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Red Sox flex their muscles10/05/2004 9:19 PM ET
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The Red Sox thought they were going to have to earn all their runs against the Angels the hard way.
Anaheim allowed the fewest numbest of unearned runs in the Majors all season (36). That's what made Boston's seven-run fourth inning -- with five unearned runs -- on Tuesday afternoon so unusual.
"We took advantage of some mistakes," Johnny Damon said. "We'll take (the unearned runs). It doesn't matter how we score."
The seven runs were the most ever scored by the Red Sox in one inning in their postseason history. They had scored six runs three different times.
"It was a big fourth inning because (Anaheim starter Jarrod) Washburn is capable of shutting a team down," Kevin Millar said. "That's the kind of thing you have to capitalize on in the playoffs."
And the seven runs scored also were the most ever in one inning against the Angels in the postseason.
"You can't give them any extra help and we helped them out," Darin Erstad said.
The inning started with David Ortiz working a walk off Washburn. Then Millar drilled the first home run of the series, a two-run shot to left field. Jason Varitek singled to left and Orlando Cabrera drew another walk.
Scott Shields started warming up in the Angels bullpen and Washburn responded by striking out Bill Mueller. Gabe Kapler singled to load the bases.
Damon hit a two-hopper to Chone Figgins at third base. Figgins threw home wildly, letting Varitek and Cabrera score and Kapler and Damon advance to third and second, respectively. The play was scored a fielder's choice, with no RBI for Damon, and an error on Figgins.
Shields was called upon to strike out Mark Bellhorn, but Manny Ramirez followed with the crowning blow, a three-run homer to center field.
"I just saw a good pitch and I drove it," Ramirez said. "That's all I do out there. I'm not trying to put any pressure on myself. I've been there. I've been in the playoffs. I know how it is."
Very quickly, a slim one-run Red Sox lead turned into an 8-0 advantage. And the Angels had to already be thinking about a must-win situation in Game 2, before heading to Boston.
"It's a big win, but we have to win two more," Ramirez said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.