Evening Things Up
Published 2:36 am Friday, October 30, 2009
NEW YORK — Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui shook the New York Yankees from their lumber slumber and sent the World Series to Philadelphia all tied up.
Teixeira and Matsui hit solo homers off familiar foe Pedro Martinez, backing a sharp performance by A.J. Burnett and giving the Yankees a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 on Thursday night.
‘‘Every game in the World Series is a must win,’’ Teixeira said. ‘‘After yesterday, getting a win today was big.’’
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A night after getting stopped by Cliff Lee in the opener 6-1, the Yanks bounced back from an early deficit and won in the Series for the first time since taking a 2-1 lead against Florida in 2003.
After a day off, Game 3 will be at Philadelphia on Saturday night. The Phillies had been hoping for more than a split but were content.
‘‘I guess I’ll have to be,’’ manager Charlie Manuel said.
Light-hitting Matt Stairs put the Phillies on top with an RBI single in the second. Burnett then used a biting curveball to keep Philadelphia from advancing another runner past second base against him.
Teixeira, in an 8-for-44 (.182) postseason slump, tied the score when he led off the fourth with a drive into the Yankees bullpen in right field. Matsui then put New York ahead with two outs in the sixth, reaching down for a curveball below his knees and driving it a few rows into the seats in right.
Burnett got his first win following three postseason no-decisions for the Yankees, allowing four hits in seven innings and retiring his last eight batters. He struck out nine, — including Ryan Howard three times — and started his first 11 hitters with strikes, nine of them looking. Burnett kept his control, walking two, one of them intentional.
‘‘The fact I was aggressive getting first-pitch strikes was huge,’’ Burnett said.
Mariano Rivera got six outs for his 38th postseason save, his 10th in World Series play. After the Phillies put two on with one out in the eighth, Game 1 star Chase Utley grounded into an inning-ending double play. He fanned Howard looking starting the ninth — the Philadelphia slugger’s first four-strikeout game since July 21 — then struck out Stairs with a runner at second to end it.
Philadelphia, seeking to become the NL’s first repeat Series champion since the 1975-76 Reds, lost for just the fifth time in 22 postseason games. The Phillies managed three runs in 14 innings off two starters, CC Sabathia and Burnett.
New York won despite getting nothing from Alex Rodriguez. After carrying the Yankees in the playoffs against the Twins and Angels, he is 0 for 8 in his first Series appearance and struck out three times for the second straight night.
When the Series resumes, Cole Hamels starts Game 3 for the Phillies against Andy Pettitte in an all-lefty matchup. Both teams will be making the trip through New Jersey by train.
Twenty-eight of the 53 teams that won Game 2 to tie the Series went on to win the title — but just one of the last six, the 2002 Angels.
There was another umpiring controversy. With two on and one out in the seventh, first base ump Brian Gorman ruled Howard reached down, caught Johnny Damon’s liner and turned a double play. A slow-motion replay appeared to show the first baseman gloved the ball on a short hop.
The always entertaining Martinez, pitching four days past his 38th birthday, was nearly as effective as the 32-year-old Burnett, fooling the Yankees with breaking pitches of 70-75 mph. In his first Series start since winning Game 3 for Boston five years ago, he allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings, striking out eight and walking two.
There were a few muted chants of ‘‘Who’s Your Daddy?’’ but nothing like the booming taunts that serenaded Martinez when he came to New York in his final weeks with Boston in 2004. That was after he famously said, ‘‘I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy’’ following a loss at Fenway Park.
‘‘I knew it was going to be crazy,’’ Burnett said. ‘‘I knew he was going to be on his game. I focus on myself, but you can’t help but watch his game. It’s the funnest I’ve had on the field.’’
After singles by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Melky Cabrera put runners at the corners and no outs in the seventh, Martinez came out, pointing at the sky, tapping a fist on his heart and smiling at the crowd.
Jorge Posada pinch hit for Jose Molina and singled up the middle off Chan Ho Park for a 3-1 lead.
Several moves by Yankees manager Joe Girardi paid off.
Molina made his fourth straight postseason start as Burnett’s personal catcher and picked off Jayson Werth at first base after a leadoff single in the fourth — the Phillies next-to-last baserunner off Burnett.
Hairston made his first postseason start for the Yankees as the replacement for Nick Swisher, batting just .114 (4 for 35) in the postseason. Hairston, who hadn’t started in right field since July 21, had good numbers against Martinez (10 for 27) but had not faced him since 2004.
Philadelphia broke on top for the second straight game. Raul Ibanez blooped an opposite-field double just on the left-field line with two outs in the second. Stairs, who took over at designated hitter when Ibanez shifted from DH to left in place of Ben Francisco, followed with a one-hop single off the glove of Rodriguez at third. A-Rod could have come up with the smash by Stairs, who had been in a 4-for-51 (.078) slide dating to July 1.
Since June 25, Stairs’ only RBIs had been on a solo home run against Pittsburgh on July 11 and a grand slam at Washington on Sept. 10.
Ibanez made a diving catch on Robinson Cano with a runner at first in the second to prevent a possible RBI double.
NOTES: Derek Jeter was presented the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player who combines community service with excellence on the field. … Utley walked in the second and has reached in a record 27 consecutive postseason games since going 0 for 4 in his debut in 2007.