10/23/2003 11:19 PM ET
WS Score Tracker: Game 5
TOP 1st: NYY 1, FLA 0: A little bit of Derek Jeter's October magic and a Marlins miscue made Yankees manager Joe Torre look like a mad genius in the opening inning of Game 5 at Pro Player Stadium. Finally fed up with leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano's propensity for strikeouts, Torre elected to start Enrique Wilson in place of his All-Star second baseman. That left Jeter in the leadoff spot, and the New York shortstop didn't waste any time starting a rally. He laced an opposite-field single to right on the second pitch from Florida starter Brad Penny, and Wilson followed with a bunt single to the right side. Jeter moved to third on the play when Florida first baseman Derrek Lee made a wild underhand toss to the bag. Three pitches later, Bernie Williams brought home the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to right-center field before Penny ended the inning on a fielder's choice and a strikeout.
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
BOT 2nd: FLA 3, NYY 1: The Marlins got a huge break when Yankees starter David Wells was forced to leave the game because of back spasms after the first inning. With their go-to relievers already extended because of Wednesday's 12-inning affair, Wells' exit turned out to be a big blow to the Bombers and a bigger lift for the Fish. Jose Contreras, who had already thrown 3 1/3 innings of relief in the first four games, came out of the bullpen and retired the first two batters. However, he had trouble finding the strike zone after that. He issued back-to-back walks to Mike Lowell and Lee (thowing a full-count pitch over his head and all the way to the backstop). Wednesday's hero, Alex Gonzalez, followed with a ground-rule RBI double to even the game before Penny helped his own cause with a two-run single to right. Contreras' struggles continued as he walked Juan Pierre on four pitches, but he managed to strand both runners when Luis Castillo struck out to end the inning.
BOT 4th: FLA 4, NYY 1: Contreras held the Marlins scoreless in the third, but his troubles returned in the fourth. Lee tagged him for a leadoff single to left, and following Gonzalez's strikeout, Penny moved Lee into scoring position with a solid sacrifice bunt to the left side. Pierre continued to torment the Yankees by drilling an RBI double on a 2-2 offering to give the Marlins a three-run lead.
BOT 5th: FLA 6, NYY 1: As smart as Torre looked after the first inning, Wilson's fourth-inning error tarnished the brilliance of Soriano's benching. With Chris Hammond on in relief of Contreras, Ivan Rodriguez promptly ripped a single to center and advanced to second by tagging up on Miguel Cabrera's fly out to deep right. That's when the inning fell apart. Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone made an outstanding stop on a smash off the bat of Jeff Conine. When Boone looked up, Rodriguez was caught between the bases. Boone fired to Wilson to start a rundown that should have left the Marlins with a runner on first and one out. It didn't. As Boone cleared the basepaths to allow the Yankees to set up a rundown rotation, Wilson threw the ball to no one, giving Florida runners at second and third with one out. Lowell didn't let the opportunity slip away, looping a two-run single into shallow center field before Lee grounded into an inning-ending double play.
TOP 7th: FLA 6, NYY 2: The Yankees finally put something together against Penny in the top of the seventh, but the hard-throwing right-hander didn't let it amount to much. Nick Johnson started things with a single to right and went to third on Karim Garcia's base hit. Penny kept both runners stationed on a shallow fly ball from Boone and gave himself a chance to get out of the inning by fanning pinch-hitter Juan Rivera with a 99 mph heater. Jeter, though, pushed across New York's first earned run with a single to center and a walk to Wilson brought Williams, the all-time postseason home run leader, to the plate with a chance to tie it up with one more long ball. However, there was no Yankee magic here. Penny induced a fly out to right field to end the inning.
TOP 9th: FLA 6, NYY 4: After Dontrelle Willis shut down the Yankees in the eighth, the Yankees made it interesting in their final turn. Jason Giambi, who had been held out of the starting lineup because of an ailing left knee, belted a one-out home run off Braden Looper to put a scare into the Florida faithful. Jeter followed with a single to right and Wilson cranked up the intensity even further with an RBI double down into the right-field corner. That ended Looper's night. He was replaced by Marlins closer Ugueth Urbina, who had blown a two-run lead in the ninth inning on Wednesday. Williams once again came to the plate as the tying run. He came just shy of coming through, flying out to the warning track in right-center field. Hideki Matsui followed with a smash to the right side, but Lee made a terrific pick at first base to end the game and give the Marlins a 3-2 series lead as the teams head back to New York for Game 6 on Saturday.
Todd Lorenz is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.