NEW YORK -- Baseball fans, meet the first Mr. November -- Derek Jeter.
The Yankees star earned that distinction at 12:04 a.m. Thursday, hitting a home run with two outs in the bottom of 10th inning to lift New York over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 and tie the World Series at two games each.
Tino Martinez saved the Yankees with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth off closer Byung-Hyun Kim, who also gave up Jeter's shot.
Until then, the game that started Wednesday night belonged to the Diamondbacks and gutsy Curt Schilling, pitching on only three days' rest. Sitting in the dugout, he watched it all unravel with a look of utter disbelief.
''We always feel as though we have a chance to win a game,'' Jeter said. ''When you get to the postseason, you can throw everything out that you've done in the regular season.''
Jeter, who usually shines in October, sent an opposite-field drive into the seats in right. It was the first game-ending homer of his career, and came shortly after the Yankee Stadium scoreboard flashed: ''Welcome to November Baseball.''
The Yankees spilled out of the dugout to greet him at home plate, where he landed with a two-footed hop. The crowd, already crazed on Halloween night, went wild while Jeter's parents were hugged by everybody sitting near them in the stands.
''Surprising things happen,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. ''Yet, when you think about it, it doesn't surprise you, because this ballclub never quits.''
It was the first time in World Series history that a team tied a game with a ninth-inning homer and won with a homer in extra innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Schilling, moved up by rookie manager Bob Brenly, did everything Arizona could have asked. But when Kim relieved, the game turned spooky for his team.
''We had a lead, we had six outs left to go in the ballgame,'' Brenly said. ''That's the way we hoped it would work out. Unfortunately, it didn't.''
The Yankees won their record ninth straight home game in the World Series.
The defending three-time champions will send Mike Mussina against Miguel Batista in Game 5 Thursday night. No matter who wins, the Series will go back to Bank One Ballpark.
Mariano Rivera broke three bats in a perfect 10th inning for the win.
A sellout crowd of 55,863 that included Mr. October -- Reggie Jackson -- turned quiet in the ninth inning with the Yankees in trouble.
Kim, who struck out the side in the eighth, gave up a one-out single to Paul O'Neill in the ninth before striking out Bernie Williams.
Martinez, who had been hitless in nine Series at-bats, launched a drive over the center field fence to tie it. The fans roared, and several Yankees jumped over the railing in front of the dugout to celebrate.
''We knew we had our work cut out for us,'' Martinez said.
Kim set down the first two batters in the 10th. But Jeter, who had been only 1-for-15 in the Series, rose to the occasion.
Jeter fouled three two-strike pitches and then homered.
Making Brenly look like a genius, Schilling showed no ill effects in giving up three hits over seven innings. His bid for a record fifth win in a postseason, however, ended when the Yankees rallied.
''Schilling might pitch tomorrow night, too,'' Jeter said. ''He did his job.''
Since 1999, starters working on three days' rest had been just 1-9 with a 9.73 ERA in postseason play.
© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us