NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Giambi stood at first base and soaked it
all in. One swing turned all those fickle fans in his favor and got
Yankee Stadium rocking again.
"I guess I went from zero to hero real quick," Giambi said.
"That's the great thing about this game.''
After a sloppy loss during the day in Game 1, the Yankees
finally put their fans in a frenzy with a three-run seventh inning
that snapped a 1-all tie. Alfonso Soriano hit a go-ahead single off
LaTroy Hawkins, and this time it was the Twins who made defensive
errors that opened the door.
"Something about a night game here at Yankee Stadium, almost
like it just comes alive out there," Pettitte said. "I don't get
too emotional, usually don't show too much emotion, but I was
pretty emotional out there tonight. ... It was a fun game."
Yankees manager Joe Torre took no chances, bringing in Mariano
Rivera to pitch the final two innings for a save.
"When you take Andy Pettitte out with the kind of courage he
showed tonight, it would have been tough to replace him with
anybody but Rivera. ... I don't think I can trust anybody more than
I trust Andy," Torre said.
The victory came on the 25th anniversary of one of the Yankees'
most famous wins -- the day Bucky Dent homered at Fenway Park to
help beat Boston in a one-game playoff for the AL East title.
This win gave the Yankees the momentum heading into Game 3, but
Minnesota has its home-field magic -- the Twins are 13-3 all-time in
postseason games at the noisy Metrodome.
"We carried that game deep," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "You don't leave with a good feeling. We won a ballgame
here, but sure, we had a good chance again to win here tonight."
"Do anything to get on toward the end of the game," Radke
said. "Tip your hat to him, took one for the team."
Juan Rivera's sacrifice moved Johnson up, and Hawkins, the
winner in Game 1, entered to face Soriano. He singled sharply to
left for a 2-1 lead -- Soriano's throwing error was one of several
defensive miscues by New York on Tuesday.
"I kind of rushed it a little bit. I had more time than I
thought I did," Hawkins said. "If he was two inches taller, he
would have caught that."
Up came Giambi, who fanned against Hawkins in Game 1 and was
booed loudly throughout the first two games.
But he changed that in a New York minute, grounding a hard
single up the middle through a drawn-in infield for a 4-1 lead.
"When they're booing, they're booing because they want to
cheer," Jeter said. "That was a huge hit for him."
Gardenhire said after the game he thought the long break in the
middle of the seventh for the singing of "God Bless America''
might have affected Radke.
A well-rested Rivera came out of the bullpen for his first
two-inning postseason save since Game 3 of the 2001 World Series
The October chill of a 52-degree night -- Soriano went out for
batting practice wearing a ski cap -- helped give the game a
postseason feel that was missing Tuesday.
Game 1 started at 1 p.m. ET because Fox Sports wanted the
Cubs-Braves game in prime time. When New York struggled to score,
an unusually quiet Yankee Stadium crowd began booing Bernie
Williams, Giambi and the rest of the home team.
It was a far different setting Thursday night.
"You can't even compare it. Tonight the atmosphere was
unbelievable," Jeter said.
The crowd was buzzing by the time Pettitte whiffed two in the
first, and two-strike singles by Soriano, Jeter and Giambi brought
fans to their feet moments later. Williams' bases-loaded sacrifice
fly made it 1-0.
Pettitte used a tight slider to set a postseason career high
with 10 strikeouts. He allowed four hits in seven innings,
improving to 11-7 in 26 postseason starts.
"We sent the right guy to the mound, no doubt about it,"
Radke was on his game, too, minimizing the first-inning damage
and retiring 10 in a row before Jorge Posada's double in the
fourth. The Yankees got several singles by fighting off tough
pitches, but Radke remained cool and kept them in check with a
He fanned Giambi with two to end the fifth, bringing more loud
boos from the crowd of 56,479.
Torii Hunter led off the fifth with his first career postseason
homer. He also circled the bases Tuesday when Williams misplayed
his liner to center and Soriano threw away the relay to third.
Knocked out by Anaheim in the first round last year, the Yankees
are determined to avoid another postseason failure. Torre held a
meeting before Wednesday's workout and told players to relax.
So far, it's worked.
David Wells will start Game 4, Torre said. ... Pettitte set
a club record for postseason wins, surpassing Whitey Ford. But all
of Ford's victories came in the World Series. ... Pettitte tied
Greg Maddux for third on the career list for postseason wins behind
John Smoltz (13) and Tom Glavine (12). ... Jeter said he was fine
after banging his left shoulder -- the same one he dislocated on
opening day -- into Mientkiewicz.