Game 5 wrapup: Yankees 4, Red Sox 2
BOSTON -- David Wells has made a habit of coming up with big games when the Yankees
need them the most. The left-hander did it again Tuesday, leading New York to a 4-2 victory
over the Red Sox in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park.
Wells, whose admiration for Babe Ruth has been well documented, allowed one run over
seven innings, forcing Red Sox fans to wonder whether the "Curse of the Bambino" truly does
"I believe in it. That's just one man's opinion," Wells said of the curse. "I just try to follow suit
and try to keep that theory alive. Tonight I got great help, great defense, for that to continue."
Karim Garcia, a late addition to the starting lineup, provided the big hit for the Yankees,
smacking a two-run, bases-loaded single against Derek Lowe, part of a three-run second
Mariano Rivera gave up an eighth-inning run before slamming the door on the Sox, notching
his fourth two-inning save of the postseason.
The Yankees lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2, leaving them one win away from the 39th
World Series appearance in franchise history. The series moves to the Bronx on Wednesday
for Game 6.
"We have an opportunity to win the series, so we have to come out ready," said Derek Jeter.
"Boston will be ready. This isn't their first elimination game (coming up) -- they played three
of them against Oakland. We know this series isn't over."
Lowe, who was 11-2 at Fenway Park in the regular season, found himself in trouble in the
second as the Yankees mounted a two-out rally against the right-hander. After a one-out walk
to Jorge Posada, Lowe got Hideki Matsui to ground out to third, advancing Posada to second.
Up next was Nick Johnson, who got the count to 3-0 before ball four was thrown intentionally.
Aaron Boone followed with an infield single to third, loading the bases.
That brought up Garcia, who was inserted into the lineup less than an hour before game time,
replacing David Dellucci. Garcia, who missed Game 4 with a cut on his left hand, laced a
single up the middle, scoring Posada and Johnson to give New York a 2-0 lead. Alfonso
Soriano followed with a single to right, plating Boone to put the Yankees ahead by three.
"I was very happy, getting the base hit up the middle and getting a couple runs in," said
Garcia, who was 1-for-10 against Lowe coming in. "I had faced Lowe before and he's a pretty
tough pitcher. Getting a hit to put the team ahead, I think that was great for me.
"That was a huge hit, because two-out hits are hard to come by in the postseason," Jeter said.
"He did a great job blocking out all of the off-the-field stuff and helped us win this game
Wells, pitching on eight days rest, eased through the first two innings before finding himself in
a third-inning jam. He hit Trot Nixon to start the frame and gave up a single to Jason Varitek,
but Wells then got Johnny Damon to ground out, Todd Walker to fly out and Nomar
Garciaparra to strike out.
"Nomar, he's a great hitter," Wells said. "We've had great battles over the years. You can't
take him for granted because he can come out of a slump at any time."
Manny Ramirez drilled Wells' first pitch of the fourth inning over the Green Monster to get
the Red Sox on the board. Boomer got through the frame without further damage, but the
left-hander found himself staring at Ramirez in a two-out, bases-loaded situation in the fifth.
Wells got Ramirez to roll on a curveball, getting a grounder to third, and escaped the threat
with his 3-1 lead.
"Any jam you get out of is big, because they had opportunities to score," Wells said. "To get
out of that, it's just huge."
"You knew he had good stuff and could throw a strike any time he wants," said manager Joe
Torre. "He got some huge outs. Getting Manny with the bases loaded, that was unbelievable."
Wells came out for the seventh and quickly fell behind Trot Nixon, 3-0, before coming back
with three straight strikes. Wells then watched Jeter make the next two outs -- one on a
spectacular diving play on a Varitek grounder, the other a much easier catch of Johnny
Damon's popup that closed the books on Wells' day.
"He hit it hard," said Jeter of Varitek's ball. "After I caught it, I just tried to get rid of it quick. If
guys are going to pitch like our pitchers have been, we have to play defense behind them."
Wells was charged with one run on four hits and two walks, striking out five. He improved to
2-0 in the postseason, lifting his career playoff mark to 10-2.
"I live for this time," Wells said. "I live for being the guy to go out there and be the one on the
mound, try to make things happen, try to shut the other team down, because I'm not afraid to
Lowe pitched well after the three-run second inning, working out of jams in the fourth and
fifth. He pitched into the eighth, but a walk, fielder's choice and single put runners at the
corners with one out, prompting Boston manager Grady Little to call on Alan Embree from
Embree's first batter, Matsui, hit a ball off the left-hander's leg, scoring Bernie Williams from
third on the 1-5-3 groundout.
"That run was huge," Rivera said. "Scoring early, scoring late -- it's all important. You never
know what can happen, so you want to keep scoring."
Rivera, who had retired 21 of 22 batters in the postseason coming into the game, gave up a
triple to Todd Walker to start the eighth. Garciaparra brought the run home with a
groundout, closing the lead to 4-2. It was the first run allowed by Rivera since Aug. 20, a span
of 20 appearances. David Ortiz added a two-out single, but Millar grounded out to move the
game to the ninth.
"I knew we were bringing him in for two, but the eighth is where he has to fight through the
two-, three-, four- and five-guys in the batting order," Torre said. "So in essence, the first
inning is probably the save inning, with whom he has to face. He's been down this road before
and, to me, he's the best."
Rivera retired the first two batters in the ninth on groundouts and got Varitek to pop up to
short left field. Jeter ran out from shortstop and made a back-to-the-infield catch to end the
Andy Pettitte takes the mound on Wednesday with a goal of closing out the series and
sending the Yankees to their sixth World Series in eight years. Boston counters with John
Burkett, who has not pitched in the ALCS.
"I'm happy that we came out of here on top after winning two out of three," Posada said.
"Now we need a good game from Andy tomorrow to close it out."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for
MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its