Yankees level World Series
New York Yankees win Game Two of the best-of-seven showdown against Phillies.
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2009 09:41 GMT

Raul Ibanez of the Phillies hits a double against AJ Burnett [GALLO/GETTY]
AJ Burnett made his first World Series appearance guiding the New York Yankees to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, levelling the series at one game each.

The hard-throwing Burnett gave up four hits in seven innings and struck out nine while walking two.

Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui homered for the Yankees, who overcame a 1-0 second-inning deficit for the crucial victory.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Philadelphia for the next three games starting on Saturday.

Strike one

"My key was strike one tonight," said Burnett, who started the first 11 batters he faced with a strike and got ahead in the count all night.

"That allowed me to open up and expand the zone after that."

Old Yankee nemesis Pedro Martinez, a familiar foe to New York in seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, went six plus innings and was charged with three runs on six hits and struck out eight.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel admired the performances of both pitchers.

"Burnett was good. He was very aggressive with his fastball and his slider was off the chart. He pitched a heck of a game," Manuel said.

"Pedro did a tremendous job, changing speeds, but he got hurt by the long ball from left-handed hitters."

Philadelphia scored in the second when Raul Ibanez blooped a two-out double down the left-field line and came home when third baseman Alex Rodriguez failed to corral a smash off the bat of designated hitter Matt Stairs.

Teixeira, who had been slumping with a .186 postseason average, blasted a 1-0 pitch into the Yankees bullpen in right-centre to tie it 1-1.

"We hadn't done much offensively all series, and Pedro was pitching great," Teixeira said about the Yankees' line-up that was beaten 6-1 by Phillies' starter Cliff Lee in the opener.

"I think the home run got the crowd back in it, it evened the game. Hopefully it gave A.J. some confidence that we were actually going to score for him, and it kind of put a little bit of a crack in their armour."

Two innings later Matsui put the Yankees in front by pulling a soft, 73 mph curve into the lower deck in right.

"Matsui's home run was just huge for our confidence," added Teixeira.

The crowd enjoy the atmosphere at Yankee stadium [GALLO/GETTY]
Important win

New York extended their lead with another run in the seventh after Jerry Hairston Jr and Melky Cabrera opened with singles.

Park Chan-ho relieved Martinez and yielded a single to centre by Jorge Posada that scored Brett Gardner.

Closer Mariano Rivera pitched the last two innings for the save, escaping trouble in the eighth by getting Chase Utley to rap into a double play turned by Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter with men on first and second and one out.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was relieved to get the win.

"We're playing a very good baseball team, and you don't want to spot them two games when it's the best of seven," he said.

"It was extremely important."

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