Pettitte Pitches Yanks To Win

The Yankees needed someone to come through after their poor play in game one and Andy Pettitte answered the call. Pettitte dominated the Minnesota Twins in game two of the ALDS, propelling the Yankees to a 4-1 victory and giving his team some momentum going into the Metrodome.

Pettitte appeared as though he might have some breathing room when the Yanks came to bat in the first inning. Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi started the inning with consecutive singles to load the bases with nobody out. Bernie Williams stepped up and hit a fly ball deep enough to centerfield to score Soriano and give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

With one out Jeter stole third base as Jorge Posada struck out swinging, and Brad Radke got Hideki Matsui to strike out and end the threat.

Pettitte, with an uncomfortable 1-0 lead, went to work on the Twins. The 21-game winner managed to hold that lead until the fifth inning, when the Torii Hunter finally got his team on the board with a solo homerun to centerfield that tied the game.

The Yankees squandered several chances early in the game to score more runs, just as they did in game one. In the fourth, Posada ripped a one-out double but the Yankees couldn't bring him home. Then, with two outs and two on in the fifth inning, Giambi struck out swinging to end the inning harmlessly.

New York finally broke through in the seventh inning against Minnesota's bullpen. Radke started the inning by hitting Nick Johnson with a pitch and he was forced out of the game after Juan Rivera laid down a sacrifice bunt.

LaTroy Hawkins relieved Radke to try and clamp down on the Yanks after throwing two dominant innings in the first game. Hawkins wouldn't be nearly as effective in this game however. Soriano, who was 3/4 in the game, grounded a single to left field that scored Johnson and gave the Yanks the lead.

Derek Jeter then bounced a nubber to the pitcher's mound. Hawkins fielded cleanly but threw the ball over first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz' reach and into the stands to put runners at second and third still with just one out. Giambi then singled up the middle to score both Soriano and Jeter and give the Yanks a 4-1 lead.

Mariano Rivera pitched the final two innings of the game perfectly to nail down the save. It was his 26th career postseason save, extending his lead on the all-time list.

Pettitte (1-0) lasted seven innings and allowed just the one run on four hits and three walks. He struck out 10 batters en route to his 11th career postseason victory.

Radke (0-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four batters. J.C. Romero and Juan Rincon pitched the final 1 2/3 innings.

The Yankees' win tied the ALDS at one game apiece as the two teams head to Minnesota for games three and four. Game three will be at 1:00 pm on Saturday. Roger Clemens will take the mound for the Yankees against the Twins' Kyle Lohse.

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