Instead, Red Sox manager Terry Francona brought in left-handed reliever Javier Lopez. Nixon doesn't generally face many left-handed pitchers, but Wedge stayed with him in that situation."Lopez is not a very comfortable at-bat for left-handers, but I felt good," Nixon said. "I was excited to finally get in there at 1:30 in the morning. It was gratifying to me ... for some reason I just felt a calmness there in the batter's box. I think if you can keep your emotions in check in those situations, you've probably got a little bit better chance." Nixon, who has had to settle for a reserve role behind Franklin Gutierrez the past two months, took ball one, then dropped a single into center field to chase home Sizemore with the go-ahead run. "I didn't hit it hard, but I hit it where I needed to and I was able to get Grady in there," Nixon said. "He's the consummate professional," Lopez said. "I know he's going to give me a great at-bat and he's going to battle. He's the one guy you know is going to come into this ballpark and not be intimidated by the surroundings." The base hit changed everything. The Indians relaxed and the Red Sox crumbled. "Both teams, I think, had the feeling that the next run was going to win the game," Garko said. "With that hit, though, it kind of took the wind out of the stadium." Cabrera went to third on the play and, with Martinez at the plate, scored on a wild pitch. Jason Michaels pinch-ran for Nixon and, after Martinez was walked intentionally, scored on a single by Garko. Jon Lester then replaced Lopez, but the Indians kept coming. A double by Jhonny Peralta brought home another run, and Gutierrez finished it off with a three-run homer to give the Indians a 13-6 lead. "Our offense feeds off each other," Sizemore said. "We needed to get one run, but to get two and then add onto it ... like I said, we were just feeding off each other and enjoying it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less