ANAHEIM, Calif. – At his best on baseball's biggest stage, Curt Schilling pitched the Boston Red Sox to another sweep of the Angels.
Schilling worked seven masterful innings, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez homered, and the Red Sox routed Los Angeles 9-1 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of their AL playoff series.
Boston joined the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies in sweeping a first-round series this October, and earned itself a long rest.
The Red Sox will open the AL championship series at Fenway Park on Friday night against either the Cleveland Indians or New York Yankees. Cleveland tried for a sweep Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
Vladimir Guerrero and his Los Angeles teammates scored a mere four runs in three games. The Angels have lost nine straight playoff games to the Red Sox and seven straight postseason games overall.
Schilling raised his postseason record to 9-2 in 16 career starts while lowering his ERA to 1.93. The 40-year-old righty was working in the postseason for the first time since the 2004 World Series, when his bloody sock became the stuff of baseball lore.
Yankees Stay Alive
Indians manager Eric Wedge stayed with Jake Westbrook, and the New York Yankees took advantage.
Westbrook fell apart in the fifth inning Sunday night and left in the sixth as the Yankees rallied for an 8-4 victory over Cleveland in Game 3 of their AL division series. New York avoided elimination and found its stride at the plate thanks in part to Wedge's slow hook.
Westbrook gave up at least one hit in each of the first three innings but his defense turned three double plays behind him to keep the Yankees offense in check.
Cleveland led 3-1 in the fifth but Westbrook couldn't hold on. He struck out Jason Giambi leading off but then surrendered four straight hits. Johnny Damon capped the four-run rally with a three-run homer to right with one out.
Westbrook finished the inning, and then came out for the sixth. Alex Rodriguez led off with a single and Wedge then decided to go to his outstanding bullpen, replacing Westbrook with Aaron Fultz.
By then, it was too late. The Yankees were rolling, pushing across three runs on Robinson Cano's RBI single and right fielder Trot Nixon's costly error.
Westbrook, who was making his first postseason appearance, is 0-3 with an 11.85 ERA in three starts against New York this year.
Cleveland's relievers tossed six scoreless innings in the first two games of the series, and turned in another nice effort in the Bronx. Aaron Fultz allowed two unearned runs but Jensen Lewis struck out the side in a perfect seventh and Joe Borowski pitched a scoreless eighth.
The Indians were sixth in the majors with a 3.73 bullpen ERA this season.