10/04/2003 10:38 PM ET
Red Sox live for another day
Nixon's 11th-inning blast forces Game 4 on Sunday
BOSTON -- Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the A's and Red Sox was one of the most compelling playoff games in recent memory. Game 3 was one of the most bizarre.
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
But in the end, it was compelling nonetheless. After seven innings of barely controlled chaos, featuring six errors, several mental miscues, a controversy and more than a little confusion, a more traditional form of baseball took hold and eventually prevailed.
Doug Mirabelli singled with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning and pinch-hitter Trot Nixon followed with a home run into the center-field bleachers off Oakland rookie Rich Harden, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 victory and forcing Game 4 at Fenway Park on Sunday.
The A's, who lead the series, 2-1, are now 0-7 over the past four postseasons in potential series-clinching games.
Lost in the shuffle were phenomenal performances by the starting pitchers, each backed by mostly terrific relief work.
Ted Lilly gave Oakland his best start of the year, allowing two hits through seven innings, and Boston's Derek Lowe, who took the loss in relief in Game 1, allowed six hits through seven on just two days’ rest.
Lilly and Lowe left with the score tied 1-1, each victimized by an unearned run. Chad Bradford, Ricardo Rincon and Jim Mecir got the A's through the next three innings, and Mike Timlin gave the Red Sox three perfect innings behind Lowe, before Scott Williamson worked a perfect 11th to earn the win.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.