4 Oct 1996: Yankee pitcher Jimmy Key hurles a pitch towards home plate during third game of the 1996 American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark at Arlington in Arlington, Texas.
Jimmy Key put the Yankees in an early hole Tuesday night, allowing three runs in the first inning against the Red Sox. With Roger Clemens on the mound for Boston, it appeared as if New York was on their way towards a second straight loss. However, with timely hitting and good relief pitching, the Bronx Bombers were able to come away with a victory, making tomorrow’s game the rubber-match of the series.
After a Tim Naehring three-run home run in the first inning, the Yankees offense responded with a two out-rally off Clemens. Mike Aldrete walked, Joe Girardi moved him to second on a single and Andy Fox and Matt Howard both singled, cutting the Red Sox lead to 3-2. Derek Jeter connected on a ground-rule double to right field which tied the game and put runners on second and third. Bernie Williams reached on an infield single which scored Howard, and the Yankees were up 4-3.
Key immediately ran into trouble in the bottom half of the inning. A bases loaded walk to Mo Vaughn with two outs allowed Boston to tie the game. The Yankees took the lead for good in the fifth when Darryl Strawberry drove home Paul O’Neill with a double. Key exited after five and gave way to Bob Wickman. The Yankees tacked on a run in the seventh on an O’Neill double, and three runs in the eighth on a Howard single and another O’Neill double.
Wickman tossed a scoreless sixth, Mariano Rivera allowed one hit over two, and Dale Polley allowed one run before shutting the door.
2B:Jeter(14, off R Clemens);Strawberry(2, off Clemens)
P O'Neill 2(23, 1 off Garces, 1 off Clemens)
RBI: M Howard 3 (7); P O'Neill 2 (54)
Fox (9);Strawberry (6);B Williams (57);Jeter(41)
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Key W (7-6) 5 4 4 4 4 4 1 4.97
Wickman H (6) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.64
Rivera H (18) 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 1.66
Polley 1 2 1 1 0 1 0 3.38