Final in 14

Playoff Series: Game 5 of 7

Boston leads 4-3 (as of 10/18)

Game 1: Tuesday, October 12
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Game 2: Wednesday, October 13
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Game 3: Friday, October 15
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Game 3: Saturday, October 16
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Game 4: Sunday, October 17
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in 12
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Game 5: Monday, October 18
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in 14
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Game 6: Tuesday, October 19
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Game 7: Wednesday, October 20
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5:10 PM ET, October 18, 2004

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

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W: T. Wakefield (1-0)

L: E. Loaiza (0-1)

Yankees' bullpen comes apart in 14th

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.

Game 5 Breakdown
Hero
David Ortiz. He did it again. And while Ortiz didn't leave the yard like he did to win Game 4, the Red Sox love his run-scoring bloop single in the 14th inning just as much.

Goat
Tom Gordon. He let the Red Sox tie the game in the eighth inning by allowing a leadoff homer to Ortiz to bring Boston within 4-3. He then walked Kevin Millar and gave up a single to Trot Nixon before being replaced by Mariano Rivera, who surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jason Varitek to even the score at 4-4.

Turning Point
Esteban Loaiza began the 14th by striking out Mark Bellhorn. But then he inexplicably issued a walk to Johnny Damon, who is batting .083 (2-for-24) in the series. Manny Ramirez then walked, pushing Damon to second base. That set the stage for Ortiz's game-winning single.

It Figures
Red Sox relievers have pitched 14 2/3 innings during the past two games and have allowed one run combined over that span.

On Deck
The series shifts back to Yankee Stadium for Game 6 on Tuesday. Curt Schilling will start for the Red Sox. Jon Lieber will counter for the Yankees.

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 4-4.

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 base.

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 postseason history.

Boston was six outs from elimination in this one before Ortiz's leadoff homer off Tom Gordon and Varitek's sacrifice fly off Mariano Rivera in the two-run eighth.

Mike Timlin, Keith Foulke, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Myers, Alan Embree and Wakefield combined for eight shutout innings after the Yankees scored four runs off starter Pedro Martinez.

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 one swing."

Injured ace Curt Schilling is slated to start for the Red Sox in Game 6 against Jon Lieber, but there could be a holdup: Rain is forecast for New York on Tuesday night.

"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 innings.

"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.

Mike Mussina left after Mark Bellhorn's leadoff double in the seventh, but Tanyon Sturtze and Gordon combined to get out of trouble.

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 record.

Game notes


Yankees 1B John Olerud, on crutches Sunday after injuring a foot in Game 3, was walking Monday but was not available.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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