Red Sox defeat Athletics
3 games to 2
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 1||OAK 5||BOS 4|
|2||Oct. 2||OAK 5||BOS 1|
|3||Oct. 4||BOS 3||OAK 1|
|4||Oct. 5||BOS 5||OAK 4|
|5||Oct. 6||BOS 4||OAK 3|
Managers: Little, Grady, BOS; Macha, Ken, OAK
Path to the ALDS: Boston (95-67) won the AL Wild Card; Oakland (96-66) won the AL West by three games
Almost unbelievably, this was the fourth and final installment in a regular series of five-game eliminations for Oakland in the ALDS round. The wrinkle this time was having Ken Macha manage in the A's dugout instead of Art Howe.
Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and Mark Mulder were annually as good a trio as any in the Majors, which made it even more surprising that the A's were unable to move on.
That was even more true when Oakland began this series with a pair of victories at home. Game 1 lasted 4 hours and 37 minutes, as Erubiel Durazo sent it to extras with an RBI single and Ramon Hernandez won it with a two-out bunt single scoring Eric Chavez in the 12th.
It marked Oakland's ninth consecutive postseason win over Boston, including ALCS sweeps in 1988 and '90, breaking the record for consecutive playoff wins against one team set by the Yankees against the Cubs, with Fall Classic sweeps in 1932 and '38.
In Game 2, a five-run outburst in the bottom of the second was all Zito needed as he combined with Chad Bradford and Keith Foulke -- a key future Boston reliever -- in the 5-1 victory.
In Game 3, Trot Nixon's two-run homer off Rich Harden with one out in the bottom of the 11th electrified the Fenway Park crowd. David Ortiz, who had been signed in the offseason after his release by Minnesota, began growing his Boston legend with a two-run double off Foulke in the eighth that gave the Red Sox a 5-4 win in Game 4.
It was Pedro Martinez opposite Zito in Game 5 back in Oakland, and Manny Ramirez's two-run homer was the key blow in a four-run sixth inning for Boston. Scott Williamson walked the first two A's batters in the bottom of the ninth, so with no one out and the tying run in scoring position, Derek Lowe -- who had pitched in the 11th inning of Game 1 and had started Game 3 -- was summoned to somehow escape this jam.
Hernandez dropped a sacrifice bunt, so the winning run was on second. That brought up Adam Melhuse, pinch-hitting for Jermaine Dye. Lowe struck him out looking. Lowe walked Chris Singleton to load the bases. Terrence Long pinch-hit for Frank Menechino and struck out looking as Lowe had sealed the deal, and Boston was moving on to face the rival Yankees, setting the stage for two unforgettable autumns of ALCS drama.
In Game 5, Damon had a horrific collision with second baseman Damian Jackson. Damon went to the hospital with a concussion, but he would play the entire ALCS.