The sidewalks on Lansdowne Street were filled with tents, sleeping bags and lawn chairs Friday. Fans emerged from their temporary homes to throw baseballs and footballs in the area below the Monster seats at Fenway Park, four hours before the scheduled Game 3 of the Red Sox-Yankees American League Championship Series.

"Why are we waiting in line? Why? Dedication. We all want to see the Sox," said Dave Millette, 48, of Key West, Fla. "I've been here since Thursday morning. My mother lives up in Rockland [Mass.]."

Millette was the first in line outside Gate C. About 300 fans were lined up behind him. All were waiting and hoping to buy a ticket. But the game had been sold out for a while.

"Corporations, other teams turn the tickets back in," said Abel Russell, who had driven down Thursday from Bangor, Maine. "Then they're put up for sale. One ticket a person. You buy it at face value and then go right in. This is an improvement from last year when you could buy two and then some people went out and scalped them. You can't do that this year."

Russell, a restaurant manager, said he was able to get two tickets for Game 4 of last year's ALCS.

Russell and his friend, Matt Ceban, also from Bangor, slept in Russell's Ford Focus on Lansdowne Street Thursday night.

Millette, nicknamed "Captain Dave," wrote numbers with a red marker on the right hands of those behind him. Russell was No. 5, while Jeff Carson of Westford, Mass., was No.11.

Cutting is not allowed in this line.

"If someone came in late and tried to sneak in up front, you know just trying to blend in there, well, let's just say it wouldn't happen," Russell said. "I would guess that person would become injured."

Though the sky was dreary and the Red Sox were down two games to the Yankees, the atmosphere was festive.

A Red Sox comeback and profanity-laced descriptions of the Yankees were the talk in this part of town.

Visitors could justifiably question the endeavor. After all, it was a wait of 30 hours outdoors -- temperatures dipped into the 40s Thursday night -- with only a chance to purchase a ticket.

"We love the Sox," said Millette, a self-employed carpenter who has been in town since the end of the regular season. "I got a ticket for the last game of the Angels series last Friday. That's why we do this."

Kline Visits Hand Specialist

St. Louis Cardinal reliever Steve Kline's status for the rest of the National League Championship Series was in doubt Friday after he traveled to Indianapolis to see a hand specialist.

Kline aggravated a torn tendon in the index finger of his throwing hand Thursday during the sixth inning of Game 2, when he gave up consecutive singles to Jose Vizcaino and Brad Ausmus before leaving the game.

"It was swelling yesterday," St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa said Friday. "He was hurting when the game was over."

If Kline is unable to pitch, the Cardinals will be left with Ray King as their only left-handed reliever.

In the regular season, Kline went 2-2 with a 1.79 ERA and limited left-handers to a .142 batting average.

What Did You Say?

The first advice Roger Clemens gave Jeff Suppan, at the behest of Suppan's pitching coach in the Boston Red Sox organization, was not particularly memorable.

"I don't remember what that advice was," Suppan said Friday, less than 24 hours before he was to face Clemens in Game 3 of the NLCS at Minute Maid Park.

The pitchers were teammates with the Red Sox in 1995-96, before the Toronto Blue Jays signed Clemens as a free agent in December 1996 and the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Suppan in the first round of the 1997 expansion draft.

"Getting a chance to play with him in the major leagues was a great experience for me, just watching his work ethic," Suppan said. "Obviously, he's done it for so long, he's just kept his body in great shape. As a young player, seeing that type of person is a great role model." . . .

Pitcher Chris Carpenter, sidelined for the first two rounds of the playoffs because of a strained right biceps, has resumed playing catch, but the Cardinals are not counting on him.

"I still find it a real stretch that he could get back in time to help us, if we were able to win two more games in this series," La Russa said.

Cardinals' Jeff Suppan will face former Red Sox teammate Roger Clemens in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Astros.