Indians hit sweep spot
Plans to send Big Papi out a winner fall flat at Fenway
BOSTON — The ball settled into the right fielder’s glove, the Indians poured onto the diamond and the fans fell silent.
Then, slowly from the Fenway Park crowd rose a chant of “Pa-pi!”
While the Indians celebrated a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox for a threegame sweep and a berth in the AL Championship Series, the fans demanded to see David Ortiz one more time Monday night. Ten minutes after the final out, when most of the Indians had moved the party into the visitors’ clubhouse, chants of “We’re not leaving!” and “Thank you, Papi!” finally drew Ortiz back onto the field.
Wearing a red warmup and a scowl on his face, Ortiz lumbered out to the mound and tipped his cap in all directions, tapping his heart. Only when the camera zoomed in on him did it become apparent that the frown was not regret over an early postseason exit: Big Papi was crying.
After two minutes, Ortiz walked to the dugout and retired for good, ending a career that brought three World Series titles to Boston and transformed the once-futile franchise into winners.
“I’m glad he didn’t get a hit to beat us,” said Indians manager Terry Francona, who was Ortiz’s manager in Boston when they won the 2004 and ’07 World Series. “I thought it was an honor to be on the field, competing against him in his last game, because he’s truly one of the best. You could tell the way people were hanging around yelling his name and everything. He Closer Cody Allen celebrates the final out as the Indians beat the Red Sox 4-3 to sweep the best-of-five ALDS. RED SOX VS. INDIANS Indians win 3-0 Game 1: Indians 5-4 Game 2: Indians 6-0 Game 3: Indians 4-3 deserves every bit of that.”
Indians closer Cody Allen got four outs to complete only the second postseason sweep in franchise history. Rookie Tyler Naquin delivered a two-run single and Josh Tomlin pitched five strong innings for the Indians, who reached the ALCS for the first time since 2007 and open Friday against the Blue Jays in Cleveland.
Ortiz walked in the final plate appearance of his major league career but could only watch from the dugout when Travis Shaw hit a game-ending popup with a pair of runners on.
After hitting 38 homers — the most for a player in his final season — Ortiz was 1 for 9 against the Indians. He was hitless with two walks Monday, hitting a sacrifice fly in the sixth with two on instead of the three-run homer the Fen- way Park crowd wanted.
Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer and Allen escaped jams in the eighth and ninth for the Indians.