BOSTON (AP) -- There's a little fight left in the Boston Red Sox,
Bill Mueller hit a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera to cap a
three-run ninth inning and lead the Red Sox to an 11-10 victory
over the New York Yankees on Saturday. The shot brought the Red Sox
pouring out of their dugout for the second time -- the first was
during a bench-clearing brawl when the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez was
hit by a pitch in the third.
"It just shows you how much both teams were hyped up," said
Rodriguez, among four players ejected and forced to watch from
their clubhouses. "Once you're in the moment competing against a
team you really don't like ... you can't really control your
The game, which started after a 54-minute delay, almost was
postponed. The grounds crew wanted to call it off but Boston
players argued for it to go on despite wet grounds -- some Yankees,
told the game wouldn't be played, had already showered.
"The Red Sox wanted to play today," Millar said.
And it turned into another Red Sox-Yankees thriller.
"I'm very, very proud of what our players did today," Boston
general manager Theo Epstein said. "We've been waiting to have
this feeling all year."
With Boston trailing 10-8, Nomar Garciaparra doubled to lead off
the ninth, Trot Nixon hit a long out to the warning track and
Millar, who homered three times on Friday, singled to score
Garciaparra. Mueller homered into the bullpen -- just the second
homer this year off Rivera, who had converted 23 consecutive save
"I was biting my nails the whole time," said Boston catcher
Jason Varitek, who sparked the brawl when he hit Rodriguez in the
face. "It was the hardest game I've had to watch. I think my head
almost hit the ceiling in the locker room. It was awesome."
The Red Sox, who also brawled with the Yankees during last
year's playoffs, were two outs from falling 10½ games behind New
York in the AL East; they have never come back from more than 10
games to win the division.
Instead, Boston is 8½ games back heading into Sunday night's
series finale, fighting with Chicago and Oakland for the wild-card
"Our rivalry is probably -- not probably, it is -- like no other
rivalry," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "It's an emotional
game. You'd like to believe you can play like a board game, but you
can't. There are people involved. There are emotions. It's a
The Red Sox were trailing 3-0 and hitless before Bronson Arroyo
plunked Rodriguez, prompting the AL MVP to stare at the mound as he
moved slowly toward first. Varitek positioned himself in front of
Rodriguez and the two began jawing before Varitek, still wearing
his mask, pushed the Yankees star in the face.
The dugouts and bullpens emptied.
"I told him, in choice words, to get to first base," Varitek
said. "And then it changed from him yelling at Bronson to [us] yelling
at each other, and then things got out of hand."
"Two guys fighting. They're gone. ... We had to calm down the
situation," plate umpire Bruce Froemming told a pool reporter.
"Then my partners got together and we picked out the guys who were
the most flagrant. There were other guys fighting, too. But we
can't see everybody."
Boston manager Terry Francona was ejected in the fifth inning
after arguing a call by second base umpire Mike Winters on a force
play at the bag.
Sturtze pitched the bottom of the third with blood on his
shoulder from a cut under his left ear, but he left after the
inning with a bruised right pinky; X-rays were negative.
Enrique Wilson went 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the sixth
that made it 9-4.
New York took the lead in the second when Arroyo missed the bag
while covering on a grounder to the second baseman. Jorge Posada
singled to center and Matsui doubled into the left-center gap to
score one; Posada scored on Tony Clark's groundout to make it 2-0.
The Red Sox, on the verge of dropping out of the division race,
seemed to get a spark from the brawl. They opened the bottom half
with Millar's single and Mueller's double before Mark Bellhorn and
Johnny Damon hit run-scoring groundouts.
After Juan Padilla replaced Sturtze, Garciaparra singled in two
runs to give Boston a 4-3 lead.
Matsui had a two-run double in the sixth, Miguel Cairo had a
run-scoring single and Sheffield drew a bases-loaded walk as New
York sent 12 batters to the plate. Boston sent 10 batters to the
plate in the bottom half, getting a sacrifice fly from Mueller, an
RBI double from Bellhorn, an RBI single from Damon and a
bases-loaded walk by Manny Ramirez.
Boston acquired LHP Terry Adams from Toronto for Double-A
slugger John Hattig.