The Red Sox jumped on Indians starter Fausto Carmona early and often to even the series, forcing a decisive Game 7. Frozen moment
The Indians were on the verge of escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, when Boston's J.D. Drew drilled a 3-1 pitch from Carmona to center field. The baseball barely cleared the fence, resulting in a grand slam that even had Drew pumping his first as he ran around the bases. Drew's blast set the tone in Boston's romp at Fenway Park.
36 -- The number of pitches that the Red Sox forced Carmona to throw in the first inning. Game balls
Jaws dropped all around Fenway Park when Drew smashed a grand slam in the first inning. The blast gave the Red Sox an important early advantage, providing some breathing room for Boston starter Curt Schilling. Drew wasn't done, though. In the third inning, when the Red Sox plated six runs, the right fielder lined another pitch from Carmona up the middle for an RBI single. Drew also singled in the eighth inning.
Run support was hardly an issue for Schilling, who took the mound with a 10-1 lead in the fourth inning. Still, three runs would've been ample support for the right-hander, considering he allowed just two runs over seven solid innings for the Red Sox. It was precisely the kind of outing that Boston needed from the veteran with its season on the line.
Pedroia sparked the top of the lineup, getting on base three times and scoring twice for the Red Sox. Boston's second baseman reached on an infield single in the first inning and then jogged across home plate on Drew's home run. Pedroia doubled off the Green Monster in the second inning, and he walked and scored again in the third.
Sense of October
Bill Mueller, who was a member of the World Series champion Red Sox in 2004, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 6, stirring memories of that magical season for Boston. Three years ago, the Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series -- a similar feat to the one Boston's aiming to achieve this time around against Cleveland.
4 AB, 3 H, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Comment: Youkilis continued his torried playoff pace to help the Sox to the win.
7 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, W
Comment: Schilling was in vintage form during a steady outing against the Tribe.
"It's going to be electric. [Game 7] is going to decide who's going to go home. We go home or they go home. We're not expecting to go home." -- Julio Lugo
The book will be closed on one team's season on Sunday night, when the Red Sox host the Indians with a World Series berth on the line in Game 7 at Fenway Park. Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to take on Cleveland's Jake Westbrook.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less