Red Sox sweep Rockies

Lester, Lowell ensure Boston’s victory

20071029_inq_world29-g
The Red Sox' Mike Lowell slides safely past Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba in the fifth inning. Lowell homered in the seventh to give Boston a 3-1 cushion.

DENVER - There was no 86-year wait this time, no talk of curses and what might have been if only this guy hadn't held the ball or that guy had fielded it cleanly.

This time, the wait was only three years, barely long enough for the taste of champagne to fade from their lips.

The Boston Red Sox sipped bubbly again last night as they completed an impressive four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies to win the 103d World Series.

The Red Sox finished off their second title in four seasons - they swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series - with a 4-3 win at Coors Field.

"This team's got a lot of heart," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. "We worked really hard. We just beat a very, very good team, an excellent team. We had to do the little things."

The National League champion Rockies rolled into the Series with 21 wins in their previous 22 games, but they were no match for the American League champs.

There was no stopping the Red Sox. After being down three games to one to Cleveland in the AL Championship Series, manager Terry Francona's team roared back and won seven straight games to claim the franchise's seventh World Series title.

The Red Sox seemed destined for this moment all season. They took over the AL East lead on April 18 and never relinquished it. Their 96 regular-season wins were tied with Cleveland for the most in the majors.

The final chapter to the Red Sox' season was straight out of a fairy tale as two cancer survivors played huge roles in the cork-popping victory.

Jon Lester, a 23-year-old lefthander who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in September 2006, pitched 52/3 shutout innings. In recent days, Lester said he was eager for people to describe him as Jon Lester, pitcher, not Jon Lester, cancer survivor. Now he is Jon Lester, World Series-winning pitcher.

The other half of Boston's storybook finish was the 33-year-old guy at third base who was named World Series MVP. Mike Lowell, who survived testicular cancer in 1999, doubled and scored a run in the fifth, then homered in the seventh.

Boston took a 4-1 lead on Bobby Kielty's home run in the eighth, but Colorado pulled to within a run on Garrett Atkins' two-run shot with one out in the bottom of the inning. Francona then summoned closer Jonathan Papelbon to quiet things down.

Boston outscored Colorado by 29-10 in the Series.

Colorado got a game effort from righthander Aaron Cook in the finale. Idle since Aug. 10 because of a rib-cage injury, Cook pitched into the seventh and allowed three runs.

Clearly, the Rockies were facing stiff odds.

"It's been the same mentality we've had for the past seven, eight weeks now," manager Clint Hurdle said. Go play the game, enjoy the game and play to win."

The Red Sox had the same attitude, although they had a lot more wiggle room.

"This whole ride we've been on all year has been extremely fun, and we're one game away from being the best team in baseball," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said before batting practice. "It's been crazy."

The Red Sox came out swinging their bats as if they had a noon tee time back in Boston today. Five pitches into the game, they had a 1-0 lead.

Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury, who had three doubles in Game 3, led off by slashing an opposite-field double to left. He moved up on Pedroia's groundout and scored on David Ortiz's single to right.

After Ortiz's single, Cook retired the next 10 Red Sox hitters before Lowell led off the fifth with a double. Lowell scored on a single by Varitek, making it 2-0.

Lester had to work to protect Boston's lead in the early innings. He allowed a leadoff double to Todd Helton in the second but managed to get out of the inning unscathed. Lester gave up a two-out double (with the help of a Manny Ramirez misplay in left) to Kaz Matsui with one out in the third, then came back to strike out Troy Tulowitzki and Matt Holliday, arguably the two most dangerous hitters in Colorado's lineup.

Lester cruised through the fourth and fifth. He got the first two outs in the bottom of the sixth before walking Atkins on his 92d pitch of the game. Francona went to the bullpen and brought in Manny Delcarmen, who struck out Ryan Spilborghs to end the threat.


Contact staff writer Jim Salisbury at 215-854-4983 or jsalisbury@phillynews.com.

More Coverage