PHILADELPHIA – The Bombers finally made their World Series debut Saturday night.
The Yankees' bats, held mostly in check the first two games of the Series, blasted three home runs in their 8-5 victory over the Phillies in Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park.
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Alex Rodriguez, hitless the first two games, hit a critical two-run homer and Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui added solo shots in the Yankees’ eight-hit attack that produced a two-games-to-one Series lead and had the white-towel-waving crowd of 46,061 quiet from the middle innings on.
Andy Pettitte recovered from a 27-pitch second inning in which he put the Yankees in a 3-0 hole to earn the victory, allowing four runs and five hits over six innings.
Pettitte even added his second career World Series hit, an RBI single in the Yankees’ three-run fifth inning that gave him a 5-3 lead.
It was also an impressive night for the bullpen, mostly, with Joba Chamberlain and Damaso Marte each pitching scoreless innings. Phil Hughes got the first out of the ninth but allowed a home run to Carlos Ruiz that cut the Yankees’ lead to 8-5. Taking no chances, manager Joe Girardi called in Mariano Rivera, who needed five pitches to record the final two outs.
The Yankees will send CC Sabathia, on three days’ rest, to the mound tonight trying to take a 3-1 series lead.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes because of rain, with Cole Hamels’ first pitch coming at 9:17, a misty rain still falling.
Hamels, 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three postseason starts, held the Yankees hitless through 3 1/3 innings before Rodriguez altered the game’s momentum with a three-run homer that was originally called a double but, after a video review, changed to a home run, which cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. Rodriguez had been 0-for-8 in the Series until that point.