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Balk leads to New York run
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10/16/2004 10:23 PM ET
Balk leads to New York run
Mendoza mistake allows Matsui to score
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Terry Francona argues with the umpires following a balk call in the third inning. (Charles Krupa/AP)

BOSTON -- It was a quick comedown for the Red Sox in the third inning Saturday night -- thanks, in part, to a balk.

They had just taken a lead for the first time in the American League Championship Series, 4-3, against Yankees starter Kevin Brown. The fans at Fenway Park, deflated by the Yankees' three-run first inning, were roaring.

Just as quickly they fell silent as the Yankees immediately came back with three runs -- one of them on reliever Ramiro Mendoza's balk.

Alex Rodriguez sent a monster home run soaring high over the Green Monster for a 4-4 tie. Gary Sheffield walked and Hideki Matsui doubled, putting an end to right-hander Bronson Arroyo's outing.

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Mendoza came in and yielded a run-scoring single to Bernie Williams. Matsui held at third.

Stretching, Mendoza stepped back as if to try a pickoff throw to first base but instead threw to the plate. A balk was called, sending Matsui home to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona discussed the call with the umpires for a few minutes before returning to the dugout.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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