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Game balls: Rating Game 3
10/08/2004 11:54 PM ET
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, Twinkies, as the boys from Minnesota are so often called, and subway cars, in honor of New York City's mass transit system -- for performances in this year's American League Division Series.

Here's a look at how things shaped up in the Yankees' big 8-4 victory in Game 3.

Yankees
Five subway cars: Empty car, all the seats to yourself
Four subway cars: Smooth ride, even got a nap
Three subway cars: Had to stand, but life is good
Two subway cars: Got my jacket caught in the door
One subway car: Overslept; hot, crowded car; splitting headache

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Derek Jeter: Just another day at the office for Jeter, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs -- all of which came with two outs. He has now reached base in 19 straight Division Series games. Pretty impressive, considering most people don't get to play in 19 Division Series games.

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Kevin Brown: Gave up an early home run to Jacque Jones, but quickly settled down and turned in six strong innings of work. No reason to punch any walls after this outing.

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Bernie Williams: Two-run blast off Carlos Silva in the sixth broke the game open for the Yanks. It was his lone hit, but it was a big one, because the Twins looked pretty lifeless for quite a while afterward.

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Jorge Posada: His two-out base hit in the top of the second sparked a rally for the Yankees. It was the first of five straight hits that brought three runs across the plate. New York never looked back from that point.

yankees gameball
Alex Rodriguez: Uhhh ... this was the same A-Rod who came through in the clutch time after time in Game 2, right? Maybe not, because this A-Rod went 0-for-5 and stranded four runners.

yankees gameball
Felix Heredia and Tanyon Sturtze: They were asked to deliver a nice, quiet, 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to preserve an 8-1 lead. Instead, they quickly let the Twins load the bases to score a few runs. Didn't affect the outcome, but showed a weakness at closing the door.

Twins

Five Twinkies: Mom packed the best lunch -- ever
Four Twinkies: You're all that, and a glass of milk
Three Twinkies: Now you're starting to eat like a man
Two Twinkies: You call this a snack?
One Twinkie: No creamy filling; must be a mistake at the Twinkie factory

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Jacque Jones: Home run in the first made it seem as if the Twins might be in for a good night against Kevin Brown. But Jones turned out to be the only member of the team able to cross the plate against the right-hander.

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Cristian Guzman: Contributed a trio of infield singles, including one that loaded the bases in the ninth.

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Michael Cuddyer: Was at the plate with two runners aboard twice early on, but failed to come through with a needed hit each time. Redeemed himself a bit with an RBI single with the bases loaded in the ninth. That, of course, was too little, too late, though.

twins gameball
Carlos Silva: Silva is known to give up a lot of hits, but 10 in five innings of work is lofty even by his standards. He gave up five straight hits with two outs in the second, setting the Twins on the path to defeat and the brink of elimination.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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