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Yankees short hops
10/18/2004 2:57 AM ET
BOSTON -- Extra innings and extra games. The Red Sox used the former to clinch the latter Sunday night, beating the Yankees in 12 innings to keep the series alive.

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It also helped Boston avoid the unthinkable: The Yanks celebrating at Fenway Park. The Sox did it with two late rallies, a single run off Mariano Rivera to force extra innings and a two-run blast from David Ortiz to end it.

The end result was the longest game in ALCS history, and it was also a small footnote. Boston is just the sixth team in history to go down 3-0 and avoid a series sweep. The two teams will meet again 15 hours after Game 4 ended, with Mike Mussina matched up against Pedro Martinez.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 4 of the ALCS.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 4.97 shaved a few points off
BA .346 (55-for-159) slow night
Runs 36 (4 in Game 4) no surprise
Errors 1 clean fielding in Game 4

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Hideki Matsui .550, 2-for-5 in Game 4 still the MVP

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Mariano Rivera 1.93 ERA, blown save one run, wrong time

Behind the numbers
The two teams set a record for the longest game in ALCS history, an extravaganza that lasted five hours and two minutes. That beat the existing record by 11 minutes. In terms of innings, it was the longest game since Game 5 of the NLCS, when the Mets beat the Braves in 15 innings.

Frozen moment
Ortiz broke the game open with a two-run blast off Paul Quantrill. It was just the 12th walk-off in LCS history, and the first since Aaron Boone ended things in Game 7 last season. Overall, 33 walk-off homers have been hit in postseason play.

Second guess
With a one-run lead and El Duque running on fumes, the Yankees had a perfect opportunity to go to the bullpen. It was 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, and Ortiz was up with the bases loaded. Felix Heredia, New York's only left-handed reliever, was up and close to ready. The Yanks left him in the 'pen, though, and Ortiz singled in two runs to give the Red Sox their first lead. More ammo for the what-if game: Ortiz is 1-for-6 against Heredia lifetime.

Modern history
With one more win, Joe Torre can join some impressive company. In nine seasons as the Yankees skipper, Torre has finished in first place eight times and advanced to the ALCS seven times. If New York can get one more win, Torre will be 7-0 on that stage. There are only two managers in franchise history that have gone to the Fall Classic more often: Joe McCarthy won seven out of eight times, and Casey Stengel won seven rings in 10 tries.

Last word
"We have to wash good, bad or indifferent off in the shower at the end of the day. Even when we pulled ahead early in the series, we know they're an outstanding ballclub."
-- Tony Clark, talking about the state of the series

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

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