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BOSTON 23, CLEVELAND 7  

BOSTON (Ticker) -- On a night they forced a one-game season, the
Boston Red Sox did more than enough scoring for an entire
series. 

The Red Sox staged the newest version of the Boston Massacre,
setting major league postseason records for runs and hits in a
23-7 rout of the Cleveland Indians that evened their American
League Division Series at two wins apiece. 

"Well, it was embarrassing. It was humiliating," Indians catcher
Sandy Alomar said.  "But the good part about it is none of those
runs mean anything tomorrow.  Tomorrow is 0-0 and we're not
playing in this ballpark." 

John Valentin homered twice and tied a postseason record with
seven RBI for the Red Sox, who shattered the playoff mark of 18
runs set by the New York Yankees in the 1936 World Series
against the New York Giants. 

The 24 hits eclipsed the mark of 22 by Atlanta in the 1996
National League Championship Series against St. Louis.  Boston
set other postseason records with 12 extra-base hits, 48
at-bats, 44 total bases and win margin. 

The Red Sox scored at least two runs in each of the first five
innings and led 15-2 after four frames. 

The Red Sox were trounced by the Indians, 11-1, in Game Two and
have returned the favor the last two days at Fenway Park. Boston
had a six-run seventh inning -- its biggest postseason frame in
24 years -- in a 9-3 win on Saturday. 

"We savor this victory tonight. It was a nice victory. A key
victory in a playoff game," Red Sox manager Jimy Williams said.
"We did some things really, really well offensively as a unit.
It's a one-gamer now." 

Valentin homered and drove in three runs in Game Three and kept
swinging a hot bat tonight, delivering two-run homers in the
first and third innings and a three-run double in the fourth. 

"Tonight was a very special night for the Red Sox and it was a
very special night for me," Valentin said.  "But I'm not going
to look back on what I did until the series is over. Our goal is
still to win a world championship." 

He tied the postseason RBI record set by Edgar Martinez of
Seattle against the Yankees in 1995 and equaled by Mo Vaughn of
the Red Sox last season against Cleveland. 

Jose Offerman and Jason Varitek also homered for Boston, which
still has reason for concern as it heads to Jacobs Field. 

Likely Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez, forced to leave
Game One due to a back strain, is not healthy enough to pitch on
Monday night.  Game Two loser Bret Saberhagen will start against
Charles Nagy. 

Offerman drove in five runs, Mike Stanley had five hits and
Varitek scored five times in the victory. 

The Red Sox received a boost from the return of star shortstop
Nomar Garciaparra, who missed Saturday's game with a sore right
wrist.  He had one hit in three at-bats before leaving after six
innings with the contest out of hand. 

"Everybody clearly contributed. Twenty-three runs again
tomorrow, we'll take that," Garciaparra said. 

Indians manager Mike Hargrove started Bartolo Colon (0-1) on
three days rest for the first time in his career and it was a
disaster.  Colon was gone after failing to retire any of the
five batters he faced in the second inning and was charged with
six runs and seven hits. 

"I felt good physically, but I did't throw the way I did in
Cleveland," said Colon, who pitched eight strong innings in Game
One.  "I threw a breaking ball to Valentin early, the one he hit
for a home run. This is a tough ballpark to throw a lot of
breaking balls to right-handed hitters." 

Colon allowed a two-run homer to Valentin in the first before
the nightmarish second, which Boston opened with six straight
hits. 

Stanley, Varitek and Darren Lewis singled to bring home the
first run and Trot Nixon blasted a two-run double off the
center-field wall to make it 5-2. 

Offerman followed with a two-run homer the opposite way to left
field, finishing Colon.  Valentin greeted Steve Karsay with a
single before the reliever worked out of the inning. 

The Red Sox kept the pressure on Karsay in the third with a
double by Varitek, a single by Lewis and a sacrifice fly by
Nixon. One out later, Valentin made it a double-digit night for
Boston with a two-run homer over the "Green Monster." 

Steve Reed was the sacrificial lamb in the five-run fourth.
Garciaparra was hit by a pitch and later scored on a double by
Varitek. Offerman singled home a run and Valentin lined a
three-run double to increase the lead to 15-2. 

Boston starter Kent Mercker was not around long enough to enjoy
the prosperity.  He struggled with his control and was lifted
after allowing two runs, three hits and three walks in 1 2/3
innings. 

Manager Jimy Williams used five relievers, with Rich Garces
(1-0) following Mercker and allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings.
The Indians scored three times off Tim Wakefield in a four-run
fifth. 

The Red Sox scored three times in the fifth on an RBI triple by
Stanley and a two-run homer by Varitek off Reed, who was charged
with eight runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. 

Boston added a two-run double by Nixon and an RBI single by
Offerman in the seventh, increasing the lead to 21-6.  Scott
Hatteberg had an RBI single and Offerman drew a bases-loaded
walk in the eighth. 

Cleveland scored the initial run of the game on a groundout by
Roberto Alomar in the first. 

Wil Cordero homered in the ninth off Tom Gordon for the 30th run
of the game, breaking the postseason mark set when Toronto
defeated Philadelphia, 15-14, in the 1993 World Series. 

Cleveland's Manny Ramirez, who drove in 165 runs in the regular
season, was 0-for-3 and is hitless in 15 at-bats in the series. 

The fifth and deciding game will be just the third since
Division Series play began.  The Indians were involved in the
most recent one, defeating the Yankees in 1997. 

Boston has first two-game winning streak in postseason play
since capturing Games One and Two of the 1986 World Series
against the New York Mets. 

CLEVELAND (7) AT BOSTON (23) PLAYOFFS - FINAL CLEVELAND ab r h rbi bb so lob avg Lofton cf 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .143 b-Roberts ph-cf 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 Vizquel ss 3 0 0 0 1 1 4 .250 R Alomar 2b 3 1 0 1 1 1 5 .400 E Wilson 2b 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 M Ramirez rf 3 1 0 0 2 2 0 .000 W Cordero dh 4 2 3 2 1 0 0 .800 Sexson lf 5 1 1 1 0 3 3 .167 Thome 1b 3 1 1 0 2 0 1 .308 Fryman 3b 3 0 1 1 0 0 3 .273 S Alomar c 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 .167 a-E Diaz ph-c 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Totals 31 7 8 7 9 8 18 a-popped to third for S Alomar in the 7th; b-struck out for Lofton in the 8th. BATTING: 2B - Lofton (1, K Mercker). HR - W Cordero (1, 9th inning off Gordon 0 on, 1 out). S - Vizquel. SF - S Alomar, Fryman. RBI - R Alomar (3), S Alomar (1), W Cordero 2 (2), Sexson (1), Fryman (2), Lofton (1). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Sexson 1, R Alomar 3. GIDP - Fryman. Team LOB - 9. BASERUNNING: SB - R Alomar (2, 3rd base off Wakefield/Varitek). BOSTON ab r h rbi bb so lob avg Offerman 2b 5 3 3 5 2 0 2 .429 John Valentin 3b 5 2 4 7 0 1 0 .333 b-Sadler ph-3b 2 0 1 0 0 1 3 .500 Daubach dh-1b 6 0 0 0 0 3 4 .091 N Garciaparra ss 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 .333 a-L Merloni ph-ss 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .333 Oleary lf 5 2 0 0 1 1 3 .125 Stanley 1b 6 3 5 1 0 0 2 .625 Gordon p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 Varitek c 5 5 4 3 0 0 1 .313 Hatteberg c 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 1.000 D Lewis cf 5 3 3 1 0 1 3 .417 T Nixon rf 3 3 2 5 2 1 2 .273 Totals 48 23 24 23 5 9 21 a-flied to center for N Garciaparra in the 6th; b-doubled for John Valentin in the 7th. BATTING: 2B - T Nixon 2 (3, Colon, Assenmacher); Varitek 2 (3, Karsay, Reed); John Valentin (2, Reed); Sadler (1, Assenmacher); Stanley (2, Shuey). 3B - Stanley (1, Reed). HR - John Valentin 2 (3, 1st inning off Colon 1 on, 0 out, 3rd inning off Karsay 1 on, 2 out); Offerman (1, 2nd inning off Colon 1 on, 0 out); Varitek (1, 5th inning off Reed 1 on, 1 out). SF - T Nixon. RBI - John Valentin 7 (10), D Lewis (2), T Nixon 5 (6), Offerman 5 (6), Varitek 3 (3), Stanley (2), Hatteberg (1). 2-out RBI - John Valentin 5, Offerman 3, T Nixon 2. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Stanley 1, Daubach 3, Sadler 2. Team LOB - 9. BASERUNNING: SB - D Lewis (1, 2nd base off Karsay/S Alomar). FIELDING: PB - Varitek 2. DP: 1 (John Valentin-Offerman-Stanley). -------------------------------------------------- Cleveland - 110 040 001 -- 7 Boston - 253 530 32X -- 23 -------------------------------------------------- CLEVELAND ip h r er bb so hr era Colon (L, 0-1) 1 6 7 7 1 1 2 9.00 Karsay 2 4 3 3 0 2 1 9.00 Reed 1 1/3 7 8 8 1 1 1 30.86 Depaula 1 2/3 0 0 0 0 3 0 4.50 Assenmacher 1 5 3 3 0 0 0 27.00 Shuey 1 2 2 2 3 2 0 9.00 BOSTON ip h r er bb so hr era K Mercker 1 2/3 3 2 2 3 1 0 10.80 R Garces (W, 1-0) 2 1/3 1 1 1 2 2 0 3.86 Wakefield 0 2 3 3 2 0 0 13.50 J Wasdin 1/3 0 0 0 1 0 0 27.00 R Cormier 3 2/3 1 0 0 1 4 0 0.00 Gordon 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 4.50 Colon pitched to 5 batters in the 2nd. R Garces pitched to 1 batter in the 5th. Wakefield pitched to 4 batters in the 5th. WP - Karsay 2. HBP - N Garciaparra (by Reed); D Lewis (by Reed). Pitches-strikes: K Mercker 47-28; R Garces 35-21; Wakefield 18-7; J Wasdin 9-5; R Cormier 40-28; Gordon 18-12; Colon 44-27; Karsay 31-21; Reed 34-18; Depaula 17-13; Assenmacher 24-17; Shuey 39-19. Ground balls-fly balls: K Mercker 2-2; R Garces 4-1; Wakefield 0-0; J Wasdin 0-1; R Cormier 4-3; Gordon 1-1; Colon 1-1; Karsay 1-4; Reed 2-1; Depaula 0-2; Assenmacher 3-0; Shuey 1-0. Batters faced: K Mercker 11; R Garces 10; Wakefield 4; J Wasdin 2; R Cormier 12; Gordon 4; Colon 10; Karsay 11; Reed 14; Depaula 5; Assenmacher 8; Shuey 8. UMPIRES: HP--Jim Mckean. 1B--John Shulock. 2B--Durwood Merrill. 3B--Jim Joyce. LF--Chuck Meriwether. RF--Tim Welke. T--3:49. Att--33,898. Weather: 66 degrees, cloudy. Wind: 20 mph, out to left.