Final in 12

Playoff Series: Game 4 of 7

Boston leads 4-3 (as of 10/17)

Game 1: Tuesday, October 12
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Game 2: Wednesday, October 13
NY Yankees3
Game 3: Friday, October 15
NY YankeesPostponed
Game 3: Saturday, October 16
NY Yankees19Final
Game 4: Sunday, October 17
NY Yankees4Final
in 12
Game 5: Monday, October 18
NY Yankees4Final
in 14
Game 6: Tuesday, October 19
NY Yankees2
Game 7: Wednesday, October 20
NY Yankees3

7:30 PM ET, October 17, 2004

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

23456789101112 R H E
NYY 02002000000 4 12 1
BOS 00030001002 6 8 0

W: C. Leskanic (1-0)

L: P. Quantrill (0-1)

Ortiz forces Game 5 with dramatic homer

BOSTON (AP) -- David Ortiz's drive into the right-field bullpen set off a frenzy at Fenway and gave the Boston Red Sox a shot at pulling off the greatest comeback ever.

Down to their last three outs of the season, the Red Sox rallied -- against Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees and decades of disappointment.

Game 4 Breakdown
David Ortiz. The man known as Big Papi rose to challenge yet again as his two-run homer in the 12th inning powered the Red Sox to their first win in the series.

Mariano Rivera. Who would've ever thought Rivera would appear in this spot? But he does as his blown save in the ninth inning extended the game and eventually allowed the Red Sox to stave off elimination.

Turning Point
The Yankees entered the 11th inning with the meat of their order potentially due up. And it started off on a great note as ninth-place hitter Miguel Cairo led off with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Derek Jeter. Alex Rodriguez then lined out to shortstop for the second out of the inning. And then after two consecutive walks, which loaded the bases, reliever Curtis Leskanic was brought in and he induced Bernie Williams to fly out to center to end the inning, keeping the score tied, 4-4.

It Figures
The blown save by Rivera was only his fourth in 36 postseason opportunities.

On Deck
Game 5 will take place on Monday at Fenway Park. Mike Mussina, who pitched 6 1/3 perfect innings in Game 1 and went on to earn the win, will start for the Yankees. Pedro Martinez, who suffered the loss in Game 2, will get the nod for the Red Sox.

Bill Mueller singled home the tying run off Rivera in the ninth inning and Ortiz homered against Paul Quantrill to end it in the 12th, giving Boston a do-or-die 6-4 victory over the Yankees early Monday that avoided a four-game sweep in the AL championship series.

"This is a team that never gives up," Ortiz said.

Red Sox fans who had been praying, holding hands and hoping against hope a few innings earlier, burst into cheers when Ortiz connected. Long after Sunday turned into Monday, there was still plenty of energy inside old Fenway Park.

Even Ortiz danced home to his teammates waiting at the plate.

"We always find a way to make it hard for ourselves," Red Sox starter Derek Lowe said.

This game lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes and ended at 1:22 a.m. ET, marking the second back-to-back marathon these teams have played. Saturday's 19-8 win by the Yankees took 4 hours, 20 minutes. The teams had about 15 hours to get ready for Game 5, which starts at 5:10 p.m. with Pedro Martinez pitching for the Red Sox against Mike Mussina.

"Everybody's going to have trouble sleeping, probably except maybe from exhaustion," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Of the 25 previous teams to fall behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, 20 were swept, three lost in five games and two lost in six. The Red Sox say if they win again, injured Curt Schilling would be ready to start Tuesday in New York.

"We've just got to get to Game 6," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Quantrill, New York's fifth pitcher, relieved Tom Gordon to start the 12th and allowed a leadoff single to Manny Ramirez. Ortiz's shot on a 2-1 pitch landed in the right-field bullpen.

"Ortiz is just a great hitter and he beat me," Quantrill said.

Boston was facing a disappointing end to a successful season when Rivera walked Kevin Millar to lead off the ninth.

"You put the walk away, and it would have been totally different," Rivera said. "It wasn't the way I planned it today."

After some pickoff throws, pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second on the first pitch to Mueller.

"The three pickoff moves got me back into the game. I hadn't played in a while, and it helped me get rid of the jitters," Roberts said.

Mueller then lined the ball up the middle as Roberts easily scored and Rivera swung his right arm in disgust. He has blown just four saves in 36 postseason chances, but two have come this year. He has lost to Boston twice during the regular season.

"It certainly is disappointing," Torre said. "We're so used to Mo going out there and getting people out, which he did tonight. It's just that the walk and stolen base was the difference in that ninth inning."

Doug Mientkiewicz followed with a sacrifice, and Johnny Damon hit a hopper to first that Tony Clark, playing in place of injured John Olerud, fumbled for an error. That left runners at first and third.

Orlando Cabrera struck out, the Yankees let Damon take second and Ramirez walked, loading the bases for Ortiz, who flied to right.

With closer Keith Foulke already having pitched 2 2/3 innings, Alan Embree came in and got through the 10th. Curtis Leskanic escaped an 11th-inning jam by getting Bernie Williams on a bases-loaded flyout, then stranded a runner at second in the 12th by striking out Miguel Cairo.

"Their bullpen did a great job. They made pitches when they had to," Jeter said. "We definitely let opportunities get by."

The Yankees, who stranded 14 runners, took a 2-0 lead in the third. After Jeter singled with two outs off Lowe, Alex Rodriguez hit a drive to left field over an advertising sign atop the Green Monster, his second homer in two nights.

Sidelined since Oct. 1 with a tired shoulder, Yankees starter Orlando Hernandez baffled Boston with pitches ranging from a 91 mph fastball to a 55 mph curve. Then, in the fifth, the Red Sox went ahead 3-2 on three walks, Cabrera's RBI single and Ortiz's two-run single.

The Yankees came back to score twice in the sixth, with Hideki Matsui starting the rally with a one-out triple. But it was a series of tricklers and rollers that scored the runs that put them ahead 4-3.

Groans from fans could be heard when Francona walked to the mound and brought in Mike Timlin to face Williams, who hit a slow bouncer to shortstop. But Cabrera couldn't pick it up with his bare hand and the slow-footed Matsui scored.

After Jorge Posada walked, Williams was thrown out at third trying to advance on a ball that skipped away from catcher Jason Varitek.

Ruben Sierra followed with a grounder that gave second baseman Mark Bellhorn no chance for a play at first. Clark hit a hard grounder that kicked off Bellhorn's glove for another infield hit as Posada scored.

That was New York's final run. Jeter, as always, searched for a positive.

"We know they're not going to give up," he said. "But we're exactly in the position we want to be in."

Game notes

Ray Boone, who died Sunday, was honored with a moment of silence before the game. His grandson, Aaron, hit the home run that won Game 7 of the ALCS for the Yankees last year.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press