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Heated Game 3 goes to Yankees
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10/11/2003  7:55 PM ET 
Heated Game 3 goes to Yankees
Rocket, Rivera put marks on win after benches empty
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com

Derek Jeter tied the game in the third inning with a home run over the Green Monster. (Charles Krupa/AP)
  • Game 3 wrapup: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3

    BOSTON -- Saturday's Game 3 clash in the American League Championship Series was billed as a heavyweight bout: Roger Clemens vs. Pedro Martinez. Yankees vs. Red Sox.

    The game actually exceeded the hype, as New York prevailed, 4-3, at Fenway Park during an evening that included a benches-clearing incident.

    The Yankees claimed a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven ALCS, with Game 4 scheduled for Sunday night.

    "We didn't come here to fight, we came here to win baseball games," said Karim Garcia, who was smack in the middle of the bizarre events. "That's our main goal, and that's what we did."

    The Yankees hit Martinez for four runs in the first four innings, getting to the three-time Cy Young Award winner early. The 41-year-old Clemens, making his final start in Boston, countered with six solid innings as the Yanks took control of the series.

        Derek Jeter   /   SS
    Derek Jeter
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 195
    Bats/Throws: R/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Hit chart
    Yankees site

    "Rocket was outstanding. He did everything we asked him to," said Derek Jeter. "It's always emotional when we play here. It's more so in the postseason, because the loser goes home.

    Boston plated two runs on three hits in the first inning against Clemens, who looked shaky to start the game. With the 34,209 at Fenway chanting "Roger! Roger!" at their former ace, Manny Ramirez's two-run single got the Sox out to a 2-0 lead.

    The Yankees struck back with a run in the second on an RBI single by Garcia, and Derek Jeter evened the score in the third, belting the first pitch from Martinez over the Green Monster and on to Lansdowne Street.

    Martinez appeared to lose control in the fourth, walking Posada to start the inning. Nick Johnson followed with a single off the Monster, and Hideki Matsui lined a ground-rule double to right field, scoring Posada.

      TENSIONS BUILD AT FENWAY
    As if this game needed any more emotion. Things got heated between Pedro Martinez and Karim Garcia over a hit-by-pitch in the top of the fourth, then the benches cleared after Manny Ramirez reacted angrily to a head-high pitch from Roger Clemens.  56K | 300K
     •  Sox, Yanks mix it up at Fenway
     •  Tensions flare as Yanks edge Sox
     •  Heated Game 3 goes to Yankees
     •  Schlegel: Black mark outside lines
     •  Sox-Yanks will respond with class
     •  Contrarians: Who started flap?
     •  Zimmer takes one for the team
     •  Garcia's Game 3 adventure
     •  Martinez shaky in tense fourth
     •  High-octane Rocket fuels win
     •  Umpires had hands full at Fenway
     •  Ninth-inning bullpen scuffle erupts

    That's when things got wild.

    Martinez hit Garcia with his first pitch, grazing him in the back after Garcia ducked out of the way. Home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez warned both benches, causing a stir in the ballpark.

    "He threw a pitch at my head," Garcia said. "I wouldn't have had a problem if he threw at my shoulder, back or legs. But throwing at my head? I didn't appreciate that. When you do that, you threaten someone's career."

    With the bases loaded, Alfonso Soriano hit into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Johnson from third to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead.

    Garcia, who was forced out at second on the double play, slid hard into second baseman Todd Walker, who turned the DP anyway. Words were exchanged between the two players, arousing the attention of everyone in both dugouts. The tone of the game had clearly been established.

    "I was very upset with them throwing at my head, so I was going to take somebody down," Garcia said. "Unfortunately, it was him. I have nothing against him. I let my emotions take over. If it wasn't him, it was going to be someone else."

    "The intent is what I was upset about," Walker said. "If I was in his shoes, I would have done the same thing. As a hitter, nobody wants a pitch like that thrown at him."

    Ramirez led off the bottom of the inning, falling behind Clemens, 1-2. Clemens' next pitch was high and over the plate, but Ramirez backed off as if it were headed directly at him. Ramirez took a step toward the mound, yelling at Clemens, who yelled back. Both benches cleared as David Ortiz struggled to restrain Ramirez near the first-base line.

    "I was trying to strike him out inside. The pitch was actually over the plate I think," Clemens said. "I was OK with it until I looked up and he was coming towards me, mouthing me. Anybody is going to react when that happens. But other than that, I'd really not like to talk about that."

        Jorge Posada   /   C
    Height: 6'2"
    Weight: 200
    Bats/Throws: S/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Hit chart
    Yankees site

    "I don't think that pitch was even close," said Jorge Posada. "A 1-2 pitch, we tried to come in, because Manny is so dangerous with pitches away. That pitch wasn't even close to him, but Manny overreacted."

    Away from the action, Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer ran aggressively toward Martinez, who grabbed the 72-year-old by his head and threw him to the ground in front of Boston's dugout. Zimmer was attended to, heading back to the bench with a cut on his nose. No players or coaches were ejected after the 13-minute delay.

    "I've got nothing to say. Nothing," Zimmer said. "We won."

    Clemens took the energy of the game and used it to his advantage. The Rocket retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth, while Martinez did the same in the fifth and sixth.

    "He beared down, focused and got better," Posada said. "He really got stronger and did everything possible against them. He gave us the chance to win the game."

    Boston threatened in the sixth, as Johnny Damon's single and Walker's base on balls put two men on with no outs. Clemens responded by striking out Nomar Garciaparra and getting Ramirez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, maintaining the two-run lead. It would be the last inning for Clemens, who allowed two runs on five hits and a walk, striking out seven in six innings.

    "I thought it was a courageous sixth inning," Torre said. "He had to go through that lineup with a couple of men on base. It was incredible. I just took him out of the game. Pitch count didn't get him, but I think the emotion of the whole thing really, really drained him."

       Roger Clemens   /   P
    Height: 6'4"
    Weight: 238
    Bats/Throws: R/R

    More info:
    Player page
    Stats
    Splits
    Astros site

    "As far as emotions and draining, it's playoffs after a long year," Clemens said. "I'm 41 years old and I was trying to empty the tank from the fifth inning on. That's as simple as it gets."

    Martinez breezed through the seventh, again sitting the Yankees down 1-2-3. Martinez left the game after that, having retired 11 consecutive Yankees hitters. He was charged with four runs on six hits and a walk, striking out six.

    "Winning the first game up here is enormous, especially when you beat Pedro," Torre said. "I thought we were aggressive against him. "

    The Red Sox chipped away at the lead in the seventh, taking advantage of a leadoff walk issued to Ortiz by Felix Heredia. Jose Contreras relieved Heredia and quickly gave up a single to Kevin Millar that put runners at the corners with no outs. Trot Nixon grounded into a double play, scoring Ortiz to make it 4-3, but Contreras shut it down from there, protecting the lead.

    Torre then turned to his trusted closer to go for the two-inning save. Mariano Rivera retired the Sox in order on eight pitches in the eighth and closed out the game with a scoreless ninth, notching his third save of the postseason and 28th of his playoff career. All three of his saves this October have been two-inning saves, giving him a big-league record nine.

    "I felt it was necessary, especially with the emotion of the game," Torre said. "You never know from one game to the next if a closer is going to come into play, so when you get an opportunity in a short series like this to win a ballgame, you try to seize that moment. I never want to do it, but the game itself dictated that I had nowhere else to go. Nowhere else to go, in my mind."

    The win leaves the Yankees two games from their sixth World Series appearance in eight years, with David Wells looking to improve on his 9-2 career postseason record on Sunday. Boston counters with John Burkett.

    "I hope it's over," Jason Giambi said of the events. "This doesn't need to escalate any more than it has. It's over and done with, everyone contained themselves. This shouldn't turn into a war. It's a baseball game."

    "Great theater, whatever you want to call it," Clemens said. "I think everybody got their money's worth."

    Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.




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