10/26/09 12:11 AM ET
Yankees Short Hops: Game 6
Behind Pettitte, New York heads back to Fall Classic
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
Andy Pettitte rose to the occasion and the Yankees backed the veteran with three runs in the fourth to punch their World Series ticket.
With a runner on first and the tying run at the plate, reliever Joba Chamberlain retired pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar to secure a scoreless seventh inning.
12: Combined number of walks and hits for the Yankees off Angels starter Joe Saunders. The Bronx Bombers chased Saunders from the game after just 3 1/3 innings. Game balls
Pettitte gave the Yankees exactly what they needed, tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball. The veteran lefty struck out six and walked one en route to his sixth consecutive postseason win and 16th overall in the playoffs.
Damon delivered the critical blow in the Yankees' three-run fourth, connecting for a two-run single into center field.
In a mini-slump under the glaring lights of the postseason, no one was happier to get a hit on Sunday night than Swisher. The outgoing outfielder singled and scored in the fourth inning.
Sense of October
Not willing to risk pitching to red-hot Alex Rodriguez, Saunders walked A-Rod in the third and fourth, the latter of which resulted in the Yankees' third run. Rodriguez reached base five times on Sunday night.
2 AB, 2 H, RBI, 3 BB
Comment: Rodriguez continued to prove why he's the most dangerous hitter in this year's postseason.
2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Comment: Rivera allowed his first run of this year's playoffs, but that didn't stop him from recording his 37th career postseason save.
After clinching their 40th American League pennant, the Yankees will host Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night against the defending champion Phillies.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.