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Alex Rodriguez wound up with a home run after the first video replay review in World Series history, and the New York Yankees quickly reversed their fortunes by taking a 7-4 lead over Philadelphia through six and a half innings of Game 3 on Saturday night.
The first instant replay call in World Series history did more than turn a double into a home run. It changed the whole game for Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez's disputed shot started a big comeback and those powerful Yankees bats finally broke loose, backing Andy Pettitte in a rain-delayed 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night that gave New York a 2-1 Series lead.
After pitching dominated the first two games in the Bronx, the Yankees and Phillies showed their muscle, combining for six home runs. Jayson Werth connected twice for Philadelphia.
Rain affected the Series schedule in Philadelphia for the second consecutive year, delaying the start by 1 hour, 20 minutes. Once they hit the field in front of their boisterous fans, the Phillies took a 3-0 lead — but it was squandered by a struggling Cole Hamels.
Game 4 is Sunday night. Joe Blanton pitches against Yankees ace CC Sabathia, who goes on three days' rest for the second time this postseason.
A slumping Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui also went deep for New York, and Johnny Damon hit a tiebreaking, two-run double.
Pettitte settled down after a shaky start and even helped himself at the plate with a tying single. His six-inning outing was enough to earn his 17th postseason win, extending his major league record.
Some fans were dressed in Phillies red — others in full costume for the second-ever World Series game on Halloween. They whipped around white rally towels, but their team just got whipped.
Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies homered in the ninth off Phil Hughes. Mariano Rivera finished up at 12:42 a.m. in a non-save situation.
With the Yankees down three runs, Mark Teixeira walked in the fourth and Rodriguez hit an opposite-field drive deep into the right-field corner. He cruised into second base with an apparent double after the ball ricocheted back onto the field.
Video replays, however, showed the ball struck the lens of a television camera positioned just above the fence at the 330-foot sign. New York manager Joe Girardi came out to talk with right-field umpire Jeff Nelson as Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee visited the mound.
While Rodriguez chatted with Ryan Howard of the Phillies at second base, umpires huddled in the infield. Four of the six went under the stands for a look at the replay and emerged about a minute later.
The signal: home run.
Rodriguez's first hit in nine World Series at-bats was his sixth homer this postseason, tying Bernie Williams' club record from 1996. It also was the 17th postseason homer this year for the Yankees, setting a franchise mark.
The call seemed to give the Yankees a boost and help them break out of their Series slump — the team that led the majors in runs (915) and homers (244) during the regular season scored only four times in the first two games at home.
New York kept hitting in the fifth and chased Hamels. Swisher opened with a double and slid home with the tying run when Pettitte looped a one-out single to center on a first-pitch breaking ball.
It was Pettitte's third hit in 18 career postseason at-bats, second in World Series play.
Who needs a designated hitter?
Then, the Fox broadcast caught Derek Jeter saying to plate umpire Brian Gorman: "We're going to have to listen to Pettitte now. He's been bragging about his hitting all year."
Jeter fisted a soft single and Damon cracked a two-run double to right-center for a 5-3 lead. Hamels was lifted after another walk to Teixeira and walked off the mound to a mix of boos and cheers.
The left-hander, who was 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in the postseason last year, fell to 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four outings this time around.
Swisher homered off rookie J.A. Happ in the sixth and took a long look at his solo shot to left, which made it 6-3.
Werth answered leading off the bottom half with a mammoth drive off the facing of the second deck in left. After connecting, he slammed his bat to the ground and glared into the Philadelphia dugout as if to urge on his teammates.
It was Werth's seventh home run this postseason, one shy of the major league record held by Carlos Beltran (2004) and Barry Bonds (2002).
Jorge Posada's RBI single off Chad Durbin in the seventh gave New York a three-run cushion, and Matsui added a solo shot as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Matsui was on the bench because World Series rules don't permit a DH in National League parks.
Pettitte fell behind 3-0 in the second. Werth reached down for a breaking ball and hit a leadoff homer to left, setting off fireworks and lighting up the Liberty Bell in right-center.
Pedro Feliz doubled off the right-field wall, Ruiz walked and Hamels' bunt single loaded the bases. Jimmy Rollins walked to force in a run and Shane Victorino added a sacrifice fly.
Pettitte avoided further damage by striking out Chase Utley, then settled in and held Philadelphia in check. That gave the Yankees a chance to come back.
The Phillie Phanatic was wearing a rain-slicker and fisherman's hat when he high-fived Mike Schmidt as the Hall of Famer walked to the mound to throw out the first pitch to Howard.
The grounds crew was still drying puddles on the warning track as the Phillies took the field.
Last season, Game 5 of the World Series between the Phillies and Tampa Bay was suspended for two days because of rain. Once it resumed — in the sixth inning — the Phillies went on to a 4-3 victory that clinched the championship.
Last year's Game 3 started at 10:06 p.m. because of rain and didn't end until 1:47 a.m. It was the latest start in Series history.