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BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- The quietest Yankee
provided the crowd with one of its loudest moments as New York edged the Boston Red Sox,
3-2, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven
American League Championship Series. Reliever Ramiro Mendoza worked out of a
bases-loaded jam in a
nail-biting eighth inning, which featured three pitching changes, three pinch hitters and
a pair of pinch runners.
Mariano Rivera worked a scoreless ninth to save the Yankees' 12th straight postseason
victory, tying the major league record they established from 1927-32. Rivera, who
has gone 32 appearances without giving up a run, allowed a pair of two-out singles but
struck out Damon Buford to
end it. The defending World Series champions have fate on their side as
they aim for a 25th title. Twenty-seven of the 30 teams that
have taken 2-0 leads in the Championship Series have reached the World Series.
Boston, which has not won the World Series since 1918, has lost 10 consecutive ALCS games.
Chuck Knoblauch hit a go-ahead RBI double off starter Ramon Martinez (0-1) in the bottom
of the seventh inning and ailing Paul O'Neill snapped the tie with a run-scoring single
Rheal Cormier. David Cone (1-0) outbattled Martinez (0-1) over seven laborious
innings and picked up the win, allowing a two-run homer to Nomar
Garciaparra in the fifth but setting a playoff career high with nine strikeouts.
The Yankees used six pitchers after needing only two in Wednesday night's 4-3, 10-inning
victory. Boston left 13 on base and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Game Three is Saturday at Fenway Park, where prohibitive Cy Young Award favorite
Pedro Martinez faces former Red Sox icon
Roger Clemens in one of the most anticipated postseason matchups ever. - USA Today