Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Hand Out' Helps Yanks Win Hr in 11th, Tainted Hr in 8th, Help NY Triumph

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

`Hand Out' Helps Yanks Win Hr in 11th, Tainted Hr in 8th, Help NY Triumph

Article excerpt

There was no way anybody could interfere with this home run.

Bernie Williams homered deep into the left-field seats in the 11th inning to give New York a 5-4 victory over Baltimore in the opener of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday.

Along the way, the Yankees got a lot of help from a little fan. Just like some predicted, the crowd managed to turn around Game 1, but it wasn't by throwing anything at Roberto Alomar. A 12-year-old created a game-tying homer by Derek Jeter in the eighth when he reached out and grabbed a fly ball that was about to be caught by right fielder Tony Tarasco. Williams won it with his fourth homer of the postseason. Williams connected on a 1-1 pitch from Randy Myers, who entered the game with two outs in the ninth. While Williams' hit was big, Jeff Maier made just as big a play from the stands as he interfered with a catch and wound up sending the game into extra innings. Baltimore, backed by homers from Brady Anderson and Rafael Palmeiro, l ed 4-3 in the eighth when Jeter hit a one-out fly ball to deep right. Tarasco, who had just entered the game because Bobby Bonilla bruised a shoulder, settled under it with his back against the 9-foot wall. But Maier, stuck his black Mizuno fielder's glove above Tarasco's - below the top of the fence - and pulled the ball away. "I was just trying to catch the ball," Maier said. "I feel bad for the Baltimore fans. But as a Yankee fan, if I helped the team I feel pretty good. I think I had a right to catch it because I thought it was going to go out." Right field umpire Rich Garcia ruled it a home run, and Orioles manager Davey Johnson was ejected by Garcia during the ensuing argument. Baltimore announced it was playing the game under protest, but baseball rules generally don't allow judgment calls to be reversed by the league president. …

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