- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2001

NEW YORK The game, the World Series and Curt Schilling's ascension to baseball legend were sealed. The Arizona Diamondbacks stood one out from victory in Game 4 last night and a commanding 3-1 Series lead over the three-time defending champion New York Yankees.

And then, just like that, the Yankee magic was back and an already compelling World Series turned into one for the ages.

Tino Martinez blasted a two-run homer off Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, and Derek Jeter - mired in a terrible slump for the last two weeks took Kim deep to right field with two out in the 10th to give New York a thrilling 4-3 victory that knotted the best-of-7 Series at two games apiece.

On the verge of playing a potential series-clinching game tonight, the Diamondbacks now instead find themselves as the ones on the ropes with unheralded Miguel Batista pitching Game 5 against Mike Mussina before the Series returns to Phoenix, where Randy Johnson awaits for Game 6 and Schilling again for a possible seventh game.

It wasn't headed in that direction.

Pitching on three days' rest, a gutsy move by Arizona manager Bob Brenly that put his reputation on the line, Schilling allowed one run and three hits over seven innings. When the Diamondbacks scored two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 3-1 lead, Brenly pulled his ace, who had thrown 88 pitches, and summoned 22-year-old closer Kim from the bullpen.

Kim, a sidewinding Korean who can be absolutely dominating one moment and monstrously disastrous the next, was just that. He struck out the side in the eighth, then recorded two outs sandwiched around Paul O'Neill's single in the ninth.

Up stepped Martinez, Kim hung a fastball over the outer half of the plate, and the New York first baseman belted it over the center field fence to tie the game, leaving the crowd of 55,863 in a frenzy and the Arizona dugout in a state of shock.

One inning later, Jeter who had been 3-for-32 at the plate came up with two out, worked the count full and then deposited Kim's fastball just over the famed short porch in right field. The stadium erupted again as the Yankees dugout spilled onto the field and mobbed their suddenly resurgent leader.

Schilling's brilliance was all well and good, but it would have gone for naught if the Diamondbacks hadn't arisen in the eighth to take the lead.

Arizona put the leadoff batter on base in four of the first five innings, but failed to bring any of them home. Only Mark Grace, who crushed his first World Series homer into the right-field upper deck in the fourth, prevented the Diamondbacks from going scoreless.

That left the game deadlocked for three tense innings. Then, with three quick strokes of the bat, the Diamondbacks scored two runs, took the lead and temporarily added another chapter to Schilling's storybook postseason.

Luis Gonzalez started it by singling off left-handed reliever Mike Stanton, bringing left-handed hitting designated hitter Erubiel Durazo to the plate. The lefty-lefty matchup might have seemed to favor the pitcher, but Durazo a talented 26-year-old from Hermosillo, Mexico has proven he can hit southpaws, driving a pinch-hit homer off Atlanta's Tom Glavine in Arizona's National League Championship Series clincher.

This time Durazo crushed Stanton's pitch over center fielder Bernie Williams' head. Gonzalez raced around third and scored easily when Alfonso Soriano's relay nearly sailed into the Yankees' dugout. Midre Cummings, running for Durazo, then narrowly beat Derek Jeter's throw from short on Matt Williams' grounder, and the Diamondbacks had a two-run lead.

For seven innings, the game was a fabulous pitchers' duel between Schilling, who was seeking to become the first pitcher in history to win five games in one postseason, and Orlando Hernandez, who labored all night but managed to hold Arizona to one run over 61/3 innings.

Schilling retired the first six batters but fell behind Shane Spencer 1-0 to lead off the third and after shaking off catcher Damian Miller three times and stepping off the mound left a tailing fastball over the plate. Spencer, starting again in left field in place of Chuck Knoblauch went the other way with the pitch and deposited a high fly ball just inside the short right-field foul pole to put the Yankees up 1-0.

But Schilling came right back and retired nine batters in a row, making it to the sixth inning without ever having to pitch out of the stretch.

Hernandez, on the other hand, spent the whole night with runners on base. He pitched his way out of several jams but served up the solo homer to Grace, which landed in the right field upper deck, in the fourth.

Having now tied the game, the Diamondbacks threatened to take the lead in the following inning, when Tony Womack doubled and moved to third on Craig Counsell's third straight sacrifice bunt. Gonzalez lofted a fly ball to shallow left field, and Spencer came up firing to the plate. The throw short-hopped Jorge Posada, but the catcher made a difficult play, grabbed the ball and managed to make a barehand tag on the sliding Womack.


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