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Red Sox short hops
10/20/2004 1:58 AM ET
NEW YORK -- From oblivion to the cusp of history, the rolling Red Sox are one victory away from qualifying for the World Series after trailing in the American League Championship Series, 3-0.

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Only twice in North American major professional sports have teams come back to win a series after trailing 3-0, and both came in the NHL -- Toronto did it in the 1942 Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit and the New York Islanders accomplished the feat against Pittsburgh in the second round of the 1975 playoffs.

The Red Sox are poised to be the third.

"I think it's everything everybody expected it to be, coming down to this Game 7," said Red Sox second baseman Mark Bellhorn, who became one of the heroes of Tuesday's 4-2 victory with a three-run home run. "It's going to be exciting tomorrow."

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 6 of the ALCS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 6.30 gutsy performances all around
BA .266 clutch hits making the difference
Runs 31 (4 in Game 6) scoring just enough to win
Errors 1 (0 in Game 6) defense makes the difference in crunch time

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
David Ortiz .407, 2 HR, 9 RBI ALCS MVP if Boston wins Game 7
Orlando Cabrera .370, 2 2B, 4 RBI scrappy hitter is making presence felt

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Johnny Damon .103, 0 HR, 1 RBI could be the difference in Game 7

Behind the numbers
2: The number of runs allowed by the Boston bullpen during the last 16 2/3 innings.

Frozen moment I
Bellhorn capped off a four-run fourth inning with a three-run home run to left field that bounced off the belly of a fan. The belly-bop worked in the Yankees' favor as the hit was ruled a double, but upon further review by the umpires, the hit was correctly called a homer.

Frozen moment II
With the Red Sox leading 4-2 and Derek Jeter at first base with one out in the eighth, Alex Rodriguez hit a dribbler toward first base that set off a strange chain of events. Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball then tagged Rodriguez, but the ball was jarred loosed and trickled into foul territory as Jeter scored from first -- initially. After a conference of umpires, Rodriguez was called out because of interference and Jeter was sent back to first base. Gary Sheffield fouled out to end the inning to stymie any Yankees momentum.

Good move, Terry
Francona's faith in Curt Schilling paid off Tuesday. The gutsy veteran spent his time in Boston hobbling around and even wore a walking cast, but stepped up with seven strong innings, allowing only four hits and one run. Francona has never doubted his team and let Schilling pitch as long as he could. Now the Red Sox are in the biggest game of the year as a result.

ALCS fast fact
The Red Sox are already in the history books. The club is the first team in postseason play to rally from an 0-3 deficit to force a Game 7.

Last word
"It's going to be an exciting game. I know last year they went to Game 7 and I was at home watching it on TV, but to be a part of it is going to be pretty awesome, especially the way the series has gone." -- Bellhorn

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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