Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's a Bronx Veer for Yanks NY Hits the Road to Even Series

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's a Bronx Veer for Yanks NY Hits the Road to Even Series

Article excerpt

The New York Yankees, if not at death's doorstep, were being led into a very dark tunnel Wednesday night.

The Atlanta Braves, hungry for a second consecutive World Series title, had them down by six runs in the fourth game of the Series. Then the Yan kees staged a miraculous comeback to pull out an 8-6 victory in 10 innings, evening the Series at two games apiece before the fifth game tonight.

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox gambled in walking the lead run to third base with two out in the 10th inning with an intentional pass to Bernie Williams. But veteran Wade Boggs, pinch-hitting, coaxed a walk from Steve Avery after falling behind in the count 1-2 to send in one run, and new first baseman Ryan Klesko lost Charlie Hayes' looper in the lights to let in another. Jim Leyritz's three-run homer in the eighth off Atlanta closer Mark Wohlers enabled the Yankees to tie the game at 6-6. Then, after both teams missed big chances in the ninth, Avery retired the first two batters in the 10th before walking Tim Raines. Derek Jeter singled and then Cox ordered the switch-hitting Williams walked. "It was the smart thing to do," said Cox. "Why not? He's the best hitter they've got. He's killed them through Texas. He's killed them through Baltimore. He's knocked the living hell out of us." Boggs was ruled to have checked his swing on a 1-2 pitch, and then Avery missed the next two pitches. "Ave didn't blow the game," said Cox. "We blew it, that's all." The Yankees used every player on their roster except three starting pitchers. To their 22 players, the Braves added 19 to the 4 hour 17 minute mix, a World Series record for longest game. Not since the Brooklyn Dodgers erased a six-run Yankees lead in Game 2 of 1956 had a team come from that far behind. New York's 22nd player, John Wetteland, recorded the save, although with a close escape. With a man at first in the 10th, Jermaine Dye hit a drive caught by left fielder Tim Raines near the warning track. Raines then fell onto the warning track as he pulled in Terry Pendleton's liner. Showing little confidence in his middle relievers (read Greg McMichael and Brad Clontz), Cox called on Wohlers to start the eighth. Wohlers had given up just two hits and no runs and struck out 11 while walking none over 7 1/3 postseason innings, but a scratch hit by Hayes started the three-run inning, capped by Leyritz's three-run homer off a hanging slider. After Hayes' tapper rolled dead near third base, Darryl Strawberry hit a legitimate single to left-center. Mariano Duncan sent a possible double-play ball to defensive replacement Rafael Belliard at shortstop. Belliard could get only one out after he fumbled the ball. Then, Leyritz, who had come into the game in the sixth, rocketed a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall. "I had just missed two fastballs," Leyritz said. …

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