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October 22, 2007 at 8:16 AM

Pedroia powers Sox to pennant


Rookie 2B Dustin Pedroia and the Boston Red Sox capped a stunning comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to take game 7 by a score of 11-2 over the Cleveland Indians, advancing to their second World Series appearance in the last four seasons. Pedroia, who went 3-5 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, and 3 runs scored, launched his first career post-season home run off former farmhand Rafael Betancourt with Jacoby Ellsbury aboard in the 7th inning to push the Sox lead to 5-2, giving Sox fans a little bit of breathing room. Not finished, Pedroia delivered a bases clearing double in the 8th inning to push the lead to 9-2 and the blowout ensued. Kevin Youkilis drove the next pitch high off the Coke bottles in left to put the exclamation point on a six run 8th inning. With the off-season a distinct reality, Youkilis and Pedroia combined for 15 hits, 13 runs, and 11 RBI over the last 3 games of the ALCS to push the Sox into the World Series. Jonathan Papelbon recorded the last six outs of the game for his first career post-season save, helped along by two sparkling catches by Ellsbury and an over the shoulder catch by Coco Crisp to finish the game off in style. The Sox will take on the well rested Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park Wednesday night with ALCS MVP Josh Beckett set to take the mound in Game 1 of the 2007 World Series.