BOSTON (AP) -- Just like the game that seemed it would never end,
Boston's season just won't end.
David Ortiz's RBI single on the 471st pitch of the game with two
outs in the 14th inning capped a second straight amazing comeback
in less than 24 hours Monday night and gave the Red Sox a 5-4
victory over the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series.
The Red Sox, down to their last inning Sunday night, now are one
game away from climbing out of a 3-0 deficit and forcing an
anything-can-happen Game 7.
"The last two nights shows the depth, the character, the heart,
the guts of our ballclub," winner Tim Wakefield said. "It took
every ounce of whatever we had left to win tonight's game and to
win last night's game."
This time, Boston waited only until the eighth inning, when
Ortiz's home run and Jason Varitek's sacrifice fly tied the score
The next six innings were agonizingly tense, filled with a
double play, three passed balls in the same inning, two Red Sox
runners thrown out trying to steal second and 10 runners left on
When it was over, the teams had played back-to-back marathon
games that totaled 26 innings almost 11 hours -- 5 hours, 2 minutes
on Sunday and 5 hours, 49 minutes Monday -- the longest by time in
In one pass through the Yankee lineup, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, Ruben Sierra and Tony Clark
struck out. Boston's bullpen has gone 14 1-3 innings without allowing a run.
Sheffield struck out leading off the 13th but reached on a
passed ball, and two more passed balls by Varitek on Wakefield's
knuckler left runners on second and third.
But after the ball nearly got away from Varitek again, popping
out of the catcher's glove but staying near the plate, Wakefield
struck out Ruben Sierra on a 70 mph knuckler, leaving the Yankees
1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Wakefield, the loser in
Game 7, last year, followed with a 1-2-3 14th.
"In the last inning, he was on fumes," Boston manager Terry
Francona said. "He pitched the last inning on heart."
Johnny Damon walked with one out in the bottom half to start the
winning rally and Manny Ramirez walked with two outs. Ortiz, who
won Game 4 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning,
then fouled off eight two-strike pitches, including one that just
missed being a home run down the right-field line, before dumping a
soft single into center field.
Half the Red Sox ran to greet Damon coming home; the others
mobbed Ortiz halfway to second base.
"I was thinking I'd better get it done right here," Ortiz
said. "They've got too many hitters that can change the game with
"Schilling's pitch count might be 180," Francona said.
Both teams could surely use the rest after three games in Boston
that saw 1,973 pitches, 82 hits and 29 pitching changes over 35
"I think it will be good to go back home and gain some energy
from the home crowd," Rodriguez said. "Three days here, it feels
like we've been here a month."
None of the other 25 teams that fell behind 3-0 in a postseason
series has ever come back to win -- and only two of them pushed it
to six games.
Boston has won its last four postseason home games when facing
elimination, with Ortiz getting the winning hit in three, and 7-0
in postseason home games played to a decision.
"This team has done something the last two days that will go
down in history as an incredible accomplishment," Boston's Gabe Kapler said.
Derek Jeter's opposite-field, three-run double to right on Pedro Martinez's 100th pitch had given New York a 4-2 lead in the sixth.
It turned out to be the only hit for the Yankees in 13 at-bats with
runners in scoring position. Trot Nixon prevented even more runs
with a sliding catch on Matsui's sinking drive to right with the bases loaded.
The Red Sox came back in the eighth, when Ortiz led off with an
opposite-field liner over the Green Monster. Kevin Millar walked
and Nixon had a hit-and-run single that sent pinch-runner Dave Roberts to third.
Yankees manager Joe Torre brought in Rivera, who threw 40
pitches the previous night. He threw two balls to Varitek, whose
sacrifice fly to center easily scored Roberts with the tying run.
Rivera blew a save for only the fifth time in 37 postseason
chances -- but the second time in less than 24 hours and the third
time in 13 days.
"It was a tough one today, but it was a great one," Rivera
said. "It was a great game."
The Yankees missed a chance to take the lead in the ninth when
Tony Clark's two-out drive to right hopped over the low fence for a
ground-rule double that left runners at second and third and Boston
closer Keith Foulke, who had thrown 50 pitches in Game 4, got
Miguel Cairo on a foul pop to end the threat.
Boston tried to change its perennially bad luck, with
switch-hitter Varitek hitting right-handed against the right-handed
Mike Mussina and Millar trimming his billy-goat beard.
Mike Mussina allowed Ortiz's RBI single in the first and a
bases-loaded walk to Varitek, then pitched five shutout innings
before six relievers followed. The Yankees sent Lieber home during
the game to get rest for Tuesday.
"We were going to play until there was nobody left standing,"
Mussina said. "You've got starters going out there. You've got
guys throwing three and four innings one day and throwing two or
three again the next day."
Bernie Williams opened the second with his 21st postseason
homer, a drive into the right-field seats that extended his
Yankees 1B John Olerud, on crutches Sunday after injuring a
foot in Game 3, was walking Monday but was not available.