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World Series 2001
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10/22/2001 02:12 PM ET
Soriano's homer helps Yankees take 3-1 advantage in ALCS
By Carrie Muskat
Soriano gets a kiss from Joe Torre after his game-winning tater.
Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Photo gallery: Game 4

Box score
No. 4 Trains: Best and worst of Game 4
Inning-by-inning rundown

Postgame press conference transcripts:
Soriano | Williams | Abbott | Torre | Piniella

NEW YORK -- Mariners manager Lou Piniella spent Saturday trying to convince his team there is no "Yankee Mystique."

Wonder what he's saying now. In yet another magical night at Yankee Stadium, the seemingly invincible three-time defending champions rallied for a 3-1 victory in Game 4 of the ALCS.

Rookie Alfonso Soriano capped the magic show with a two-run, walkoff home run off Mariners closer Kazukiro Sasaki with one out in the ninth inning, as the Yankees took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

But the stage was set by Bernie Williams, who hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning after Bret Boone had homered in the top of the frame to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

A Yankees victory in Game 5 Monday night would clinch their 38th AL pennant and send the Mariners home unable to complete their magical 116-win season.

"This puts us in a rather precarious situation," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said. "We didn't lose. We just got beat. Give them credit."

"We're down 3-1. We thought we had a win in our back pocket," Seattle starter Paul Abbott said. "You know, the World Champs came back and snatched it away from us. Now we're down 3-1 where it looked like we had a chance to be 2-2."

Yankees manager Joe Torre wasn't sure how his team would respond after being routed 14-3 in Game 3. They responded big time. It just took awhile.

"This was a wonderful ballgame, an emotional ballgame, especially after falling behind," Torre said. "We certainly felt we had the advantage playing at home. Late in the game, you start the ninth inning and you don't have to defend your lead. It just changed the momentum right there."

Funny thing is, it's the first time the home team has won in this ALCS.

Soriano, who wasn't expected to make the Yankees big-league team except as a utility player, earned the starting second base job and led all American League rookies with 18 home runs. This one was huge.

"This kid has grown," Torre said of Soriano.

For the first seven innings of the game, each team mustered one hit apiece. Then the Yankee Stadium crowd of 56,375 was jolted awake in the eighth.

Game 4 HR's

Soriano's game winner: 56k | 300k
Williams in 8th: 56k | 300k
Boone in 8th: 56k | 300k

Boom. Seattle's Bret Boone and Williams hit their second homers in as many days in back-to-back innings. Boone connected with two outs in the eighth off Ramiro Mendoza to go ahead, 1-0, only the second Seattle hit. Williams quickly answered with an opposite field home run with one out in the Yankees half off Arthur Rhodes to tie it at one.

"Bernie looks like he has some at-bats that don't make sense for his ability," Torre said, "and then all of a sudden when something needs to happen, it's like there's a certain amount of magic that's tied to him. We all expect it and he never let's us down."

Williams' homer was only the second Yankees hit but it was his 15th career postseason blast. He now moves into a tie for fourth place with Babe Ruth on the all-time list, trailing Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle who have 18 each and Jim Thome who has 17.

Then came the ninth. With one out against M's closer Kazuhiro Sasaki (0-1), Scott Brosius reached on an infield hit to shortstop Mark McLemore, who made a diving stop but whose throw pulled first baseman John Olerud off the bag.

Soriano then launched a 1-0 pitch from Sasaki over the right center-field fence for the game winner, the fourth in postseason history by the Yankees. The Japanese closer, who set a Seattle club record with 45 saves, had blown only one in his last 10 regular-season save opportunities.

Mariano Rivera (1-0) notched the win, pitching one inning of relief and is now 3-0 lifetime in the ALCS.

Piniella vowed to bring the series back to Seattle for Game 6. It'll be tough now. Game 5 will be played Monday at Yankee Stadium as Aaron Sele (0-2, 5.63 ERA) tries for his first ever postseason win against Andy Pettitte (1-1, 1.26 ERA).

The Yankees are 10-0 when leading 3-1 in a best-of-seven postseason series.

"Tonight was the same kind of feeling as when we beat Oakland (in Game 5 of the Division Series)," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said after Sunday's win. "You ask, how important can sports be? This shows you. New York really needs it, and it couldn't have been better for New York. Now, we have to go out and do it (Monday). We haven't won it yet."

Steinbrenner had stopped by before Sunday's game just to "take the temperature of the clubhouse," Torre said. It was cool, calm and collected. And, apologetic. Several of the Yankees regulars exited early after Game 3 Saturday and were unavailable to the media. Shortstop Derek Jeter apologized on behalf of the team prior to Sunday's game.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was in attendance, greeted by chants of "Rudy, Rudy," along with singer Paul McCartney who had hosted a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden Saturday night that Torre and Jackson attended. McCartney even sang along to "I Saw Her Standing There" played before the Yankees' second inning.

In Game 3, the Mariners set a ALCS mark for runs scored. In Game 4, the two teams combined for a Championship Series record 16 walks.

Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision, just the time of game.

Yankees starter Roger Clemens, now 0-1 in three starts in the postseason, did get in the record books. He struck out M's leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki for the right-hander's 47th ALCS strikeout, topping the old mark of 46 held by Jim Palmer. His 53 strikeouts rank fourth all-time in LCS play behind Atlanta's John Smoltz, who has 89.

It wasn't the last, as Clemens whiffed seven in the game, all swinging.

But it also wasn't vintage Clemens. He matched his 2000 ALCS Game 4 performance when he gave up one hit, but in that game he went the distance and struck out 15.

On Sunday, Clemens lasted five innings, walking four and departing after 89 pitches. The lone hit was a leadoff single by John Olerud in the M's fourth.

It was evident early that Clemens was not sharp. Seattle manager Lou Piniella had told his team to be patient and make the right-hander work and he did, throwing 39 pitches after two innings.

Seattle's Abbott, making his first postseason start this year, now has the unique distinction of being pulled despite having a no-hitter.

The right-hander, who had served up three home runs to Cleveland in the Division Series, walked eight over five innings and was pulled after 97 pitches.

Had he ever had an outing like that?

"Just when I was walking a high wire in Vegas one time," he said.

It was a good night to have control of the TV remote. The Arizona-Atlanta NLCS game was being played at the same time, different channel, different pace.


The Yankees tried. With one out in the sixth against Norm Charlton, Tino Martinez doubled for the first New York hit. Charlton then intentionally walked Jorge Posada before departing for Jeff Nelson who unintentionally walked pinch-hitter Shane Spencer to load the bases. But Nelson got Scott Brosius to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

The total walks in the game set a Championship Series record, breaking the old mark of 14 set by Oakland and Baltimore on Oct. 9, 1974.

Monument Park, the pinstripes and the 26 World Championships can be intimidating. In the team offices at Yankee Stadium is the 1977 World Series trophy. It's the real thing. The Mariners have never reached the World Series. The Yankees now can start thinking about updating their logo.

"Of course it's in our minds to end this thing (Monday) and hopefully go to the World Series," Williams said, "but we've got to take it a day at a time."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for

Box score American League Championship Series

Yankees 3, Mariners 1

at Yankee Stadium


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mariners 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 0
Ichiro Suzuki RF 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 .455
Mark McLemore SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .129
Bret Boone 2B 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 .222
Edgar Martinez DH 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .250
John Olerud 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .182
Stan Javier LF 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .238
Mike Cameron CF 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 .192
Tom Lampkin C 2 0 0 0 1 1 3 .167
David Bell 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 .233
Totals 29 1 2 1 5 10 11 -
- Boone (2, 8th inning off Mendoza 0 on, 2 out).
RBI - Boone (6).
2-out RBI - Boone.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Lampkin 1, E Martinez 1.
Team LOB - 6.
- Suzuki (3, 2nd base off Clemens/Posada).
1 (Boone-Mclemore-Olerud).
Chuck Knoblauch LF 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .306
Derek Jeter SS 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .313
David Justice DH 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 .192
Bernie Williams CF 2 1 1 1 2 0 0 .226
Tino Martinez 1B 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 .152
Jorge Posada C 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 .321
Paul O'Neill RF 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .200
a-Shane Spencer PH-RF 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .308
Scott Brosius 3B 3 1 1 0 0 0 3 .103
Alfonso Soriano 2B 2 1 1 2 2 1 0 .290
Totals 25 3 4 3 10 5 14 -
a-walked for Oneill in the 6th.
- T Martinez (1, Charlton).
HR - B Williams (2, 8th inning off Rhodes 0 on, 1 out); Soriano (1, 9th inning off Sasaki 1 on, 1 out).
S - Brosius.
RBI - B Williams (8), Soriano 2 (5).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Jeter 1, Oneill 1, Justice 1.
GIDP - Brosius.
Team LOB - 8.
- Soriano (4, 2nd base off Abbott/Lampkin).
CS - B Williams (2, 2nd base by Abbott/Lampkin).
Paul Abbott 5 0 0 0 8 2 97 48-49 21 0 9.00
Norm Charlton 0.1 1 0 0 1 0 8 4-4 3 0 0.00
Jeff Nelson 1.2 0 0 0 1 2 32 11-21 5 0 0.00
Arthur Rhodes (BS, 1) 1 1 1 1 0 1 16 5-11 4 1 1.93
Kazuhiro Sasaki (L, 0-1) 0.1 2 2 2 0 0 5 2-3 3 1 5.40
IBB - Posada (by Charlton).
Ground balls-fly balls: Abbott 7-4; Charlton 0-1; Nelson 3-0; Rhodes 1-1; Sasaki 1-0.
Roger Clemens 5 1 0 0 4 7 89 36-53 20


Ramiro Mendoza 3 1 1 1 1 3 44 14-30 11 1 1.04
Mariano Rivera (W, 1-0) 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0-3 3 0 1.04

WP - Clemens.
Ground balls-fly balls: Clemens 3-5; Mendoza 4-2; Rivera 2-1.

Umpires: Charlie Reliford (HP) John Shulock (1B) Tim Welke (2B) Ed Montague (3B) Wally Bell (LF) Gary Cederstrom (RF)
Time: 3:24
Attendance: 56,375
Weather: 68 and clear. Wind: 11 mph, out to left.