July 31, 2014

Elyria
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Tribe falls flat


Indians can’t close series; Game 6 in Boston on Saturday

CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio was ready to explode Thursday night. A lot of frustration builds in a decade without a trip to the World Series, and Indians fans were ready to release it.

BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE
Grady Sizemore dives but cannot come up with a ball hit by Boston’s Kevin Youkilis on Thursday during Cleveland’s 7-1 loss in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Jacob Field. The series moves back to Boston for a sixth game Saturday.

But it wasn’t to be as the American League Championship Series heads back to Boston after the Indians lost 7-1 to the Red Sox and failed to win the pennant at Jacobs Field.

Still, the Indians lead three games to two, and they have two more chances to advance to their first World Series since 1997. But any champagne celebration will have to come at Fenway Park, which will host Game 6 on Saturday and Game 7, if necessary, on Sunday.

“Beating a team like Boston four in a row is tough to do, especially in the postseason,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “But we’ve put ourselves in a good position.”

Indians ace C.C. Sabathia was better than he had been in a Game 1 loss, but it wasn’t good enough. Boston postseason specialist Josh Beckett was outstanding.

The Indians managed one run on five hits in eight innings against Beckett. Three RBIs by Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis, a rare shaky outing by the Tribe bullpen and a pair of defensive gaffes made Beckett unbeatable.

But this is no time to fret if you’re a Tribe fan. The Indians have history on their side.

When they went to the 1997 World Series, the Indians lost Game 5 of the ALCS at home to Baltimore before winning Game 6 at Camden Yards on an extra-inning home run by Tony Fernandez.

History has been known to repeat itself.

Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7135 or spetrak@chroniclet.com.