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November 2, 2009

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Yankees rally to surge ahead

THE New York Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit to claim an 8-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday and take a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

Yankees starter Andy Pettitte settled down after giving three runs in the second inning of a game delayed 80 minutes by rain to extend his postseason record for wins to 17.

He gave up four runs on five hits over six innings, including two solo home runs by Jayson Werth.

The Phillies treated the sellout Halloween crowd at Citizens Bank Park to an early lead, launched by Werth's leadoff homer to left.

One out later Pedro Feliz belted a double high off the wall in right and Carlos Ruiz followed with a walk. Pitcher Cole Hamels's attempted sacrifice toward third base was perfectly placed and went for a bunt single that loaded the bases.

Jimmy Rollins walked to force in a run and Shane Victorino hit a long sacrifice fly to plate the third run of the inning.

Starter Hamels shut down the Yanks through three innings before New York struck back with three Yankees bursting out of World Series slumps to fuel the attack.

Alex Rodriguez, who had been 0-for-8, hit a two-run homer off Hamels in the fourth, ruled by video replay to have hit a TV camera atop the right-field fence.

"I think it was a big hit," said Rodriguez. "It woke our offense up a little bit. Two big runs for us early on."

Pettitte, 37, helped his own cause with an RBI-single in New York's three-run rally in the fifth inning, and Johnny Damon, batting .100, cracked a two-run double. Nick Swisher, benched for Game Two, homered and doubled in the game.

Werth's second homer cut New York's lead to 6-4 in the sixth but Jorge Posada hit an RBI single in the seventh to restore the Yanks' lead.

Hideki Matsui added a pinch-hit homer in the eighth for New York, and Pedro Feliz homered in the bottom of the ninth for Philadelphia off reliever Phil Hughes before closer Mariano Rivera finished the game.


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