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Yankees-Phillies: New York Takes 2-1 World Series Lead in Philly

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 31:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees celebrates his two-run home run with teammate Robinson Cano #24 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 31, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez broke out of his World Series slump with a two-run home run, and Andy Pettitte picked up his 17th career playoff win as the Yankees won Game Three in Philadelphia

After a 75-minute rain delay, New York rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to beat the Phillies 8-5, powered by a trio of home runs and sharp relief pitching to take a 2-1 series lead. 
 
Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui went deep for Joe Girardi's side and Phillies' slugger Ryan Howard continued his World Series misery with three more strikeouts in an 0-for-4 performance.
 
The victory puts New York in a nice spot, with CC Sabathia set to go on three days' rest in Game Four Sunday night and the Phillies unwilling to start Cliff Lee in the same situation. 
 
With Joe Blanton named as Philadelphia's starter for Sunday, it was vital for the Phils to produce against Andy Pettitte. 
 
Pettitte allowed four runs on five hits and three walks, striking out seven over 104 pitches in six innings of work. 
 
He surrendered a pair of home runs to right fielder Jayson Werth, but the Yankee bats picked him up after a tough second inning and helped him to a record 17th postseason win. 
 
Neither pitcher was particularly sharp—especially considering the master classes by Lee and AJ Burnett so far—but Pettitte was the lesser of two Halloween evils, beating fellow lefty Cole Hamels. 
 
The Hamels of 2008 was on display through the first three innings, but then the wheels came off on the damp but warm Saturday night as he allowed five runs in 4.1 innings.

The defeat was just Philadelphia's second home loss in the playoffs in their last 13 contests. 
 
Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect seventh inning and Damaso Marte shut the Phillies down in the eighth. 
 
With a four-run lead going into the ninth inning, the Yankees looked to rest Mariano Rivera and hand Phil Hughes the ball. 
 
But Hughes' struggles continued and after he allowed a solo home run, Rivera was summoned to close out the game, which started on Saturday night and ended at 12:43 Sunday morning. 
 
Early on, however, it looked as though the Phillies were going to continue their dominance at Citizens Bank Park. 
 
The Phillies scored three runs in the second inning and New York plated a pair in the fourth and three in the fifth. 
 
The Yankees and Phillies exchanged runs in the sixth inning, but New York regained their three-run cushion with a two-out knock in the seventh and padded their advantage with one more in the eighth. 
 
The Phillies picked up one in the ninth, but Rivera slammed the door on any potential comeback.
 
Jayson Werth hit his sixth home run of the postseason leading off the bottom of the second inning. He went down to get the low pitch, getting around on it enough to take it to left field. 
 
Pedro Feliz then came round to score on a bases-loaded walk to Jimmy Rollins, and Shane Victorino drove in Carlos Ruiz on a one-out sac fly to left. 
 
New York made a dent in the lead in the fourth inning. 
 
Alex Rodriguez hit a two-out home run to right field which was originally ruled a double but overturned after a video replay confirmed the ball would have left the park had it not hit an overhanging camera. 
 
Andy Pettitte helped his own cause with an RBI single with one out in the fifth inning and Johnny Damon laced a double into the gap to score two more. Pettitte flared a curveball into shallow center field for his 14th career RBI to tie the game at 3-3. 
 
Derek Jeter then blooped a single into the outfield to put men on first and second, and Damon drove them both home with a two-run double. 
 
Nick Swisher got in on the act in the sixth inning with a solo one-out jack to extend New York's lead to three. Sitting on a fastball, Swisher drilled Happ's offering to right-center field to make it 6-3. 
 
Werth launched his second bomb of the night off of Pettitte in the bottom if the sixth inning on an absolute rocket to the upper-deck advertising boards to cut the deficit to 6-4. 
 
But Jorge Posada gave the Yankees a little more breathing room against Chad Durbin with a two-out base hit that sliced its way into left field. 
 
Pinch-hitting Hideki Matsui tagged Brett Myers for a solo home run in the eighth inning on a fast ball that caught too much of the plate. 
 
Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies the slightest of hopes with a one-out home run off of Phil Hughes in the bottom of the ninth, but they were not able to get anything going against Rivera—who needed just five pitches—as they fell by a final of 8-5.

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