Teixeira and Matsui hit solo homers off familiar foe Pedro Martinez, backing a sharp performance by A.J. Burnett and giving the Yankees a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 on Thursday night.
"After yesterday, getting a win today was big," Teixeira said.
A night after getting stopped by Cliff Lee in the opener 6-1, the Yanks bounced back from an early deficit, sparked by a pickoff throw from backup catcher Jose Molina, and won in the Series for the first time since taking a 2-1 lead against Florida in 2003.
After a day off, Game 3 will be at Philadelphia on Saturday night. The Phillies had been hoping for more than a split but were content.
"I always like to be 2-0 over 1-1. But it is what it is," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I've got to accept it."
Light-hitting Matt Stairs put the Phillies on top with an RBI single in the second. Burnett then used a biting curveball to keep Philadelphia from advancing another runner past second base against him.
Teixeira, in an 8-for-44 (.182) postseason slump, tied the score when he led off the fourth by driving a high changeup into the Yankees bullpen in right field.
"I think the home run got the crowd back in it," Teixeira said. "It kind of put a little bit of a crack in their armor."
Matsui put New York ahead with two outs in the sixth, reaching down for a curveball below his knees and sending it a few rows into the seats in right.
"I was able to make a good adjustment and put a good swing on it and fortunately it led to the result," he said through a translator.
Burnett got his first win following three postseason no-decisions for the Yankees, allowing four hits in seven innings and retiring his last eight batters.
"He went to his bread-and-butter, that backdoor curveball. It's impossible to hit," Stairs said.
Burnett struck out nine, -- including Ryan Howard three times -- and started his first 11 hitters with strikes, nine of them looking. Burnett kept his control, walking two, one of them intentional.
"I just wanted to come out and set the tone early and be very aggressive," Burnett said. "My key was strike one tonight."
After Game 1, he was walking in the clubhouse kitchen and heard Lee talk about confidence during an on-field interview.
"He talked about belief in his stuff, and all I told myself last night and today was the same thing," Burnett said. "I went out tonight with confidence, and just, you know, the game just rolled by."
Mariano Rivera got six outs for his 38th postseason save, his 10th in World Series play. After the Phillies put two on with one out in the eighth, Game 1 star Chase Utley grounded into an inning-ending double play. He fanned Howard looking starting the ninth -- the Philadelphia slugger's first four-strikeout game since July 21 -- then struck out Stairs with a runner at second to end it.
Several moves by Yankees manager Joe Girardi paid off.
Molina made his fourth straight postseason start as Burnett's personal catcher and picked off Jayson Werth at first base after a leadoff single in the fourth -- the Phillies next-to-last baserunner off Burnett.
"It got him through that inning," Girardi said. "I thought it was extremely important."
Jerry Hairston Jr. made his first postseason start for the Yankees as the replacement for Nick Swisher, batting just .114 (4 for 35) in the postseason. Hairston, who hadn't started in right field since July 21, had good numbers against Martinez (10 for 27) but had not faced him since 2004.
Philadelphia, seeking to become the NL's first repeat Series champion since the 1975-76 Reds, lost for just the fifth time in 22 postseason games.
New York won despite getting nothing from Alex Rodriguez. After carrying the Yankees in the playoffs against the Twins and Angels, he is 0 for 8 in his first Series appearance and struck out three times for the second straight night.
"I know he'll bounce back," Girardi said. "We'll get it going with him in Philly."
Twenty-eight of the 53 teams that won Game 2 to tie the Series went on to win the title -- but just one of the last six, the 2002 Angels.
There was another umpiring controversy. With two on and one out in the seventh, first base ump Brian Gorman ruled Howard reached down, caught Johnny Damon's liner and turned a double play. A slow-motion replay appeared to show the first baseman gloved the ball on a short hop.
Martinez, pitching four days past his 38th birthday, was nearly as effective as the 32-year-old Burnett, fooling the Yankees with breaking pitches of 70-75 mph. He allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings, striking out eight and walking two.
"I knew it was going to be crazy," Burnett said. "I knew he was going to be on his game. I focus on myself, but you can't help but watch his game. It's the funnest I've had on the field."
There were a few muted chants of "Who's Your Daddy?" but nothing like the booming taunts that serenaded Martinez when he came to New York in his final weeks with Boston in 2004. That was after he famously said, "I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy" following a loss at Fenway Park.
After Hairston singled and Melky Cabrera's hit-and-run single put pinch-runner Brett Gardner on third with no outs in the seventh, Martinez came out, pointing at the sky, tapping a fist on his heart and smiling at the crowd.
"I know they really want to root for me. It's just that I don't play for the Yankees, that's all," said Martinez, who hasn't been feeling well and was winded. "They love the fact that I compete. I'm a New Yorker, as well. If I was on the Yankees, I'd probably be like a king over here."
Philadelphia broke on top when Raul Ibanez blooped an opposite-field double just on the left-field line with two outs in the second. Stairs followed with a one-hop single off the glove of Rodriguez at third. A-Rod could have come up with the smash by Stairs, who had been in a 4-for-51 (.078) slide dating to July 1.
New York has lost consecutive home games just once since mid-June. Now the Turnpike Series moves down the road.
"Our club has been resilient all year," Girardi said. "The one thing that we've been able to do is we've went through some tough losses and we've seemed to bounce back. It was just business as usual for us today."
Derek Jeter was presented the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player who combines community service with excellence on the field. ... Utley walked in the second and has reached in a record 27 consecutive postseason games since going 0 for 4 in his debut in 2007. ... Ibanez made a diving catch on Robinson Cano with a runner at first in the second to prevent a possible RBI double.