Not done yet
Sox rally against Rivera, then win Game 4 on Ortiz's homer
Posted: Monday October 18, 2004 1:29AM; Updated: Monday October 18, 2004 3:17AM
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. EDT, 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.
"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.
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."
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 for the Yankees last year.