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5 memorable games during Francona’s tenure

Terry Francona managed the team from 2004 to 2011; here are the highs and one miserable low.

July 24, 2004: The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Sox catcher Jason Varitek traded blows in the 3rd inning of a game that featured 27 hits, nine relief pitchers, four errors, and this photo-op for the ages. Both players were ejected from the game.

BARRY CHIN/Globe staff

July 24, 2004: The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Sox catcher Jason Varitek traded blows in the 3rd inning of a game that featured 27 hits, nine relief pitchers, four errors, and this photo-op for the ages. Both players were ejected from the game.

JULY 24, 2004

FENWAY PARK

RED SOX 11, YANKEES 10

Two days before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, the Sox and New York Yankees stage a game that features 27 hits, nine relief pitchers, four errors, and a photo-op for the ages when Jason Varitek smashes his catcher’s mitt into the face of Alex Rodriguez, triggering a bench-clearing brawl. The Sox win in the bottom of the ninth on a one-out, two-run homer by Bill Mueller. One of five individuals ejected earlier in the day, Terry Francona is in the Sox clubhouse when Mueller hits the walkoff blast.

Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

A David Ortiz homer won the game in 12th inning of the fourth game of the ALCS against the Yankees at Fenway Park.

OCTOBER 17, 2004

FENWAY PARK

(GAME 4, AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES)

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RED SOX 6, YANKEES 4

With the Sox about to be swept, four straight, Francona winks at pinch runner Dave Roberts in the bottom of the ninth, signaling the speedy outfielder to steal second. Roberts’s successful steal sets up the tying run, and the Sox stave off elimination when David Ortiz hits a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning at 1:22 a.m. The Sox go on to win three more games against the Yankees and are still the only team in baseball history to win a series after trailing three games to none.

OCTOBER 27, 2004

BUSCH STADIUM IN ST. LOUIS

Al Bello/Getty Images

Dave Roberts showed off the hardware after the Red Sox completed a sweep of the Cardinals to earn their first World Series title in 86 years.

(GAME 4, WORLD SERIES)

RED SOX 3, CARDINALS 0

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Edgar Renteria grounds to Keith Foulke with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Red Sox are world champions for the first time in 86 years. Foulke hugs Varitek on the field; in the clubhouse, Francona embraces his dad, former major league outfielder Tito Francona. The Sox arrive back at Logan just after 6:30 a.m. on October 28 and spend the winter writing books, delivering speeches, and telling tales of drinking Jack Daniel’s in the clubhouse before cold playoff games in New York and St. Louis.

OCTOBER 28, 2007

COORS FIELD IN DENVER

(GAME 4, WORLD SERIES)

RED SOX 4, ROCKIES 3

Jonathan Papelbon strikes out Seth Smith, and the Sox win the World Series for the second time in four seasons. Boston outscores the Colorado Rockies, 29-10, over the four games, and Francona becomes the first manager in baseball history to win his first eight World Series games. In the winners’ locker room, the Sox manager is gently nudged off the presentation platform as the Sox owners line up to receive the trophy on national television.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon walked off the field as the Orioles rushed to celebrate following thier victory.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

CAMDEN YARDS IN BALTIMORE

ORIOLES 4, RED SOX 3

On his final night as manager of the Sox, Francona watches Papelbon blow a one-run lead with two outs and nobody aboard in the bottom of the ninth against the last-place Baltimore Orioles. The Sox suffer a walkoff defeat and, minutes later, are eliminated from playoff contention as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Yankees, 8-7, after trailing, 7-0, in the eighth inning. It marks the first time in baseball history that a team failed to make the playoffs after holding a 9½-game lead for a playoff spot in September. Francona is fired two days after the finale in Baltimore.

Dan Shaughnessy is an award-winningGlobe sports columnist and author of 12 books. E-mail him at dshaughnessy@globe.com and follow him on Twitter @dan_shaughnessy.

 

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