Game 5 wrapup: Marlins 6, Yankees 4
MIAMI -- The Yankees caught a bad break Thursday, losing starting pitcher David Wells to a
back injury after one inning. New York's bullpen was unable to hold down the Marlins, who
moved within one game of a second World Series championship with a 6-4 win in Game 5 at
Pro Player Stadium.
Florida hit Jose Contreras for four runs in three innings, taking control of the game in the
second inning. New York's bullpen allowed six runs from the second through the fifth, and
Brad Penny took care of the rest for the Marlins, holding the Yankees to one earned run over
New York, down four entering the ninth, staged a last-gasp rally, plating two and bringing
up the tying run with one out, but Bernie Williams flew out to the warning track in
right-center and Hideki Matsui's hard grounder was fielded by first baseman Derrek Lee for
the final out.
"We're obviously a very confident club," said manager Joe Torre. "I think when you lose your
starting pitcher like we did tonight, and then make an error and cause a couple more runs and
fall behind by five, you have two good clubs playing here and you don't quit. I was proud of
the way my ballclub just kept it together and kept coming back."
The Marlins lead the best-of-seven series, 3-2, as the teams head back to the Bronx for Game 6
"No one cares right now how we got where we are," Derek Jeter said. "This is the situation and
that's all there is to it."
The Yankees lineup had a different look to it, as Torre benched the struggling
Alfonso Soriano and scratched Jason Giambi less than an hour before the game due to his
ailing left knee.
New York struck first, thanks to a misplay by Lee on a bunt attempt by Enrique Wilson.
After Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, Wilson tried to bunt him over, but Lee's toss
to first got by Luis Castillo, advancing Jeter to third. Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to right,
scoring Jeter to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Wells, who had some back spasms while warming up in the bullpen, came out to start the
game, retiring the side in the first inning on three ground balls.
"You want to try to go out there and give your team quality innings, but I'm not going to risk
my health," said Wells, who underwent back surgery in the summer of 2001. "I tried doing it,
and if I'd had gone back out there, I'd have fallen right to the ground."
That was all anyone would see of Wells. David Dellucci pinch-hit for him, as Contreras, who
tossed two scoreless innings in Game 4, came out of the bullpen to begin the bottom of the
"After he came out of the first inning, he couldn't go back out," Torre said of Wells. "You could see just
by his body language in the first inning he was having a tough time just bending over and
trying to throw his pitches."
"I didn't expect this," Wells said. "I was looking forward to this start, it could possibly have
been my last World Series start, and I wanted to go out with a good outing. That didn't
happen, so right now, I'm looking to get healthy, be able to walk in 10 years."
Contreras retired the first two batters before the Marlins mounted a two-out rally. It began
with walks to Mike Lowell and Lee. Alex Gonzalez, the hero of Game 4, drilled a ground-rule
double to right-center, scoring Lowell to tie the game. Penny followed with a single on the first
pitch, poking a 98 mph fastball through the hole at second, scoring Lee and Castillo to put the
Marlins ahead, 3-1.
"He couldn't get the ball down because he was muscling it," Torre said. "He looked like he was
getting anxious trying to throw the ball. When he tried to throw the fastball too hard instead
of staying within rhythm, he couldn't get the ball down."
Contreras got through the third, but the Marlins struck him for another run in the fourth on
Juan Pierre's RBI double. Contreras was pulled after the fourth, having allowed four runs on
five hits and three walks in three innings.
Catcher Jorge Posada thought Contreras was tired, but the pitcher disputed that theory.
"I felt strong. It was just that the pitches stayed up," said Contreras through his interpreter. "I
didn't throw a lot of pitches in the bullpen, but once they let me warm up on the mound, I felt
good. My fastball was good. I just couldn't get it down in the strike zone."
Chris Hammond relieved Contreras, but that didn't stop the Marlins, who took advantage of a
throwing error by Wilson on a rundown between second and third, scoring a pair of unearned
runs on a two-run single by Lowell.
"Relievers never want to see the starter go down, especially Boomer, because he's a big-game
pitcher," Hammond said. "We needed him tonight; it just didn't work out. It's a big test after
an extra-inning game like last night."
Penny had little trouble making the lead stand up, holding the Yankees off the scoreboard
from the second through the sixth, scattering four hits in the process.
"Penny did a good job establishing his fastball early in the count, and he just worked from
there," Posada said. "He was good. They're all good. They have some good, young arms."
The Yankees threatened in the seventh, and Jeter's RBI single made it a 6-2 game. But Penny
retired the red-hot Williams with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Dontrelle Willis started the eighth for Florida, giving up a two-out single to Johnson. Torre sent
Soriano to the plate to pinch-hit for Garcia, but Soriano struck out. Having already used
Dellucci, Ruben Sierra and Juan Rivera as pinch-hitters, Torre had to leave Soriano in the
game in right field, the first outfield appearance of his career.
"I knew I was going out there, because nobody else on the bench could play right field,"
Soriano said. "I didn't feel comfortable out there, but in a situation like that, I had to do it."
Braden Looper gave up the two Yankees runs in the ninth, the first on a pinch-hit, solo home
run by Giambi. Jeter and Wilson followed with a single and double to right, cutting the gap to
"We all knew I could hit," Giambi said of being out of the lineup. "That wasn't the problem. I
just didn't want to hurt us defensively."
Ugueth Urbina, who blew the save in Game 4, retired Williams and Matsui to officially put
the Yankees on the brink.
Andy Pettitte will try to extend the series to a seventh game, taking the mound in Game 6 at
Yankee Stadium. Florida has not officially announced a starter, with both Josh Beckett and
Mark Redman in the mix.
"We'll try to get Andy in a good groove," Posada said. "We have to get him some runs, try to
win that one and get it to Game 7."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for
MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its