Red Sox stay alive on 12th-inning home run

Monday, October 18, 2004

BOSTON -- Down to their last three outs of the season, the Boston Red Sox rallied -- against Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees and decades of disappointment.

Bill Mueller singled home the tying run off Rivera in the ninth inning and David Ortiz homered against Paul Quantrill in the 12th, leading Boston to a 6-4 victory over the Yankees on Sunday night that avoided a four-game sweep in the AL championship series.

Pedro Martinez most likely will start for Boston in Game 5 today against Mike Mussina, trying to force the series back to New York the following night.

Red Sox fans who had been praying, holding hands and hoping against hope a few innings earlier burst into cheers when Ortiz connected. Long after Sunday turned into Monday, there was still plenty of energy in old Fenway Park.

Even Ortiz danced home to his waiting teammates at home plate.

This game lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes and ended at 1:22 a.m. EDT, just one night after New York's 19-8 win took 4:20. The teams have little time to get ready for the next one: Monday's game starts at 5:10 p.m.

Of the 25 previous teams to fall behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, 20 were swept, three lost in five games and the other two lost in six.

Quantrill, New York's fifth pitcher, relieved Tom Gordon to start the 12th and allowed a leadoff single to Manny Ramirez. Ortiz's shot on a 2-1 pitch landed in the right-field bullpen.

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