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                 Saturday, Oct. 9 4:00pm ET 
                 Sox explode for nine runs to extend series 
                 


                 
                 RECAP | BOX SCORE | GAME LOG 

                 BOSTON (AP) -- In a series full of surprises, now this: The Boston Red Sox
                 will play again. 

                 "It didn't surprise us. We've been doing this all year," Darren Lewis said. 

                 The Red Sox avoided being swept by the
                 Cleveland Indians with a 9-3 win Saturday,
                 only their second victory in their last 20
                 playoff games. They did it without injured
                 AL batting champion Nomar Garciaparra
                 and with more bad news on Pedro
                 Martinez's sprained back muscle. 

                 They hit like Cleveland, baseball's highest
                 scoring team since 1950, scoring six runs in
                 the seventh inning to cut the Indians lead in
                 the best-of-5 division series to 2-1. 

                 "We won 94 games this year without
                 Nomar for a while, without Pedro for a
                 while," said Lou Merloni, Garciaparra's
                 replacement at shortstop. "It's just a
                 testament to the guys we have here." 

                 The seventh-inning runs were produced by
                 two players who have struggled at the plate -- John Valentin with a
                 tiebreaking, two-run double, and Brian Daubach with a three-run homer.
                 Merloni singled in the final run. 

                 Perhaps the biggest surprise was the strong performance from Ramon
                 Martinez, Pedro's older brother, who pitched his first major league game in
                 nearly 15 months on Sept. 2. 

                 "He threw strikes," Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said. "He kept his team
                 in the game." 

                 The Red Sox beat a team that was thinking sweep after its 11-1 domination of
                 Boston in Game 2 at Jacobs Field. 

                 Now they'll play another game in Fenway Park on Sunday night with the odds
                 still stacked against them. Bartolo Colon, dominant in Cleveland's 3-2 Game 1
                 victory, faces Kent Mercker, who was 2-0 in just five starts after being
                 acquired from St. Louis on Aug. 24. 

                 "It's the biggest game I've ever pitched in," Mercker said. 

                 Colon will pitch for the first time this
                 season on three days rest. 

                 "Is he going tomorrow?" Cleveland's
                 David Justice said. "I feel a lot better." 

                 The Red Sox ended their postseason
                 futility streak at home, winning for the
                 first time in eight games since a victory in
                 Game 5 of the 1986 World Series. Their
                 1-18 stretch began in the next game when
                 Bill Buckner's infamous error gave New
                 York a comeback win two days before the
                 Mets won the World Series. 

                 That's something Boston hasn't done since
                 1918, Cleveland since 1948 when it beat
                 another Boston team, the Braves. 

                 The Red Sox chances got a boost from
                 the hitting problems of four Indians.
                 Justice, Kenny Lofton, Manny Ramirez
                 and Sandy Alomar were a combined
                 0-for-35 in the series until Lofton singled
                 in the seventh off winning pitcher Derek Lowe scored the run that tied it at
                 3-3. 

                 Dave Burba had allowed one hit before leaving after four innings with
                 tightness under his right forearm and a 1-0 lead. He said the problem surfaced
                 about two weeks ago. 

                 "What frustrated me is that I felt I let my team down," Burba said, "I felt I let
                 the air out of the balloon." 

                 Losing pitcher Jaret Wright replaced him and the game began slipping away
                 as he allowed two runs in the fifth and Valentin's go-ahead homer in the sixth.

                 He allowed the first two runners in the seventh to reach base -- walking
                 Merloni and hitting Jason Varitek. Ricardo Rincon came in to pitch. 

                 Lewis' sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a forceout at third and Trot Nixon
                 struck out. 

                 But Jose Offerman walked, loading the bases. Then Valentin, 0-for-10 before
                 his homer and whose throwing error allowed the tying run to score in the
                 seventh, doubled. 

                 "When you play this game, you try to be at an even keel all the time," Valentin
                 said. "When you make a mistake, now it's time that I have to atone for that
                 mistake." 

                 Daubach, who tailed off sharply late in the season, then homered. 

                 Garciaparra missed the game with a bruised right wrist suffered Sept. 25
                 when he was hit by a pitch by Baltimore's Al Reyes. Garciaparra, 2-for-6
                 with a homer in the first two games, sat out after swinging in the batting
                 cage. 

                 Pedro Martinez's health check didn't go much better. He had left the opener
                 with a sprained muscle under his right shoulder blade after four innings. 

                 He threw for the first time since then before Saturday's game but stopped
                 after about one minute when he felt discomfort. He planned to try again
                 Sunday with hopes of starting a possible fifth game Monday. 

                 "When somebody goes down, we seem to have somebody step in," Lewis
                 said. 

                 Ramon Martinez, who underwent rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder
                 on June 30, 1998, was 2-1 this season, finishing with two strong starts
                 against Baltimore. On Saturday, he allowed two runs on five hits and three
                 walks while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings. 

                 "A strong performance, but a continuation of the way he's pitched in his last
                 two or three starts," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. 

                 Ramon Martinez gave up the tying run in the sixth when Roberto Alomar
                 doubled, took third on Ramirez's groundout to first and scored on Harold
                 Baines' grounder. 

                 When he was replaced by Lowe, Martinez tipped his cap as the crowd gave
                 him a standing ovation. His brother was the first to shake his hand in the
                 dugout. 

                 "He just told me it was a great job," Ramon Martinez said. "He was very
                 happy." 

                 Cleveland took a 1-0 lead on Justice's sacrifice fly in the fourth. But Wright,
                 1-5 with a 5.97 ERA in the second half of the season, struggled. A single by
                 Merloni and a double by Varitek put runners at second and third. That set up
                 another confrontation with Lewis. 

                 Wright hit him in the helmet in last year's first game of the division series,
                 then hit him with a curveball April 23 that prompted the Lewis to charge the
                 mound. 

                 With fans derisively chanting, "Ja-ret, Ja-ret," Lewis singled in Merloni. 

                 "I heard it but it doesn't affect your pitching," Wright said. "I didn't get it
                 done, basically." 

                 Game notes
                 Burba retired the first nine batters until Offerman started the fourth with a
                 single. ... Boston had 11 hits after totaling that many in the first two games.
                 ... Cleveland is 7-16 the past two regular seasons against Boston but 5-2 in
                 the playoffs. ... Three Boston rookies -- Daubach, Merloni and Nixon -- went
                 3-for-8 with a homer and five RBIs. 

FINAL Boston 9, Cleveland 3 BOX SCORE | GAME LOG 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E Cleveland 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 9 1 Boston 0 0 0 0 2 1 6 0 x 9 11 2 CLEVELAND AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Lofton cf Vizquel ss R Alomar 2b M Ramirez rf Thome 1b Baines dh Justice lf Fryman 3b S Alomar c Totals 5 5 4 5 3 4 1 4 4 35 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 4 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 8 0 0 3 5 2 1 2 4 2 19 .091 .308 .500 .000 .300 .455 .000 .250 .091 BATTING 2B: R Alomar (3, R Martinez). SF: Justice. Rbi: Justice (1), Baines (4). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: S Alomar 1, Fryman 1, Thome 1, M Ramirez 2. Gidp: Fryman. Team LOB: 10. BASERUNNING SB: Lofton (1, 3rd base off D Lowe/Varitek). FIELDING E: Lofton (1, throw). Outfield assists - Justice: (D Lewis at home). DP: 1 (Burba-R Alomar-Thome). BOSTON AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG Offerman 2b John Valentin 3b B Huskey dh a-Daubach ph-dh Stanley 1b Oleary lf L Merloni ss Varitek c D Lewis cf T Nixon rf Totals 3 5 2 2 3 4 3 3 4 3 32 1 2 0 1 1 0 1 2 1 0 9 1 2 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 0 11 0 3 0 3 0 0 1 0 1 1 9 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 2 2 4 13 .333 .154 .200 .200 .500 .182 .500 .091 .286 .125 a-struck out for B Huskey in the 6th. BATTING 2B: Varitek (1, Wright); John Valentin (1, Rincon); Offerman (1, Reed). HR: John Valentin (1, 6th inning off Wright 0 on, 0 out); Daubach (1, 7th inning off Rincon 2 on, 2 out). SF: T Nixon. Rbi: D Lewis (1), T Nixon (1), John Valentin 3 (3), Daubach 3 (3), L Merloni (1). 2-out rbi: John Valentin 2, Daubach 3, L Merloni. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Varitek 2, John Valentin 1. Gidp: Stanley. Team LOB: 5. FIELDING E: L Merloni (1, throw); John Valentin (2, throw). DP: 1 (John Valentin-Offerman-Stanley). Pitching CLEVELAND IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Burba Wright (L, 0-1) Rincon Depaula Reed 4 2 2/3 1/3 1 1 4 2 2 2 0 4 4 1 0 0 4 4 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0.00 18.00 54.00 27.00 0.00 BOSTON IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA R Martinez D Lowe (W, 1-1) Beck 5 2/3 2 1/3 1 5 2 2 2 1 0 2 0 0 3 1 0 6 1 1 0 0 0 3.18 1.42 0.00 Wright pitched to 2 batters in the 7th. Ibb: Justice (by R Martinez). HBP: Varitek (by Wright). Pitches-strikes: R Martinez 100-54; D Lowe 25-17; Beck 14-10; Burba 48-28; Wright 44-25; Rincon 22-12; Depaula 16-10; Reed 15-12. Ground balls-fly balls: R Martinez 7-4; D Lowe 5-1; Beck 1-1;: Burba 5-7; Wright 3-2; Rincon 1-0; Depaula 0-1; Reed 0-2. Batters faced: R Martinez 25; D Lowe 10; Beck 5; Burba 13; Wright 12; Rincon 5; Depaula 4; Reed 4. Umpires: HP: Tim Welke. 1B--Jim Mckean. 2B--John Shulock. 3B--Durwood Merrill. LF: Jim Joyce. RF: Chuck Meriwether. T: 3:08. Att: 33,539. Weather: 72 degrees, clear. Wind: 18 mph,: out to center.