BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- For a pitcher with just one previous postseason outing,
showed no signs of stage fright.
Lieber tossed seven-plus stellar innings and
belted a two-run homer as the
New York Yankees
took a comfortable two games to none lead in the American League Championship Series with a 3-1 triumph over the
Boston Red Sox
After an unimpressive outing by
in Game One, the
turned to New York nemesis
(1-1) to draw even in the series. Despite two recent batterings at the hands of the Yankees that prompted Martinez to call Boston's division rivals "his daddy," the righthander came through with a solid effort.
"I did whatever possible to actually keep my team in the fight," said Martinez, who allowed three runs and four hits in six innings. "I can't say I'm disappointed, but those are not the results I wanted. Actually, I wanted to actually, hopefully get a win and take our team (home) with a positive attitude and actually even in this series."
"Tonight, he was Pedro," Yankees manager
said. "Tonight, he didn't give an inch and he had good velocity and good location after that first inning."
Before Martinez threw his first pitch of the game, chants of "Who's your daddy?" roarded throughout Yankee Stadium. But the veteran claimed the serenade did not affect his performance.
"It actually made me feel really, really good," he said. "I actually realized that I was somebody important because I caught the attention of 60,000 people. If you reverse the time back 15 years ago, I was sitting under a mango tree without 50 cents to actually pay for a bus. And today, I was the center of attention of the whole city of New York."
Martinez's performance was not enough to match Lieber (1-0), who limited Boston to two runners through six innings. In just his second career playoff start, the righthander yielded one run and three hits with a walk and three strikeouts before being lifted in the eighth.
"I knew coming into this game what Pedro has done in the past in situations like this," Lieber said. "So there was no room for error and I think it showed tonight. It was definitely a pitchers' duel from inning to inning and just try to put up as many zeros as possible."
"He walked somebody early and then it just seemed once he settled in, he was just locked in and he's not going to walk people," Torre said of Lieber, who has not walked more than two batters in any of his 29 starts this year. "He's going to throw a lot of strikes. Even when we took him out, he had 80 pitches or something, which was incredible."
Lieber was given a 1-0 lead after one inning before Olerud lined a 1-2 offering from Martinez over the right field wall with one on and one out in the sixth. It was the veteran first baseman's ninth career postseason homer and sixth in LCS play.
"In that situation, I've got two strikes on me and against Pedro, that's a bad position to be in because he can do so many different things to get you out," Olerud said. "I'm up there, I'm trying to protect the plate and just get the bat on the ball and got a fastball up and in, and I just did a good job of getting to it."
recorded two outs in the eighth before giving way to
, who struck out three in 1 1/3 innings for his second save in as many days.
The series shifts to Fenway Park for Game Three on Friday, when the
put their hopes on the shoulders of
, who will face veteran
"(Being up 2-0) doesn't mean anything," New York's
said. "Arroyo is going to be ready for us in Game Three. He's pitched well against us."
While the pitching matchups in the first two games favored the
, New York battered Schilling for six runs in three innings en route to a 10-7 victory in the series opener. The Yankees also put Martinez on the ropes early in this one, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jeter walked,
was hit by a pitch and
smacked an RBI single to center.
The Yankees put two runners on with one out in the second but Martinez escaped unscathed by getting Jeter to fly out and fanning Rodriguez.
"He threw the ball very well," Boston manager
said. "The first two innings, I thought they made him work extremely hard for everything he got. ... After that, I think he found the strike zone a little bit more, went through the middle innings. ... He was in line for an outstanding outing, but we didn't have anything on the board. If we score five or six, we are in here talking about how well he threw and patting him on the back."
"He did an excellent job and gave us a chance to win the game,"
added. "He made one mistake to Olerud and it resulted in a two-run homer. But he left us in that game and that's all you can ask."
Martinez, who threw 46 pitches through the first two frames, cruised through the next three, allowing just two runners before walking Posada with one out in the sixth. Olerud, who was signed by the Yankees in early August after being released by Seattle, followed with a two-run blast, padding the Yankees' lead to 3-0.
"It was a fastball, but I wanted it away," Martinez said. "The ball cut. I didn't release it well and he took full advantage of it. I just have to give him credit and say it was my mistake."
"That was a huge hit he got for us," Jeter said. "He's been swinging the bat well since he got here."
Lieber, whose first taste of the playoffs came in Game Two of the Division Series against Minnesota when he surrendered three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, had little difficulty against the potent offense of the
. He allowed just a leadoff walk to
in the second and a single by
to open the third before retiring 13 in a row.
"He doesn't throw the ball straight - he runs it in, he runs it away," Jeter said. "He throws a slider, and I think how quickly he works throws people off. ... We couldn't have asked him to perform any better than he did tonight."
"You couldn't say enough about him," Williams added. "Not a lot of people were giving him a lot of credit. He was flawless. He was dominating, had a good slider and kept the ball low. It's no small feat because that lineup can give you a run for your money."
Ortiz ended the run with a one-out single in the seventh and
opened the eighth with a base hit, prompting Torre to lift Lieber, who threw 57 of 82 pitches for strikes.
"The thing that makes this probably more impressive than it appears to be is the fact that he pitched against this same ballclub a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon and shut them down at that time," Torre said. "(He) had a no-hitter going for six or seven innings. And to do that against a club of this caliber after they witnessed you a little bit and had a chance to hit against you, that makes it doubly impressive."
The raucous crowd at Yankee Stadium was impressed, greeting Lieber with a thunderous ovation as he walked to the dugout.
"That's a great feeling," he said. "(The Yankee fans) have been tremendous all year, and they did it again tonight."
After being tagged for two runs and three hits while retiring just two batters in Game One, Gordon came on in the eighth and yielded a double by Varitek, putting runners on second and third. Cabrera followed with a run-scoring groundout, but
was erased on a grounder to second and Rivera came on to hand
his fifth strikeout in eight at-bats in the series to keep Boston's deficit at 3-1.
"I'll take responsibility for this, 0-for-8 with five strikeouts," Damon said. "I'm supposed to be the catalyst on this team and when I'm not doing my job, it makes everything a little tougher for our team. But they've pitched me tough. I won't disagree with that, but I've got to get on base because I'm the guy on this team who gets us going and who can run and cause havoc on the bases. But I haven't been able to do that.
New York threatened to expand its lead in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with two outs before
got Rodriguez to fly out.
Rivera induced a groundout by
to start the ninth, but AL MVP candidate
doubled to deep left-center, bringing the tying run to plate for the second consecutive inning. But Ortiz struck out on three pitches and Millar fanned on five offerings to give Boston the unenviable task of becoming the first team to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the LCS since the St. Louis Cardinals and
Kansas City Royals
both accomplished the feat in 1985.
"We'll regroup tomorrow and go home for three and see if we can get back in this," Francona said. "We really have no other choice but to look forward to the next game. That's what's in our control now."
have fallen behind two games to none three other times in their postseason history, posting a 1-6 record over the remainder of those series.