OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Pedro Martinez, Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez and even that maligned Boston bullpen _ they all were tougher than any curse.

Martinez pitched seven gritty innings, and Ramirez broke his slump with a decisive three-run homer as the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game playoff comeback, beating the Oakland Athletics 4-3 Monday night in Game 5 of their AL division series.

Boston got its fourth playoff series victory since its last World Series title in 1918, while Oakland's frustration continued. The A's have lost nine straight games in which they could have clinched postseason advancement, extending a major league record.

Boston meets the Yankees, its traditional rival, in the AL championship series starting Wednesday night in New York. The Red Sox had to withstand a rally attempt in the ninth to get there.