The first instant replay call in WorldSeries history did more than turn a double into a home run. Itchanged the whole game for Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez's disputed shot started a big comeback and thosedangerous Yankees bats finally broke loose, backing Andy Pettittein a rain-delayed 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies onSaturday night that gave New York a 2-1 Series lead.
After pitching dominated the first two games in the Bronx, theYankees and defending champion Phillies flexed their muscles,combining for six home runs. Jayson Werth connected twice forPhiladelphia.
Rain affected the Series schedule in Philadelphia for the secondconsecutive year, delaying the start by 1 hour, 20 minutes. Oncethey hit the field in front of their boisterous fans, the Philliestook a 3-0 lead - but it was squandered by a struggling ColeHamels, last year's World Series MVP.
Game 4 is Sunday night. Joe Blanton pitches against Yankees aceCC Sabathia, who goes on three days' rest for the second time thispostseason.
A slumping Nick Swisher and pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui also wentdeep for New York. Johnny Damon hit a tiebreaking, two-run double.
"This was my first time coming to this ballpark. It just seemslike you're going to have a slugfest a lot," Swisher said. "Itwas a great day for us."
Pettitte settled down after a shaky start and even helpedhimself at the plate with a tying single. His six-inning outing wasenough to earn his 17th postseason win, extending his major leaguerecord.
"He closed off our left-handed hitters," Philadelphia managerCharlie Manuel said.
That included Ryan Howard. The big slugger and NL championshipseries MVP is 2 for 13 with nine strikeouts in the Series.
Some fans were dressed in Phillies red - others in full costumefor the second-ever World Series game on Halloween. They whippedaround white rally towels, but the trick was on them - their teamgot whipped when the Yankees rallied.
Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies homered in the ninth off PhilHughes. Mariano Rivera finished up at 12:42 a.m. in a non-savesituation.
With the Yankees down three runs, Mark Teixeira walked in thefourth and Rodriguez hit an opposite-field drive deep into theright-field corner. He cruised into second base with an apparentdouble after the ball ricocheted back onto the field.
Video replays, however, showed the ball struck the lens of atelevision camera positioned just above the fence at the 330-footsign. New York manager Joe Girardi came out to talk withright-field umpire Jeff Nelson as Phillies pitching coach RichDubee visited the mound.
While Rodriguez chatted with Phillies slugger Ryan Howard atsecond base, umpires huddled in the infield. Four of the six wentunder the stands for a look at the replay and emerged about aminute later.
The signal: home run.
"I couldn't see it," A-Rod said. "When we got the call I washappy."
Rodriguez's first hit in nine World Series at-bats was his sixthhomer this postseason, tying Bernie Williams' club record from1996. It also was the 17th postseason homer this year for theYankees, setting a franchise mark.
The call seemed to give the Yankees a boost and help them breakout of their Series slump - the team that led the majors in runs(915) and homers (244) during the regular season scored only fourtimes in the first two games at home.
"It was much more like myself," Rodriguez said. "Tonight Iwas a lot more disciplined, and better results."
New York kept hitting in the fifth and chased Hamels. Benched inGame 2 at home, Swisher opened with a double and slid home with thetying run when Pettitte looped a one-out single to center on afirst-pitch breaking ball.
It was Pettitte's third hit in 18 career postseason at-bats,second in World Series play.
Who needs a designated hitter?
The Fox broadcast caught Derek Jeter saying to plate umpireBrian Gorman: "We're going to have to listen to Pettitte now. He'sbeen bragging about his hitting all year."
Jeter fisted a soft single and Damon cracked a two-run double toright-center for a 5-3 lead. Hamels was lifted after another walkto Teixeira and walked off the mound to a mix of boos and cheers.
The left-hander, who was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseasonlast year, fell to 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four outings this timearound.
Swisher homered off rookie J.A. Happ in the sixth and took along look at his solo shot to left, which made it 6-3.
Werth answered leading off the bottom half with a mammoth driveoff the facing of the second deck in left. After connecting, heslammed his bat to the ground and glared into the Philadelphiadugout as if to urge on his teammates.
It was Werth's seventh home run this postseason, one shy of themajor league record held by Carlos Beltran (2004) and Barry Bonds(2002).
Jorge Posada's RBI single in the seventh gave New York athree-run cushion. Matsui added an opposite-field solo shot to leftin the eighth, his second homer in two games.
Matsui was on the bench because World Series rules don't permita DH in National League parks.
Pettitte fell behind 3-0 in the second. Werth reached down for abreaking ball and hit a leadoff homer to left, setting offfireworks and lighting up the Liberty Bell in right-center.
Pedro Feliz doubled off the right-field wall, Ruiz walked andHamels' bunt single loaded the bases. Jimmy Rollins walked to forcein a run and Shane Victorino added a sacrifice fly.
Pettitte avoided further damage by striking out Chase Utley,then settled in and held Philadelphia in check. That gave theYankees a chance to come back.
The Phillie Phanatic was wearing a rain-slicker and fisherman'shat when he high-fived Mike Schmidt as the Hall of Famer walked tothe mound to throw out the first pitch to Howard.
The grounds crew was still drying puddles on the warning trackas the Phillies took the field.
Last season, Game 5 of the World Series between the Phillies andTampa Bay was suspended for two days because of rain. Once itresumed - in the sixth inning - the Phillies went on to a 4-3victory that clinched the championship.
Last year's Game 3 started at 10:06 p.m. because of rain anddidn't end until 1:47 a.m. It was the latest start in Serieshistory.
NOTES: The Phillies dropped to 11-2 at home the past twopostseasons. ... Nine of the past 10 teams to win Game 3 when theWorld Series was tied 1-all went on to take the title. Theexception was the 2003 Yankees, who lost the next three games toFlorida. ... The previous Yankees pitcher to have an RBI in theWorld Series was Jim Bouton against St. Louis in 1964. ... Theother Phillies to have multihomer World Series games were LennyDykstra, Howard and Utley, who did it Wednesday in Game 1. ...Rodriguez was hit by pitches twice. ... Utley went 0 for 4, endinghis record streak of reaching base in 27 straight postseason games.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times