10/17/08 12:44 AM ET
Rays Short Hops: Game 5
Kazmir's start a distant memory after bullpen comes undone
By Mark Remme / MLB.com
Scott Kazmir pitched six innings of shutout ball. The bullpen allowed eight runs in the final three frames.
David Ortiz broke out of a 61 at-bat postseason homerless slump in the seventh inning, blasting a three-run shot to cut the lead to 7-4. It not only got Big Papi back on the stat sheet, but it woke up the Fenway Park crowd and gave the Red Sox new life. Big number
19 -- Homers the Rays have hit this postseason -- the majority coming from Upton (6), Evan Longoria (6) and Carlos Pena (3). Game balls Evan Longoria
Longoria became the first player in American League Championship Series history to hit homers in four consecutive games. He tied the all-time LCS record, which had been done most recently by Carlos Beltran with the Astros in 2004.
Pena homered for the third consecutive game in the third inning, which tied the ALCS record for most consecutive games with a homer until Longoria broke the record as the very next batter.
It was important to get a fast start against Daisuke Matsuzaka in Game 5 after Dice-K's dominance over the Rays in Game 1. Upton took care of that, blasting a two-run shot in the first inning.
Sense of October
Fenway absolutely erupted after Ortiz hit his blast in the seventh inning, reminiscent of Boston's Game 4 comeback in 2004. The result? The Red Sox have new life, and they're headed back to St. Petersburg with renewed confidence.
4 AB, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBIs
Comment: Upton set the tone early, but things fell apart late and even his hot bat couldn't provide the run the Rays needed.
6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K
Comment: All Kazmir needed to do was hold the struggling Red Sox lineup silent long enough for his offense to accumulate a lead. He didn't disappoint. The bullpen needed to hold it. It didn't.
The Red Sox needed a miracle against the Rays in the final three innings. They got it. Now, the Rays need to rely on James Shields at Tropicana Field for Game 6 to gain a trip to the World Series.
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.