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Live from the Jake: Game Three

CLEVELAND -- Keep it here for updates from Game Three of the American League Championship Series. It's a beautiful 69-degree night in Jacobs Field, much warmer than it was in Boston and certainly better weather than the Rockies and Diamondbacks endured Sunday night in 40-degree Denver. Looks like we're all going to get a taste of that Rocky Mountain weather soon enough.

Top-9th: Tribe fans are nervous. Closer Joe Borowski, who has the shakiest 45 saves in history, is on to protect a 4-2 lead. But there was no reason to worry. Three outs later and the Indians lead the series, 2-1.

Jake 7th-inning stretch: A great effort by Jake Westbrook (left), who was pulled after 6 2/3 innings with the Tribe up, 4-2. He gave up Jason Varitek's two-run homer in the top of this inning and was relieved by Jensen Lewis. The blast to deep right-center ended the Tribe's run of 12 unanswered runs in a 12-inning stretch dating to Game Two. Westbrook allowed two runs on seven hits and got 15 groundball outs.

End-5th: The Tribe is in complete control and Daisuke Matsuzaka is gone. So much for that $103 million investment! Cleveland just added two runs in the fifth on Asdrubal Cabera's RBI single and Travis Hafner's fielder's choice grounder to make it 4-0. Victor Martinez singled and Mike Timlin came on for Dice-K, who gave up six hits in 4 2/3 innings, walked two and struck out six. Dice-K threw 101 pitches, just 59 strikes. Westbrook, meanwhile, is tossing a three-hit shutout and has thrown only 63 pitches in recording 12 groundball outs.

Top-4th: A fan here got huge cheers when he appeared on the jumbotron with a sign that read, "LeBron: Yanks lose. Wear a Sox hat please." If I have to explain, get out from under the rock that kept you away from the division series.

Lofton_2 End-2nd: What a switch in momentum -- Boston loaded the bases with no outs but didn't score and the Indians promptly took a 2-0 lead on Kenny Lofton's two-run homer to deep right-center (right). With the crowd chanting, "Ken-ny, Ken-ny", Lofton drove Daisuke Matsuzaka's first pitch just over the wall in deep right-center and the fans went wild, demanding a curtain call. Strangely enough, Lofton had no homers for the Tribe in 173 at-bats after rejoining the club at the trade deadline.

Garko In the top of the inning, Westbrook got his team off the field and into the dugout after a walk, a single and an error charged to first baseman Ryan Garko -- who flopped over on his back (left) and secured his place on most blooper films for about the next three decades. Jason Varitek flied to left, too shallow to score a run, and Coco Crisp grounded into a double play, with shortstop Jhonny Peralta taking a nice hop right by the back and easily going to Garko at first.

Top-1st: We just saw the defensive play of the series as David Ortiz bounced into a sensational and rarely scored 4-5-3 double play to end Boston's first at-bat off Westbrook. With the Tribe defense in its pronounced shift, Big Papi scorched a one-hopper that Asdrubal Cabera corraled in short right field. He turned and made the long throw to second -- which was being covered by third baseman Casey Blake. The relay to first by Blake was in the dirt but Garko made a diving stretch to his right and grabbed the throw for the out to really get the white towels waving early in the roaring crowd. Huge play to start.

---Mike Harrington

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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