Ortiz’s Pinch Hit Beats Yankees In Ninth
Benitez Walks Off The Mound After Ortiz's Hit
Benitez Walks Off The Mound After Ortiz's Hit

Posted Jul 27, 2003


Armando Benitez did everything he could to keep a tie game going, but pinch-hitter David Ortiz sent a 1-2 fastball off the Green Monster to drive home Jeremy Giambi and give the Red Sox a victory. The 5-4 win only came after the Sox bullpen squandered a four-run lead, but with it Boston moved to within 2 1/2 games of the Yankees for first place.

Benitez came in to pitch the ninth inning with the game tied at four. After getting Bill Mueller to foul out, Jeremy Giambi singled and stole second base – the first steal of his career – by sliding around Derek Jeter’s tag at the bag. Johnny Damon was intentionally walked to bring up Ortiz, who was pinch hitting for Damian Jackson. That’s when Ortiz ended the game with one swing.

Boston built an early lead by scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning against Mike Mussina. Damon walked to lead it off and scored on Nomar Garciaparra’s homerun. One out later, Kevin Millar singled and scored on Trot Nixon’s RBI double to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.

Manny Ramirez hit a solo homerun around Pesky’s Pole in right field to make it 4-0.

Boston starter John Burkett – who has never beaten the Yankees in his career – shut down the Bombers for 5 2/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out three, but gave way to his bullpen in the sixth.

With runners at second and third and one out in the seventh, Ruben Sierra came up to pinch hit for John Flaherty and hit a two-run single to cut Boston’s lead in half.

The Yankees tied it in the eighth inning against two of Boston’s more recent bullpen additions. Scott Sauerbeck allowed Bernie Williams to reach second base on a throwing error and then served up a two-out double to Nick Johnson to make the lead 3-0.

Byung Hyun Kim, the loser of Thursday night’s game, came in to relieve Sauerbeck and face pinch hitter Karim Garcia. Garcia singled to score Johnson and the game was tied. It was just Kim’s first blown save for Boston and it meant Burkett would have to wait to get his first win against the Yanks.

After Ortiz won it, he turned Kim (4-3) into a winner. Kim allowed two hits over 1 1/3 innings while striking out one.

Benitez (0-1) took the loss, his first as a Yankee, by allowing a run on two hits and a walk in just 2/3 of an inning. He also struck out one.

Mussina didn’t look sharp against Boston, particularly in the early innings. He lasted 7 2/3 and allowed four runs on seven hits and an uncharacteristic four walks. He also struck out six batters but didn’t figure in the decision.

The rubber match of the three-game series will be on Sunday at 8:05 pm. Derek Lowe (11-4, 4.85) will take the mound for Boston trying to bring in a series victory for the home team. Jeff Weaver (5-8, 5.40) will get the start for the Yankees.

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