BOSTON – Trot Nixon was back at Fenway Park in the playoffs. This time, though, he came through for Cleveland.
The longtime Red Sox outfielder snapped an 11th-inning tie with a pinch-hit single, and the Indians broke loose for six more runs in a record-setting performance to beat Boston 13-6 early Sunday and tie the AL championship series at a game apiece.
The anticipated matchup of postseason star Curt Schilling and 19-game winner Fausto Carmona fizzled into a stalemate that lasted 5 hours, 14 minutes. It ended at 1:37 a.m. EDT, when Joe Borowski got a game-ending double play.
"We showed some resiliency," Nixon said. "To start something up in the 11th inning, it's kind of ridiculous to be playing at 1:30 in the morning, but you don't get these opportunities too much."
The best-of-seven series moves to Cleveland for Game 3 on Monday night, when Red Sox rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka will face Jake Westbrook.
Manny Ramirez set a record with his 23rd postseason homer, and Mike Lowell followed with a shot that gave the Red Sox a 6-5 lead in the fifth and a chance to take control of the series.
Then their big bats finally went quiet.
"Our bullpen did a fantastic job," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "When you're in extra innings on the road, you're talking about having to get six outs to their three."
Tom Mastny got the win and deserved it: He retired David Ortiz, Ramirez and Lowell in order in the 10th — something few other pitchers have done this postseason. With Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon done after pitching two innings, Eric Gagne came in for the 11th.
The trade deadline acquisition fanned Casey Blake to start the inning, then gave up a single to Grady Sizemore and walked Asdrubal Cabrera.
Nixon, a first-round draft pick who spent the first 13 years of his career in the Boston organization, singled off Javier Lopez to right-center to break the tie.
"He's kind of difficult for left-handers, so I just shortened up everything," Nixon said. "I knew they had a couple lefties in the bullpen, and I was just excited to get a chance."
The Indians, handcuffed by Josh Beckett and the Boston bullpen in Friday's opener, weren't done.
After a run-scoring wild pitch and Ryan Garko's RBI single chased Lopez, Jon Lester came on and gave up Jhonny Peralta's RBI double and a three-run homer to Franklin Gutierrez that made it 13-6.
The seven runs for Cleveland were the most by a team in one extra inning in postseason history.
"That was one of the better played games I've ever been a part of," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
In Cleveland, more than 10,000 Indians fans braved the cold at Jacobs Field to watch the game on the stadium's scoreboard screen. Fans drank coffee, wrapped themselves in red-and-blue blankets and mocked Boston's regional accent.
The crowd roared when Cleveland reliever Rafael Betancourt retired Manny Ramirez in the seventh inning, and cheered again when he closed out the bottom of the eighth.
"No way we're going to leave," said Gary Crawford of Hudson, who spoke as the game moved toward extra innings and the clock pushed past midnight.
On Monday, the Indians will need Westbrook, their No. 3 starter, to do what co-aces C.C. Sabathia and Carmona couldn't: Keep Ortiz and Ramirez off base, or at least keep Lowell from driving them in.
Lowell is the key to that.
The third baseman, who had a career-high 120 RBIs protecting Ortiz and Ramirez in the lineup, has driven home a run in all five of Boston's playoff games. On Saturday, he hit a bases-loaded single in the third to knock in two runs and then joined Ramirez in back-to-back homers — and curtain calls — in the fifth when the Red Sox briefly took a 6-5 lead.
The Indians tied it in the sixth on Gutierrez's RBI groundout.
Ramirez's homer broke a postseason mark he had shared with former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams. The left fielder, who tipped his cap to the crowd when the accomplishment was noted on the scoreboard, also drew his third bases-loaded walk in two days, setting the record for one postseason.
Ortiz, who walked in the first and singled in the third, tied a postseason record by reaching base safely in 10 straight plate appearances before grounding into a fielder's choice in the fifth. But the big slugger hustled down the line to beat out a potential double play before Ramirez went deep.
Schilling made his first playoff appearance at Fenway Park since his second bloody sock outing, Game 2 of the 2004 World Series, when he took the mound with a surgically repaired ankle and allowed the St. Louis Cardinals just one unearned run in six innings.
He pitched seven shutout innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in the first-round clincher.
But the Indians got to him quickly.
Sizemore doubled leading off the game and scored on Victor Martinez's double. After the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead in the third, Peralta put Cleveland back on top with a three-run homer to center in the fourth.
Sizemore made it 5-3 with his solo shot in the fifth, then Travis Hafner and Martinez reached on consecutive singles with two outs and that was all for Schilling. It was the second-shortest postseason start of his career, and his postseason ERA went from 1.93 to 2.53.
"Everything about this one falls on me," Schilling said. "We put together a great inning to take a lead, and I forced our bullpen into a situation. You're asking your bullpen to put up a lot of zeros and it's not fair.
"It's about me coming up small in a big game," he added.
Carmona also had the second-shortest postseason start of his career — out of two. He pitched nine innings of three-hit ball in the "Bug Game," an extra-inning, first-round victory over the New York Yankees.