Derek Jeter; Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

In a game billed as a must win, the Yankees did just that last night. They defeated the Twins 7-6 in the 12th inning (box score) to even the series at one game each. Unlike game 1, the Yankees brought their bats, hitting three home runs against Twins' starter Brad Radke. By the time the game was decided though, the starters were well gone and the bullpens ended up playing key roles.

In the 7th inning, the Yankees had a two run lead, with Tom Gordon relieving Jon Lieber. In the 8th, however, the Yankee bullpen unraveled ever so slightly, allowing the Twins to tie the game. Mariano Rivera relieved Gordon and promptly blew the save, allowing two inherited runners to score. It could have been worse for the Yankees though. Corey Koskey doubled to left, but the ball bounced over the wall, preventing the go ahead run from scoring. As it was, the score remained tied at five a piece.

It remained that way until the 12th inning when Torii Hunter hit a solo shot off Tanyon Sturtze. In the bottom half of the inning, the Yankees got the equalizer and the game winner. With two on, Alex Rodriguez smoked a ball to left, past the outstretched arm of Shannon Stewart. That hit bounced over the wall for a ground rule double and drove in a run, tying the game at 6-6. With runners at 2nd and 3rd, the Twins walked Gary Sheffield to face Hideki Matsui. With his at bat, Matsui quickly won the game for the Yankees by hitting a sac fly to right as Derek Jeter tagged up for the win. Standard drama in The Bronx, no?

Games 3 and 4 are Friday and Saturday at the Metrodome. Kevin Brown will be the game 3 starter against Carlos Silva. Joe Torre has yet to decide on a game four starter, but the Twins may go with Johan Santana...on THREE DAYS REST!!!

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images