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  Saturday, Oct. 23 8:05pm ET
Yankees continue October dominance

ATLANTA (AP) -- The New York Yankees play a waiting game, and it almost always turns into a winning game.

It did in Game 1 of the World Series.

Orlando Hernandez
Orlando Hernandez allowed just one hit, a fourth-inning home run to Chipper Jones.

The Yankees suddenly broke loose for four runs in the eighth inning against Greg Maddux and John Rocker and, behind Orlando Hernandez, beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Saturday night.

On a chilly October night when it looked like one mistake might make the difference -- Chipper Jones homered on a bad fastball by Hernandez -- the Yankees once again struck with late lightning.

"It didn't surprise us when we got a little crack," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "We've been a very patient ballclub."

The Braves managed just one hit in seven innings against Hernandez, and only one more against three Yankees relievers. And it appeared as though Maddux, making an emergency start because Tom Glavine got the flu, might make it stand up.

"I thought he was as good tonight as he's ever been," Braves manager Bobby Cox said of Maddux.

And then, look out!

Shut down on three singles for seven innings, the Yankees took advantage of defensive replacement Brian Hunter's two errors at first base to rally for their ninth straight World Series victory.

Every game a hero
Orlando Hernandez
Orlando Hernandez may need to purchase a nickname from Reggie Jackson, because El Duque is one tough customer come October. He allowed just one hit in seven innings -- a fourth-inning home run to Chipper Jones -- while striking out 10. In six career postseason starts, he is now 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA.
Brian Hunter replaced Ryan Klesko at first base in the top of the eighth. With two runners on, Chuck Knoblauch placed a nice bunt past the pitchers' mound. Hunter bobbled the ball, allowing Knoblauch to reach and load the bases with no outs.
Managerial move of the night
Even though the Braves have three left-handers in the bullpen, Joe Torre found a way to get Darryl Strawberry into the game. After Scott Brosius' leadoff single in the eighth against Greg Maddux, Strawberry hit for Hernandez. He drew a walk, setting up the four-run inning.

Key number
19-3. In the past two postseasons, the Yankees have won 19 of 22 games, a remarkable winning percentage of .864, and have outscored their opponents 97 to 56.

Last word
"I feel pretty good, I really do. For the most part, it's feeling better. Right now, I don't feel it's changing anything I do on the field. I'm sick of talking about it, to tell you the truth."
-- Paul O'Neill, playing with a broken rib, singled in two runs off John Rocker past a drawn-in infield to make it 3-1.

Derek Jeter singled home the tying run to finish Maddux. Paul O'Neill, playing with a broken rib, followed with a two-run single off Rocker and pinch-hitter Jim Leyritz walked with the bases loaded and two outs.

"If we're in a close game, and we get an opportunity, we know we can win a game," said Darryl Strawberry, who drew a key walk in the eighth.

"It's just about confidence. We've got a very experienced ballclub and we don't panic and that's a very big key for us," he said.

It looked eerily similar to Game 1 last year, when the Yankees struck for seven runs in the seventh against Kevin Brown and his relievers to stop San Diego, sending New York on its way to a sweep.

But the Yankees have been doing this all along, winning for the 19th time in their last 22 postseason. This year, they've outscored opponents 22-5 from the seventh inning on in the postseason.

The Braves will try to get even Sunday night when Kevin Millwood starts against David Cone.

The Yankees won their sixth straight Series game on the road, including three in a row in Atlanta during the 1996 World Series.

Hernandez was almost untouchable, allowing only Jones' homer in the fourth inning. The MVP of the ALCS struck out 10 in seven innings, fanning the side in the first and third innings, and remained certain the Yankees would win.

"I had enough respect and confidence in my team that we'd eventually come back and win," El Duque said through an interpreter. "I didn't think one run would win this game."

Showing off a dazzling assortment of pitches and deliveries, Hernandez looked nothing like the pitcher the Braves had roughed up for nine runs in 8 1/3 innings of interleague play.

"He continues to just make you shake your head," Torre said.

Hernandez improved to 3-0 in this postseason and 5-0 overall with a 1.02 ERA in six career starts in the postseason.

The other hit by Atlanta was a ninth-inning single by Bret Boone off Mariano Rivera, who earned the save by getting the last four outs.

Rivera escaped a jam when, after Boone singled with one out and Jones walked, he struck out Brian Jordan and got pinch-hitter Greg Myers to foul out.

Maddux fell to 10-10 lifetime in the postseason. The four-time Cy Young winner cruised into the eighth before 1998 World Series MVP Scott Brosius led off with his third straight single, a grounder into left, and Strawberry, batting for Hernandez, drew a walk.

Chuck Knoblauch followed with a bunt past Maddux that Hunter, subbing for Ryan Klekso, fumbled as he tried to throw, loading the bases.

"We got a break on the bunt and that set up the whole inning for us," O'Neill said.

The Yankees had been 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position when Jeter, after taking a close 0-2 pitch, singled home the tying run to finish Maddux.

"We are always very positive on the bench, always thinking we can get runs," Jeter said.

Rocker came on and O'Neill grounded a go-ahead single to right, past a drawn-in Boone. The runners advanced on the play on Hunter's poor throw.

Hernandez had struck out five straight hitters before Jones hit a drive that wrapped around the right-field foul pole with one out in the fourth.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada had set up low and away, but Hernandez left a 90-mph fastball right over the plate and Jones clocked it. As Jones began his home-run trot, Hernandez looked at Posada and pointed at his chest, admitting the bad pitch was his own mistake.


Baseball Scoreboard

NY Yankees Clubhouse

Atlanta Clubhouse

Frozen moment: The fates of the eighth

El Duque's voodoo baffles Braves

Braves must solve right-handed pitching

Maddux replaces flu-stricken Glavine for Game 1

 Derek Jeter describes his eighth-inning hit.
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 Peter Gammons and Harold Reynolds break down Game 1.
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 Yankees postgame news conference
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 Braves postgame news conference
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 Paul O'Neill believes he was fortunate to get the two-run single.
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 Darryl Strawberry says he was patient against Maddux.
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