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 Sox's closer allows three in ninth as Angels win ALDS

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PostSubject: Sox's closer allows three in ninth as Angels win ALDS   Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:41 pm

Papelbon can't close door, Sox lose
Sox's closer allows three in ninth as Angels win ALDS

By Ian Browne / MLB.com

10/11/09 4:08 PM ET

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BOSTON -- The Red Sox were one strike away from a win that would have prolonged their season another day. But the Angels wouldn't stand for it, coming up with three runs in the top of the ninth en route to a 7-6 victory that swept Boston out of the American League Division Series.

The victim of the jarring rally was closer Jonathan Papelbon, who entered Sunday never having allowed a run over 26 postseason innings. The Angels started their improbable rally with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. Erick Aybar laced a single up the middle. Chone Figgins worked a walk. Bobby Abreu brought the Angels within one on a double to left. The Red Sox walked Torii Hunter intentionally to load the bases for Vladimir Guerrero, and the star slugger delivered with a two-run single that gave the Angels their first lead of the day, silencing the Fenway faithful.

With some pep back in their offense, the Red Sox rode a two-run double by Dustin Pedroia and a two-run homer by J.D. Drew to a 5-1 lead through four innings against Angels starter Scott Kazmir.

Clay Buchholz performed well for Boston, allowing two runs over five-plus innings. The Angels got one back in the sixth, and two in the eighth to make it 5-4.

But Mike Lowell gave the Red Sox breathing room with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. As it turns out, it wasn't enough breathing room.

The Red Sox entered the day 13-3 in potential elimination games under manager Terry Francona, and seemed primed to give themselves life again and force Game 4 on Monday night.

This time, however, it didn't happen.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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