary of his major league debut for the Indians. Signed by Cleveland in 1954, he was the first black pitcher to win 20 games in the AL, with Minnesota in 1965. Grant was joined by J.R. Richard and Al Downing, who were also 20-game winners. ... Grady Sizemore and C.C. Sabathia as well as Boston's Crisp, coach DeMarlo Hale and Ortiz will each wear No. 42 on Tuesday to honor the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut. ... Sunday's game against Oakland, played in blustery, brutally cold conditions, was about as bad as Indians manager Eric Wedge could remember. "We had some cold games in Buffalo, maybe more games with snow, but that one yesterday was probably the coldest I've ever been in baseball," he said.