Day after tough loss, closer collects final four outs to help Red Sox clinch
ST. PETERSBURG -- Amid the madness in the clubhouse after the Red Sox clinched a trip to the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night, David Ortiz grabbed a bottle of champagne and hollered, "Where's my closer?"
Ortiz ran through the room and spotted his prey, dousing Koji Uehara.
A night after surrendering a walk-off home run to Jose Lobaton that gave the Rays some life in the AL Division Series, Uehara was up to his old tricks while helping the Red Sox clinch the series with a 3-1 win in Game 4.
He came on with a one-run lead and a man on base in the eighth and struck out David DeJesus.
Thanks to a Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly in the ninth, Uehara had a little more room to maneuver for the final three outs.
The righty got a 400-foot flyout from Wil Myers, then got a groundout by James Loney and a strikeout of Evan Longoria to end the series.
"Every win is very gratifying," said Uehara. "There's more to come."
There seemed to be little doubt in Boston's clubhouse that Uehara would bounce right back from one of the few disappointing efforts he's had all season.
And perhaps that's because there was the realization Uehara hadn't lost any confidence in himself.
"I'd completely gotten over what happened yesterday," said Uehara. "It was a new day. I wasn't down on myself at all."