Vladimir Guerrero, who was just 1-for-10 lifetime against Papelbon, hit a first-pitch fastball for a two-run single with the bases loaded to give the Angels the lead with two outs in the ninth.
-- Runs allowed by Jonathan Papelbon in 26 postseason innings entering Sunday's game. But Papelbon allowed three runs in the ninth and also allowed two inherited runners to score in the eighth inning on a Juan Rivera single.
Kazmir had arguably his worst start with the Angels since being traded from the Rays in late August. He allowed five runs on five hits over six innings while striking out just one and walking three. He also surrendered a two-run home run to J.D. Drew in the fourth inning.
Rivera grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth to effectively end a rally for the Angels, but he helped make up for it in the eighth, when he hit a two-run single off Papelbon to get the Angels within one run.
Guerrero had the biggest hit of the game on his line-drive single to center field to give the Angels the lead for the first time with two outs in the ninth.
Sense of October
Lines of the Game
Closer Brian Fuentes got Dustin Pedroia to pop out to end the game and Angels players celebrated by hugging each other and jumping up and down near the mound. The Angels had plenty to cheer about and now will play in the AL Championship Series for the first time since 2005.
4 AB, 2 H, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB
Guerrero was the hero with his two-run single in the ninth, but he also walked and singled earlier in the game as well.
6 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
Kazmir hadn't given up more than three runs in any of his previous six starts with the Angels, but he allowed five in his biggest start of the year. He also clearly didn't have his best stuff as evidenced by his one strikeout and three walks.
"Before we talk about a Freeway Series, we're going to have to beat an incredible team in the Yankees or a team that might be a team of destiny with the Twins." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia
The Angels will play the winner of the Yankees-Twins series in the ALCS after sweeping the Red Sox in dramatic fashion on Sunday. The ALCS starts on Friday, and the Angels will either start in New York or host the Twins.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.