Down three games to none, and down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, the Sox
tonight rallied to tie the game against indomitable Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. They won it in
the 12th inning at 1:22 in the morning when Ortiz hit a Paul Quantrill 2-and-1 pitch into the Yankee bullpen to give the Red Sox a 6-4 Game 4 victory at Fenway Park. The game lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes, and many of those who stayed for the finish lingered even longer into the morning.
For the fourth consecutive game,
the Yankees jumped to an early lead, this time on a monstrous,
two-run homer by Alex Rodriguez. Derek Lowe managed to blank
New York for the first two innings (which hadn’t happened in the
first three games), but when third baseman Bill Mueller couldn’t
handle an explosive, two-out, one-hopper by Derek Jeter, A-Rod
crushed a fastball and sent it over the Volvo sign onto Lansdowne
Street to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Sox were having trouble solving Cuban righty Orlando Hernandez. El Duque smothered the Sox on one hit over the first four innings. The Sox helped him out, swinging early in the count and getting themselves out. Hernandez needed only eight pitches to retire the middle of the Sox
lineup in order in the fourth. Boston was running out of innings.
DAVID ORTIZ'S WALK-OFF HOMER
The Sox rallied for three runs off El Duque in the fifth, taking a 3-2 lead on a two-run single by Ortiz. Just as they did Saturday, the Sox coughed up the lead immediately. The amazing Hideki Matsui got things going with a one-out triple to center in the sixth. It was his eighth extra-base
hit of the series and it brought Francona out of the dugout to pull Lowe from the game. Mike Timlin came in and the Yankees tied the game on a groundball single by Bernie Williams. After a wild pitch and
another single, Tony Clark reached when Mark Bellhorn made a nice diving play, but could not pick up Clark’s hard grounder. The Yankees had two runs and a 4-3.
The sand was running out on another Red Sox season when they staged a dramatic, game-tying rally against Rivera in the ninth. Millar led with a walk. Dave Roberts pinch ran and stole second on the first pitch to Mueller. Mueller then shot a single up the middle, scoring Roberts and tying the
game, 4-4. The Sox put runners on first and third with one out, but could not push the winning run across.
For all of Ortiz's clutch hits this season, none were quite as dramatic as tonight's towering shot, which came shortly before 1:30 in the morning. As the ball took flight, Ortiz immediately began celebrating, and was mobbed by his teammates at home plate, briefly savoring a win that will go
down as the longest American League Championship Series game in history.