Lidge closes out Phillies win; Angels, Yankees get sweeps
DENVER (AP) — Brad Lidge stranded runners at first second base on a bitterly cold Sunday night when he got Troy Tulowitzki to fly out to shallow left field, preserving the Philadelphia Phillies’ 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies in Game 3 of their NL playoff series.
Huston Street allowed Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth that scored Jimmy Rollins from third base with the tiebreaking run after another apparent blown call by the umpires.
The defending world champs lead the best-of-five series 2-1 and can wrap up the series Monday when they send Game 1 winner Cliff Lee to the mound to face Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
The gametime temperature was 35 degrees at first pitch, tying the record for the coldest postseason baseball game on record. The mark is shared with Cleveland and Florida, who played Game 4 of the 1997 World Series in 35-degree weather as well.
Angels 7, Red Sox 6
BOSTON (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-out, two-run single off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning and the Los Angeles Angels rallied past Boston 7-6 in Game 3 Sunday, advancing to the AL championship series with their first postseason sweep in franchise history.
The Red Sox intentionally walked Torii Hunter with runners on second and third to bring up Guerrero, a star who had long been waiting for a big October hit. Guerrero capped the three-run comeback with his go-ahead hit off Papelbon, who had never before allowed a run in the postseason.
The Angels open their first ALCS since 2005 on Friday against either the New York Yankees or Minnesota. The Yankees led that series 2-0 going into Game 3 Sunday night.
Down 5-1 early and still trailing 6-4 in the ninth, the Angels began their rally when Erick Aybar singled on a two-strike pitch. Chone Figgins walked and Bobby Abreu hit an RBI double for the first postseason run Papelbon had allowed.
After Hunter was walked intentionally, Guerrero, who had one RBI in his previous 19 postseason games, singled sharply to center on the first pitch.
Yankees 4, Twins 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada hit seventh-inning home runs to spoil Carl Pavano’s opportunity to frustrate New Yorkers one more time, and the Yankees advanced to their first AL championship series in five years with a 4-1 victory and sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Sunday night.
This classic postseason pitching duel between former teammates Andy Pettitte and Pavano ended with another first-round playoff victory at the Metrodome for the Yankees, who also eliminated the Twins here in 2003 and 2004.
Nick Punto wasted a leadoff double in the eighth by failing to see that Denard Span’s single didn’t leave the infield, and he was thrown out trying to retreat to third base, wasting a chance for the Twins to tie it.