Final in 11

Series: Game 2 of 3

Series tied 1-1 (as of 7/20)

Game 1: Friday, July 19
Boston 4Final
New York 2
Game 2: Saturday, July 20
Boston 8Final
in 11
New York 9
Game 3: Sunday, July 21
Boston 8Final
New York 9

Red Sox 8

(57-38, 33-17 away)

Yankees 9

(61-36, 32-17 home)

    1:15 PM ET, July 20, 2002

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    1234567891011 R H E
    BOS 02000015000 8 - -
    NYY 01131002001 9 - -

    W: S. Karsay (5-4)

    L: W. Gomes (1-2)

    Rivera leaves game with shoulder tightness

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Even after an exciting July win over their top rivals, the New York Yankees were worrying about the player who might make the biggest difference come October -- Mariano Rivera.

    Robin Ventura

    Mariano Rivera

    After watching Rivera walk off the mound with tightness in his right shoulder following just six pitches, the Yankees rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-8 in 11 innings Saturday.

    Robin Ventura's one-out roller drove in the winning run. But by the time Alfonso Soriano crossed home plate, the Yankees already were focusing on their All-Star closer.

    "There's no question it's a matter of concern,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "But this is not something new with Mo. He's had this before and usually been able to work through it.''

    Rivera was optimistic, for now.

    "I'll be all right, I think,'' he said. "They'll decide tomorrow what we're going to do. I don't know what. They haven't told me yet. No pain, just tight. I have had this before.''

    On what was looking like a lost afternoon for the Yankees as a late lead disappeared after Rivera left in the eighth, they rebounded to end Boston's four-game winning streak.

    "We can't give ourselves anything but praise,'' said Red Sox manager Grady Little, who was ejected for the first time in his career. "We were way behind, came back and took the lead. We had a couple of opportunities and didn't capitalize.''

    A sellout crowd of 55,526 that took turns shouting for the AL East rivals for more than four hours saw the Yankees load the bases in the 11th. Soriano led off with a double against Wayne Gomes (1-2), Derek Jeter was intentionally walked, Enrique Wilson sacrificed and Bernie Williams was intentionally walked.

    That brought up Ventura, one of the best bases-loaded hitters ever -- a .354 average with 15 slams in such situations -- and he hit a slow grounder in the hole to the right side that second baseman Rey Sanchez fielded. But Sanchez had no chance to turn a double play and instead threw home, and Soriano easily beat it.

    The play was scored a fielder's choice. No matter that it was not a hit for Ventura because it was good enough to increase New York's division lead to three games over Boston.

    "I was trying to get it in the air. I was thinking sac fly,'' Ventura said. "It didn't quite work out that way, but it got the job done.''

    Struggling lately, Steve Karsay (5-4) pitched three scoreless innings for the win. He retired Doug Mirabelli with the bases loaded to end the ninth and 11th innings, both times after intentionally walking Shea Hillenbrand.

    "Something kind of clicked in today,'' Karsay said.

    After Rivera walked off as the Red Sox rallied for five runs and an 8-6 lead in the eighth, the Yankees came back to tie it in the bottom half.

    Dustin Hermanson, pitching for the first time since going on the disabled list in early April, could not hold Boston's lead. Nick Johnson hit an RBI double and scored with two outs when Soriano singled sharply on an 0-2 pitch.

    "It was nice to get back and pitch in the big leagues. I only made one mistake, and that was to Soriano,'' Hermanson said. "I tried to get the ball up, not in.''

    The Yankees took a 6-3 lead into the eighth, and Rivera was summoned with no outs and runners on second and third. Manny Ramirez was called out on a check-swing -- Little was tossed for arguing with first-base umpire Charlie Reliford -- and Jason Varitek followed with a two-run single.

    With a 2-1 count on Hillenbrand, Torre and a trainer bolted from the dugout to check on Rivera. After a short discussion on the mound, Rivera left.

    Rivera was on the disabled for the second time in his career in June with a strained right groin.

    Ramiro Mendoza relieved and gave up RBI singles to Brian Daubach and Jose Offerman and a sacrifice fly to Trot Nixon.

    Orlando Hernandez started for the Yankees, pitching while he appeals his five-game suspension for hitting Toronto's Carlos Delgado with a pitch Monday night.

    After giving up two early unearned runs, Hernandez baffled Boston's batters. He retired 14 of 15 hitters -- even using a mini-blooper pitch that Ramirez took for a ball.

    Rolando Arrojo, who had already beaten the Yankees twice this year, lasted only four innings and left trailing 5-2. Williams sliced his 12th homer and Shane Spencer hit a two-run triple. On Spencer's drive, center fielder Johnny Damon jumped above the fence to pull back the ball, but it bounced out of his glove. Daubach hustled over from left field and almost caught the carom.

    Game notes

    The Yankees are 5-8 against Boston this season. ... Hermanson was activated from the disabled list before the game. He had been out with a strained right groin since slipping on a wet mound in his Boston debut April 3. ... Jason Giambi went 0-for-3 with two walks, ending his season-high 10-game hitting streak.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press