Final

Playoff Series: Game 2 of 4

NY Yankees won 3-1

Game 1: Tuesday, September 30
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NY Yankees1
Game 2: Thursday, October 2
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NY Yankees4
Game 3: Saturday, October 4
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Minnesota1
Game 4: Sunday, October 5
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Twins 1

 

    8:00 PM ET, October 2, 2003

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

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    MIN 000010000 1 4 1
    NYY 10000030 - 4 8 1

    W: A. Pettitte (1-0)

    L: B. Radke (0-1)

    S: M. Rivera (1)

    Yankees turn boos to cheers

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Giambi stood at first base and soaked it all in. One swing turned all those fickle fans in his favor and got Yankee Stadium rocking again.

    Game 2 breakdown
    Hero
    Alfonso Soriano. Sure, Andy Pettitte was masterful, but Soriano scored the game's first run and drove in the go-ahead run. He stole a base and kept the pressure on, going 3-for-4.

    Goat
    LaTroy Hawkins. How quickly fortunes turned for the Game 1 winner. Hawkins entered in the seventh with one out and Nick Johnson on second. Instead of sticking with the high heat that worked so well Tuesday, Hawkins spotted his fastball low and the Yankees made him pay. Soriano singled in Johnson, and after a Hawkins error, Jason Giambi took him up the middle for two more runs.

    Turning Point
    Brad Radke was matching Pettitte pitch-for-pitch when he hit Johnson to lead off the seventh. It came on a 1-2 pitch, his 98th and last of the night. Manager Ron Gardenhire then brought in Hawkins, who quickly imploded.

    It Figures
    Pettitte passed Whitey Ford as the Yankees' all-time winning pitcher in the postseason at 11-7.

    On Deck
    Roger Clemens vs. Kyle Lohse, Saturday at the Metrodome. Like Pettitte, Clemens could be making his last start in pinstripes.

    Giambi hit a two-run single, Andy Pettitte pitched another gem under pressure and New York beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 Thursday night to even the best-of-five AL playoff series at a game apiece.

    "I guess I went from zero to hero real quick," Giambi said. "That's the great thing about this game.''

    After a sloppy loss during the day in Game 1, the Yankees finally put their fans in a frenzy with a three-run seventh inning that snapped a 1-all tie. Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead single off LaTroy Hawkins, and this time it was the Twins who made defensive errors that opened the door.

    "Something about a night game here at Yankee Stadium, almost like it just comes alive out there," Pettitte said. "I don't get too emotional, usually don't show too much emotion, but I was pretty emotional out there tonight. ... It was a fun game."

    Yankees manager Joe Torre took no chances, bringing in Mariano Rivera to pitch the final two innings for a save.

    "When you take Andy Pettitte out with the kind of courage he showed tonight, it would have been tough to replace him with anybody but Rivera. ... I don't think I can trust anybody more than I trust Andy," Torre said.

    The victory came on the 25th anniversary of one of the Yankees' most famous wins -- the day Bucky Dent homered at Fenway Park to help beat Boston in a one-game playoff for the AL East title.

    This win gave the Yankees the momentum heading into Game 3, but Minnesota has its home-field magic -- the Twins are 13-3 all-time in postseason games at the noisy Metrodome.

    "We carried that game deep," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You don't leave with a good feeling. We won a ballgame here, but sure, we had a good chance again to win here tonight."

    Roger Clemens pitches Saturday afternoon for New York in what could be the final start of his Hall of Fame career. Kyle Lohse goes for Minnesota.

    Twins starter Brad Radke hit Nick Johnson -- stuck in an 0-for-22 slump -- with a 1-2 pitch leading off the seventh.

    "Do anything to get on toward the end of the game," Radke said. "Tip your hat to him, took one for the team."

    Juan Rivera's sacrifice moved Johnson up, and Hawkins, the winner in Game 1, entered to face Soriano. He singled sharply to left for a 2-1 lead -- Soriano's throwing error was one of several defensive miscues by New York on Tuesday.

    Derek Jeter followed with a chopper back to Hawkins, who hurriedly threw high off first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz's glove for an error that left runners at second and third.

    "I kind of rushed it a little bit. I had more time than I thought I did," Hawkins said. "If he was two inches taller, he would have caught that."

    Up came Giambi, who fanned against Hawkins in Game 1 and was booed loudly throughout the first two games.

    But he changed that in a New York minute, grounding a hard single up the middle through a drawn-in infield for a 4-1 lead.

    "When they're booing, they're booing because they want to cheer," Jeter said. "That was a huge hit for him."

    Gardenhire said after the game he thought the long break in the middle of the seventh for the singing of "God Bless America'' might have affected Radke.

    A well-rested Rivera came out of the bullpen for his first two-inning postseason save since Game 3 of the 2001 World Series against Arizona.

    The October chill of a 52-degree night -- Soriano went out for batting practice wearing a ski cap -- helped give the game a postseason feel that was missing Tuesday.

    Game 1 started at 1 p.m. ET because Fox Sports wanted the Cubs-Braves game in prime time. When New York struggled to score, an unusually quiet Yankee Stadium crowd began booing Bernie Williams, Giambi and the rest of the home team.

    It was a far different setting Thursday night.

    "You can't even compare it. Tonight the atmosphere was unbelievable," Jeter said.

    The crowd was buzzing by the time Pettitte whiffed two in the first, and two-strike singles by Soriano, Jeter and Giambi brought fans to their feet moments later. Williams' bases-loaded sacrifice fly made it 1-0.

    Pettitte used a tight slider to set a postseason career high with 10 strikeouts. He allowed four hits in seven innings, improving to 11-7 in 26 postseason starts.

    "We sent the right guy to the mound, no doubt about it," Giambi said.

    Radke was on his game, too, minimizing the first-inning damage and retiring 10 in a row before Jorge Posada's double in the fourth. The Yankees got several singles by fighting off tough pitches, but Radke remained cool and kept them in check with a baffling changeup.

    He fanned Giambi with two to end the fifth, bringing more loud boos from the crowd of 56,479.

    Torii Hunter led off the fifth with his first career postseason homer. He also circled the bases Tuesday when Williams misplayed his liner to center and Soriano threw away the relay to third.

    Knocked out by Anaheim in the first round last year, the Yankees are determined to avoid another postseason failure. Torre held a meeting before Wednesday's workout and told players to relax.

    So far, it's worked.

    Game notes


    David Wells will start Game 4, Torre said. ... Pettitte set a club record for postseason wins, surpassing Whitey Ford. But all of Ford's victories came in the World Series. ... Pettitte tied Greg Maddux for third on the career list for postseason wins behind John Smoltz (13) and Tom Glavine (12). ... Jeter said he was fine after banging his left shoulder -- the same one he dislocated on opening day -- into Mientkiewicz.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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