CLEVELAND -- The rain is gone and not expected to be a problem the rest of the night so keep it here for updates and assorted snippets from Game Four of the ALCS.
It's over: Three down and one to go for the Indians after a 7-3 win. After an off day Wednesday, the Tribe goes for the kill here Thursday night. The Rockies await.
Top-6th: Paul Byrd sat around for 35 minutes after the big Cleveland fifth and it clearly hurt him. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz greeted Byrd with back-to-back solo homers to knock him from the game and Manny Ramirez followed with a titantic, 451-foot shot to center field. It's the first time in LCS history a team has gone back-to-back-to-back. Manny, by the way, was totally Manny as he hot-dogged it around the bases after thrusting his arms at the plate (left). Scoreboard, dude. In the regular season, he might be due for one in the ear. So it's 7-3, Tribe.
End-5th: Suddenly, without warning, the Indians have turned a scoreless game into a blowout. Cleveland exploded for seven runs in a 35-minute bottom of the fifth to take a 7-0 lead and knock Tim Wakefield from the game after he had allowed just one hit in the first four innings.
The Indians got their first hit off Wakefield on Jhonny Peralta's two-out double in the fourth and then went wild in the fifth as 12 batters came to the plate. Casey Blake led off by waiting, waiting, waiting before crushing a Wakefield knuckleball over the wall in left for a solo home run.
Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the second run with a line-drive infield single off Wakefield's glove. Cabrera got a second chance when Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia collided in foul territory in short right field and Youkilis juggled Cabrera's foul popup before it fell to the ground. After Travis Hafner struck out for the third time, Victor Martinez KO'd Wakefield with a line single to left. But the Tribe was far from done. Peralta greeted Manny Delcarmen with a three-run homer the opposite way to right (right) to score Martinez and Cabrera to make it 6-0. Kenny Lofton singled, stole second and scored on a Blake single for the seventh run. By the way, the Lofton steal was the 34th of his postseason career, snapping a tie with Rickey Henderson for the alltime record.
End-3rd: Starters Paul Byrd and Tim Wakefield have been machines thus far as we're locked in a scoreless tie. Wakefield (left) has yet to allow a hit, as his fluttering knuckleball is responsible for five strikeouts and two walks. He's thrown 42 pitches, 28 strikes.
Boston has three hits off Byrd and managed a threat in the top of the third when Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis collected back-to-back singles with two out. That brought up David Ortiz, who grounded into a fielder's choice at second as shortstop Jhonny Peralta made the play while shifted on the first-base side of the bag. Byrd has thrown 44 pitches, 35 strikes.
End-1st: No score after one. Great diving play by Casey Blake on Pedroia's first-pitch grounder down the third-base line. Great stretch by stand-in first baseman Victor Martinez. Byrd throws a 1-2-3 inning, ending it with a strikeout of Ortiz. Wakefield gave up a leadoff walk to Grady Sizemore but set down the next three men, two on strikes. Switch-hitters Asdrubal Cabrera and Victor Martinez tried to combat the Wakefield knuckler by batting right-handed but it made no difference. Cabrera struck out and Martinez lined to right.
(Photos: Associated Press)