Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sox Win - Sox Win -- Go to ALCS!

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury sprayed champagne during celebrations.
Dustin Pedroia (left) and Sean Casey let everyone know who's No. 1.

Jason Bay, who scored the winning run on a headfirst slide into home plate, surveys the scene on the field during the postgame celebration.

Red Sox wives, significant others, and friends pose for a celebration photo on the infield after the Game 4 win Monday night.

Jacoby Ellsbury (left) celebrates with a drenched Jed Lowrie (back) on the field after the Game 4. Lowrie's two-out single drove in Jason Bay with the winning run in the ninth inning.

Red Sox players celebrated with Jed Lowrie (center) after Lowrie's walk off single in the ninth inning.

Kevin Youkilis (left), Jason Varitek (center) and Jacoby Ellsbury (right) rushed the field after Jed Lowrie's (not pictured) walk off single in the ninth inning.

Red Sox players surrounded Jed Lowrie after Lowrie's game-winning single.

Jed Lowrie (right) helped the Sox sink the Angels last night with a walkoff RBI single in the ninth, setting up a showdown in the ALCS with the Rays.

BOSTON -- The walk-off glory that gripped Fenway Park on Monday night was set up by the usual dose of adversity. You see, degree of difficulty has been in play all year for the Red Sox, who look at hurdles, scoff at them and then leap over them.

Such was clearly the case for the defending World Series champions in clinching this memorable 3-2 triumph in Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the Angels. In this one, the Red Sox recovered from a blown lead, snuffed out what would have been a devastating suicide squeeze and then rode rookie Jed Lowrie's game-ending two-out single in the bottom of the ninth right into the AL Championship Series.

"I keep saying this, but it's somebody different with our ballclub every night," said closer Jonathan Papelbon. "That's just the way we are. When you're playing us, you have to get all 27 outs. I think everybody in this clubhouse feels the same way. This never gets old. It's a beautiful feeling knowing that no matter what the situation is, we have a chance to win a ballgame."

For the defending World Series champion Red Sox, who have become the symbol of October excellence in recent years, it marked their fourth ALCS berth in the past six years. They will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 in St. Petersburg on Friday night. It was the third time since 2004 the Sox have knocked out the Angels in the ALDS.

"We'll have time to put that one in perspective later on," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein in the champagne-soaked clubhouse. "Hopefully we'll have other things to talk about, too. Right now, it feels pretty good. It's a hard place to get. Four times in six years is pretty sweet."

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