Drama Kings

The Red Sox and Yankees just can't seem to play a simple game of baseball. On the night with perhaps the most emotionally important pitching matchup, both benches cleared and Pedro Martinez knocked Don Zimmer down during the melee. The important thing though is that the Yankees defeated Boston and Pedro by a final score of 4-3, taking a two games to one lead in the ALCS.

The conflict started in the top of the fourth inning when Martinez threw a pitch that hit Karim Garcia in the back of the shoulder, nearly missing his head, and causing Garcia to glare at the Boston ace for a minute. The umpires warned both benches and Martinez and Garcia both exchanged some choice words before Garcia went to first to load the bases.

The altercation occurred right after Hideki Matsui broke a 2-2 with a ground-rule double to right field. By hitting Garcia, Pedro loaded the bases for Alfonso Soriano with nobody out. Soriano grounded into a double play to score the runner from third, but Pedro escaped the inning without other trouble.

On the double play however, Garcia slid hard into second baseman Todd Walker and had words with him as well, adding fuel to an already combustible situation.

In the next inning, Roger Clemens threw a pitch high and just a little inside to Manny Ramirez. Ramirez, perhaps overreacting, started advancing toward the mound causing both benches to empty onto the field. It was then that Don Zimmer ran toward Martinez, and Pedro flung him to the ground. The players stopped their arguing to make sure Zimmer was okay, and play resumed after 13 minutes without a single ejection.

Things settled down from there as Clemens struck out Ramirez swinging and got the last two outs of the inning harmlessly.

Boston opened the scoring in the first inning on a two-RBI single off the bat of Ramirez that scored Johnny Damon and Walker. Damon was making his first appearance in the ALCS after being involved in a nasty collision with Damian Jackson during the ALDS against Oakland.

Garcia cut Boston's lead in half with a run-scoring single in the second inning that scored Jorge Posada, who had doubled to lead off the inning.

In the third, Derek Jeter launched a missile over the Green Monster to tie the game at two.

Boston cut the lead to 4-3 in the seventh against the Yankee bullpen. Felix Heredia walked the only batter he faced in David Ortiz before giving way to Jose Contreras. The big Cuban with the nasty splitter served up a single to Kevin Millar to put runners on the corners with no outs.

Trot Nixon then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but Ortiz scored the run from third. After a walk to Bill Mueller, Jason Varitek fouled out to third base to end the inning.

The game continued without incident from either team's pitchers or batters, but in the ninth inning a Fenway Park groundskeeper leapt into the Yankee bullpen and started a fight. Jeff Nelson and Garcia got involved before police could restrain the rowdy man, but Garcia left the game with a cut on his hand.

Mariano Rivera pitched the final two innings of the game – the third time he's done that in this postseason – perfectly. Rivera has now allowed just one baserunner in seven innings of work all while recording three saves.

Clemens (2-0) worked six strong innings and allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven batters in what was definitely his final appearance at Fenway Park.

Martinez (1-1) gave up the most runs he has ever allowed in a postseason game, but still looked strong. He was touched for four runs on six hits and a walk in seven innings while fanning six Yankees.

Game four of the ALCS will be on Sunday night at 7:35 PM. David Wells (1-0, 1.17) will get the ball for the Yankees to face Boston's John Burkett (0-0, 6.75). Burkett is 0-6 with an 8.49 ERA in his career against the Yankees. Wells is 14-20 with a 4.96 ERA against the Red Sox for his career.

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