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10/30/09 3:57 PM EST

Game 2 delivers big in ratings

Pedro-Burnett tilt draws 18.9 million viewers on FOX

A.J. Burnett dominated. Pedro Martinez dazzled. And the public took notice.

Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night attracted huge ratings on FOX.

In all, 18.9 million viewers watched the Yankees edge the Phillies, 3-1, at Yankee Stadium to even the World Series at a game apiece.

FOX's overall numbers marked a 48 percent increase over the 2008 Game 2 between the Phillies and Rays.

The 11.7 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, is a 44 percent gain over a year ago, when Game 2 drew an 8.1 rating. It's the biggest year-to-year gain for any World Series game since Game 4 in 1990 between the Reds and A's.

Making his first career World Series start, Burnett limited the Phillies to one run on four hits. Mixing up his 95-mph fastball with a lively breaking ball, the hard-throwing right-hander struck out nine in seven innings.

Burnett stole the show from Martinez, who pitched to the backdrop of fans chanting, "Who's your daddy?"

The TV numbers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET made the game the most-watched Thursday night broadcast on any network since the BCS Championship Game in January. The game earned a 5.7 in prime time among adults 18-49, FOX's best Thursday night in more than seven months.

2009 World Series
Gm. 1 PHI 6, NYY 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 3, PHI 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 NYY 8, PHI 5 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NYY 7, PHI 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 PHI 8, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 7, PHI 3 Wrap Video

Martinez also was effective, but came out on the losing end, giving up three runs while striking out eight in six-plus innings.

Thursday was the most-watched World Series Game 2 since the 2004 World Series between the Red Sox and Cardinals.

Predictably, interest was high in Philadelphia, where 42 percent of households in the market were watching. It was a 38 percent increase over last year's Game 2.

In New York, it was the highest-rated Game 2 since the 2000 Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees.

Martinez's appeal also remains high in New England. The ratings in Boston were 15 percent higher than Game 1. In Providence, R.I., the numbers increased by 24 percent over the World Series opener the night before.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.