EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Patriots

October 26, 2007

Schilling waves goodbye, just in case

BOSTON (AP) -- Curt Schilling came to Boston four years ago with the lone goal of helping the Red Sox win the World Series.

He might do it twice.

In what could be his final start in a Boston uniform, Schilling held the Rockies to one run over 5 1-3 innings in Game 2 of the Series on Thursday night to lead the Red Sox to a 2-1 victory over Colorado and open a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Schilling struck out four while allowing four hits and two walks and gave Boston a chance to sweep the Series at Coors Field. Unless the Rockies can win twice at home to force a sixth game, Schilling has pitched his last game before he becomes eligible for free agency.

"I guarantee you, everybody's as sick of hearing about it as I am," said Schilling, who waved his cap to all corners of the ballpark as he left to a deafening ovation. "Whatever happens is going to happen. They know what I want. They know I want to come back. We'll deal with it after the World Series."

If he leaves, Schilling will have accomplished his professed goal and so much more: In four years, he has become a hero at Fenway and across the blogosphere, and a potential Hall of Famer.

The success is borne of a "will to make sure the score ends up in our favor," said Terry Francona, who also managed Schilling with the Philadelphia Phillies. "I've been around him so long, I probably expect unfair things out of him. But that probably won't stop."

Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon finished up for the Red Sox, allowing one hit over the final 3 2-3 to protect the one-run led.

"That was just phenomenal to watch. A 2-1 game in the fifth that ends up 2-1," Schilling said. "Much like all year, our bullpen's been dominating."

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