Thursday's matinee at the Stadium was a classic pitchers' duel that ended in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Ted Lilly and Orlando Hernandez were nothing short of brilliant in their performances yesterday afternoon. It took a Ruben Sierra ninth inning walk-off home run to put the Yankees over the top 1-0. It was only the second time in Yankee history that the Yankees won on a walk off home run in the ninth inning. Joe Pepitone was the first to do it in 1969.
Ted Lilly pitched six and two-thirds of three hit, shutout baseball. Lilly struck out six and walked only two. Lilly was relieved by Terry Adams. Adams pitched his way out of the seventh inning. Vinny Chulk relieved Adams and Struck out three in an inning and two-thirds before giving up the home run to Ruben Sierra. Chulk took the loss to move his record to 0-2 with a 3.07 ERA.
Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez was masterful in his third start of the year. El Duque pitched seven shutout innings, gave up only four hits, walked only one and stuck out ten Blue Jay batters. Tom Gordon came in to pitch a perfect eighth inning. Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth and got the win when Sierra ended the game. It was Rivera's first win of the season. Rivera dropped his ERA to 0.91.
Sierra started in Right Field to give Sheffield the day off in the field. Sierra took advantage by going 2-4 on the day with the big home run in the ninth. It was Sierra's 12th home run of the year. Sierra has turned out to be a valuable asset to Joe Torre, hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI.
The Yankees head into Boston tonight for a three game series with a 8.5 game lead over the Red Sox. Tonight's game features Jon Lieber (7-6, 4.82) and Curt Schilling (12-4, 3.04). First pitch is 7:05pm.