10/02/2003 6:49 PM ET
Series moves to Fenway for Game 3
Red Sox need win at home to avoid being eliminated
OAKLAND -- Two pitchers with something to prove. One game that'll go a long way in determining offseason plans for both teams.
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the A's and Red Sox, scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET start Saturday at Fenway Park, certainly doesn't want for compelling storylines.
The Sox, who went down, 5-1, in Game 2 on Thursday afternoon after a heartbreaking loss Wednesday night, is in need of a baseball miracle -- three consecutive wins against the best starting staff in the AL -- and they're taking starter Derek Lowe into uncharted waters to kick off that quest.
Lowe, who went 17-7 with a 4.09 ERA in his second season since being moved from the bullpen to the rotation, will be pitching on two days’ rest after throwing 42 pitches in relief while taking the loss in Wednesday's Game 1 thriller.
"He went out and did the best he could," Red Sox manager Grady Little said of Lowe, who pitched on three days' rest once during the regular season. "He's feeling good, he's doing a good job of pitching for us, and we'll look forward to him being out there Saturday."
Opposing Lowe will be Oakland's Ted Lilly, who'll be looking to atone for a miserable ALDS performance -- six runs on 10 hits over four innings of relief work -- against the Twins in 2002. In this, his first full year in the A's rotation, Lilly went 12-10 with a 4.34 ERA and finished the season strong, going 6-1 with a 2.06 ERA after Mark Mulder went down with a hip injury Aug. 25.
"Last year isn't something I've spent a lot of time thinking about," Lilly said. "Hopefully, I can just carry the end of this season into the playoffs and make everyone forget about that."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.