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Angels catcher, Hub fans give kid his due

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  October 6, 2007 03:06 AM

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Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who drew the start in Game 2 over Game 1 starter Mike Napoli, said he had to tip his cap to 17-year-old Danny Vinik, the Red Sox fan who beat out Mathis for a Manny Ramirez foul pop-up into the stands that had the dual effect of extending Kelvim Escobar's night by keeping alive Ramirez's at-bat in the fifth inning.

``The kid made a good play,'' Mathis said.

It was even witnessed by none other than famed author Stephen King, a devout Sox fan, who was seated in the row right behind Vinik

Asked if Ramirez should have been called out due to fan interference, Mathis said, ``I wouldn't say all that, you know? Like I said, I don't remember it all that well. I know I just had a chance to make the play and it didn't happen.''

Was it a matter of the Sox enjoying home-field advantage at Fenway Park? ``That's what they're supposed to do; those guys are good fans and they're always paying attention,'' Mathis said. ``The kid made a great play.''

While Ramirez's walk-off homer in the ninth minimized the impact of that semi-controversial play, it did prevent Ramirez from making the second out of the fifth inning.

Mike Lowell came up next and hit a towering sacrifice fly to center that scored Dustin Pedroia with a tying run that made it 3-3. Had Mathis made the catch, Lowell's fly ball would have been the third out to end the inning. ``You can look at it that way; you can look at it many ways,'' Mathis said. ``It was an out that we needed in that situation.''

One that was thwarted by Danny Vinik's sure-handed catch of Ramirez's foul ball.

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