Rally off Raffy
Top of the third inning, nobody out and runners on first and second after J.D. Drew's RBI single made it a 5-1 game.
The decision: Wedge takes out starter Fausto Carmona in favor of lefty specialist Rafael Perez.
Perez retires Jason Varitek, but he puts the next four Red Sox on base, leading to five more Boston runs.
You can't blame Wedge for looking short term here and thinking it could still be a winnable game if Perez could get out of the jam, which Wedge confirmed later. But like Game 2, once Perez got past Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury, he struggled against the right-handed hitters. The saving grace is that Wedge got him out of there early enough to still have Perez available for Game 7 on Sunday if he wants to use him.
"We're trying to give them a different look with a left-hander, and also trying to get Perez going a little bit. Initially, just trying to work."
-- Wedge, on Perez
Francona is trying to make out his lineup on Friday for Game 6, debating whether to sit the slumping Coco Crisp in favor of speedy rookie Ellsbury.
The decision: Francona makes the move, but he does not bat Ellsbury leadoff. Dustin Pedroia remains in the top spot, with Ellsbury hitting eighth.
While Ellsbury singles in a run in the third, Pedroia reaches base safely in each of the first three frames, scoring twice.
Part of the reason Francona was reluctant to play Ellsbury earlier was that he hasn't played much lately, so he wasn't about to put Ellsbury in a high-pressure situation like leadoff.
"I think with Ellsbury, even if he makes soft contact, there's always the ability to use the wheels to get hits."
-- Francona, on Ellsbury before the game
Holding the deficit
Bottom of the eighth, with the Indians trailing the Sox, 10-2.
The decision: Wedge sends out Joe Borowski for an inning of work.
Borowski gives up two runs on three hits and two walks.
Borowski hadn't pitched in five days, so the outing was meant to shake off any rust in case he's needed in a save situation or a close contest in Game 7. However, the inning wasn't as easy as the Indians would've hoped, and it broke his string of three scoreless innings over three appearances in the ALCS. For what it's worth, Borowski had a 4.84 ERA over 23 appearances when pitching without any rest during the regular season, but a 7.71 ERA in seven appearances with five or more days of rest.