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World Series 2001
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10/14/2001 01:38 AM ET
Mussina, Rivera dominate A's; Yanks stay alive
By Paul Smith
MLB.com
Mike Mussina won his third postseason game and stifled the A's Saturday.

More on Game 5:
Box score
Game highlights: 56k | 300k
Photo gallery: Game 5

OAKLAND -- It still ain't over.

"Everyone else may have thought we were dead," said New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. "No one in (the Yankees clubhouse) thought we were dead."

Down to potentially their last game in an attempt to win their fourth straight World Series, the New York Yankees held off Oakland, 1-0, on Saturday in the AL Divisional Series. The A's lead the series 2-1 and the teams will play again Sunday in Oakland, with Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez (8-1 in the postseason) going against Cory Lidle, who has 12 wins since July 1.

Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera combined on a six-hitter and Jorge Posada smashed a solo home run for the Yankees, who won for the first time in Oakland since last season. Mussina pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and one walk, while striking out four.

"(Mussina) didn't surprise me," said Yankee Manager Joe Torre. "But I wish we could have scored more than one run. He was sensational. He threw only 100 pitches. But 100 pitches in a game like that is more like 140, because every single pitch you throw means something."

Oakland right fielder Jermaine Dye said Mussina was at the top of his game.

"He was Mike Mussina," Dye said. "He came right at us and hit his spots, and we couldn't really get anything going."

Rivera pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the playoffs.

Posada's homer was the Yankees' first hit of the game, coming with one out in the fifth inning off Oakland starter Barry Zito.

"That was obviously huge because it was the only run on the board," Torre said. "(Posada) had a couple of good at-bats tonight, even though he only got that one hit. He had more consistent at-bats tonight than anybody. All the guys were pumped up but they were trying too hard, as always."

Posada said he just wanted to put the ball in play.

"I got a pitch, it was a fastball, middle in," Posada said. "I was trying to stay back on (Zito), and he did a great job to keep us off-balance all day. And that was the only run. "I thought we were going to get more runs. I didn't think 1-0 was going to be the end result."

Zito pitched eight innings, allowing just two hits, one walk and two hit batters, while striking out six. He threw 110 pitches, 74 for strikes.

"If you make a mistake, most times it's not going to get hit out of the park," Zito said. "Most times they'll foul it back or pop it up."

The crowd of 55,861, the largest in Oakland's baseball history, was prepared to celebrate Oakland's sweep of the world champs but what they saw was a Yankee team with lots of life left, especially in its defense.

There were at least three very good plays by the Yankees that helped turn the game in their favor.

To start the bottom of the sixth inning, third baseman Scott Brosius snagged a line drive off the bat of Johnny Damon. Two outs later, Jason Giambi hit a towering fly ball down the left-field line on which Chuck Knoblauch made a tremendous, sliding catch.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy Giambi singled with two outs. Terrence Long drilled a ball into the right field corner which Yankee right fielder Shane Spencer fielded and threw toward the plate. Giambi tried to score from first without sliding at the plate. But he was tagged out at home by Posada after a great backhanded relay flip by shortstop Derek Jeter, who had sprinted over to the first-base line.

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"It was a bang-bang play, that's for sure," said Oakland Manager Art Howe. "They got the call and I don't know if he'd have slid if he'd have been able to get in or not. But we'll never know."

Torre said Jeter's remarkable performance on the play was just what the Yankees practice in Spring Training.

"He's the backup cut-off man," Torre said. "We overthrew the first cut-off man, and he was there and made a sensational play. We like a more conventional throw but he was in a position where he had no choice. The kid has great instincts and he holds it together and that was obviously the play of the game."

The A's had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. With one out, Dye doubled to right center. But Eric Chavez struck out and Jeremy Giambi grounded out to second. The A's are now 0-for-23 with runners in scoring position in the series.

The loss ended Oakland's 17-game home winning streak and was the first time the A's lost to the Yankees at home this season, in seven tries.

Dye said the A's just need to stay focused on Sunday.

"We've just gotta come out and try to do what we're capable of doing," Dye said. "Nobody came here thinking that we were gonna sweep these guys. They're the world champions four of the last five years, so you can't take them lightly."

Paul C. Smith is a regional writer for MLB.com based in Tampa.

Box score

Yankees 1, Athletics 0

at Network Associates Coliseum

FINAL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Yankees 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
Athletics 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Yankees AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Chuck Knoblauch - LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250
Alfonso Soriano - 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .182 .182
Derek Jeter - SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .455 .455
Bernie Williams - CF 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 .091 .182
Tino Martinez - 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .500
Jorge Posada - C 3 1 1 1 4 0 0 .400 .800
Shane Spencer - RF 3 0 1 0 2 0 2 .333 .667
Randy Velarde - DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
Scott Brosius - 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Totals 29 1 2 1 6 1 7 - -

Batting:
2B - Spencer (1, Zito).
HR
- Posada (1, 5th inning off Zito 0 on, 1 out).
RBI
- Posada (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- Brosius 1, Martinez 1.
GIDP
- Posada.
Team LOB
- 4.

Fielding:
Outfield assists -
Spencer (Je Giambi at home).

Athletics AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG SLG
Johnny Damon - CF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .462 .692
Miguel Tejada - SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .154 .308
Jason Giambi - 1B 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 .200 .500
Jermaine Dye - RF 4 0 2 0 3 0 0 .273 .455
Eric Chavez - 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .077 .077
Jeremy Giambi - DH 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 .250 .375
Terrence Long - LF 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 .455 1.182
Ramon Hernandez - C 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000
-aOlmedo Saenz - PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
F.P. Santangelo - 2B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - -
Frank Menechino - 2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .100 .100
b-Greg Myers - PH-C 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.000
Totals 32 0 6 0 8 1 5 - -
Batting:
a-flied to right for R Hernandez in the 8th; b-singled for Menechino in the 8th.

2B - Long (2, Mussina); Dye (2, Rivera).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out
- Je Giambi 2. Team LOB - 6.

Fielding:
E - Tejada (1, ground ball). DP: 1 (Chavez-Menechino-Ja Giambi).
Yankees IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Mike Mussina (W, 1-0) 7 4 0 0 1 4 100 32-68 25 0.00
Mariano Rivera (S, 1) 2 2 0 0 0 1 31 10-21 8 0.00
Pitching:
Ground balls-fly balls: Mussina 8-8; Rivera 2-3.
Athletics IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
Barry Zito (L, 0-1) 8 2 1 1 1 6 110 36-74 29 1.12
Mark Guthrie 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 3-8 3 0.00
Pitching:
HBP - Martinez (by Zito); Jeter (by Zito).
Ground balls-fly balls: Zito 5-13; Guthrie 0-2.
Umpires: Kerwin Danley (HP) Jerry Layne (1B) Mark Hirschbeck (2B) Ron Kulpa (3B) Steve Rippley (LF) Ted Barrett (RF)
Time: 2:42
Attendance: 55,861
Weather: 83 and no clouds. Wind: 8 mph out to right.
BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED