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Pedro In The Driver’s Seat, Leads Yanks After Three

Phillies keeping Yanks off balance in crucial game two


Philadelphia Phillies' Pedro Martinez throws during the first inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Yankees Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Philadelphia Phillies' Pedro Martinez throws during the first inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Yankees Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Pedro Martinez kept the slumping New York Yankees off balance, and Matt Stairs hit a run-scoring single to help the Philadelphia Phillies take a 1-0 lead after three innings in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night.


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Throwing an array of soft breaking balls, Martinez struck out four. Hideki Matsui’s second-inning single was the only hit for the Yankees.

Making his fourth postseason start, A.J. Burnett had four strikeouts for New York.

It was the second career World Series start for Martinez, one of the great pitchers of this era. He tossed seven shutout innings of three-hit ball for Boston in 2004 against St. Louis, helping the Red Sox win their first championship in 86 years.

Now 38, the right-hander lacks the overpowering fastball he once had, but he still loves the big stage. Signed by the Phillies in mid-July after sitting out the first half of the season, he went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts down the stretch. Then, he allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings during Game 2 of the NL championship series at Dodger Stadium.

Of course, Martinez had a long history of memorable moments at the old Yankee Stadium from his days with Boston.

The familiar Bronx chants of “Who’s Your Daddy?” began as Martinez started stretching in the outfield 30 minutes before game time. They picked up when Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the first inning.

The reference, of course, was to Martinez’s priceless quote from 2004 with Boston. Frustrated after another loss to New York, the colorful pitcher said: “I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy.”

He flummoxed the Yankees in the first inning, however, striking out Jeter with an 88 mph fastball and then Johnny Damon with a 75 mph changeup. With the Philadelphia infield playing a pronounced shift, Mark Teixeira hit a towering popup that was caught by staggering hotsopJimyRolis n herihtsie.

uret sowd oo contol, too. The right-hander, who led the AL with 97 walks this season, threw a first-pitch strike to his first 11 batters — nine watched it go by.

Chase Utley was intentionally walked in the third, extending his major league record to 27 consecutive postseason games in which he has reached base safely. Burnett struck out slugger Ryan Howard with a breaking ball, stranding two runners, and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

The Phillies gave Martinez a lead in the second inning. Raul Ibanez blooped a two-out double that dropped on the left-field line and Stairs followed with a one-hop smash to the left of third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who barely got a piece of it.

The ball skipped off the edge of the infield grass and under Rodriguez’s glove as he went to his knees. Ibanez easily beat the throw from Damon in left, and A-Rod glanced into his empty glove.

Before that hit, Stairs had been 4 for 51 (.078) dating to July 1. Since June 25, his only RBIs had come on a solo homer against Pittsburgh on July 11 and a grand slam at Washington on Sept. 10.

Burnett struck out Pedro Feliz to avoid further damage.

Martinez froze Rodriguez with a 2-2 curveball to start the bottom of the second, the slugger’s fourth strikeout in five World Series at-bats. Matsui singled but Ibanez made a diving catch in left field to rob Robinson Cano of a hit before Jerry Hairston Jr. flied out.

Each team made a lineup change for Game 2. Yankees manager Joe Girardi benched slumping right fielder Nick Swisher and again put Jose Molina bhind hepltetocachBunet.

hiadlpiamoedIbnez fom desigated hitter to left field and inserted Stairs as the DH.

Hairston replaced Swisher in right and batted seventh. Hairston entered 10 for 27 in his career against Martinez, but hadn’t faced him since 2004.

Before the game, hip-hop star Jay-Z and fellow New Yorker Alicia Keys sang his hit “Empire State of Mind” on a large stage set up in shallow center field. The performance originally was scheduled for Wednesday night, but was postponed because of wet weather.

Moments later, New York hitting coach Kevin Long got fired up in the dugout.

Apparently trying to wake up the Yankees’ bats, a smiling Long rattled a bunch of them around at the bat rack and tossed a piece of equipment onto the field, with the whole display shown on the big video board in center.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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